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Western Sahara  
   
[Spain
                                    1945-1977]
              to 26 Feb 1976 (Spain)
 
[Flag of
                                    Western Sahara]
                Adopted 27 Feb 1976 SADR Flag 
 
[ flag
                                    of Western Sahara (Reverse)]
                        SADR Flag Reverse
[Flag of
                                    Western Sahara (alternate)]
                       SADR Flag (Alternate)
 
[Flag of
                                    Morocco]
        From 29 Feb 1976 (Morocco)

 
Map of Western Sahara Hear National Anthem
"Ya Baniy As-Sahara"
(O Sons of the Sahara)

Text of National Anthem
Adopted 1976
Constitution
  (28 Feb 1976/4 Sep 1999;
in French)
Capital: El-Aaiun
(Laayoune)
(Villa Cisneros 1887-1958)
SADR Capital: Bir Lehlou
(provisional); Polisario HQ:
Tindouf, Algeria
Currency: Moroccan Dirham
(MAD) (from 1976); SADR
(from 1990)
Saharawi Peseta
 (EHP); 1884-1976 Spanish
 Peseta (ESP)
SADR National Holiday:
27 Feb (1976)

Independence Day
Population: 538,811 (2013)
GDP: $906.5 million (2007) Exports: $ N/A
Imports: $ N/A
Ethnic groups: Arab, Berber (Amazigh)
Moroccan Armed Forces: 160,000 (2004)
POLISARIO Armed Forces: 36,000 (2002 est.)
UN MINURSO Force: 213 (2014)
Morocco Controls Defense

Merchant marine: None (2010)
Religions: Muslim 99.4%, Christian 0.16%,
non-religious 0.31% (2000)
International Organizations/Treaties SADR:  AU, CAN (observer), IFRCS (observer), NAM (guest), WFTU
Western Sahara
Index
Chronology
1140 - 1147                Part of Almoravid Sultanate.
1879 - 13 Mar 1895         British North-West Africa Company (BNWA) trading
                             post, Port Victoria, established at Cape Juby
                             (Tarfaya) by Donald MacKenzie.
 9 Feb 1883                Trading post at Villa Cisneros established by
                             the Compañía Comercial Hispano-Africana.
 3 Nov 1884                Spain occupies Río de Oro (Spanish Sahara).
26 Dec 1884                Spanish protectorate declared from Río de Oro to
                             the Cape Blanc peninsula and Angra de Cinta.
10 Jul 1885                Spanish protectorate declared over the coast from
                             Boujdour to Cape Blanc.
 6 Apr 1887                Río de Oro Dependent Protectorate.
 6 Apr 1887 - 29 Aug 1934  Subordinated to the Canary Islands.
24 Feb 1895                Sultan of Morocco purchases Cape Juby (Tarfaya).
 3 Oct 1904                Saguia el Hamra annexed by Spain.
27 Nov 1912 -  7 Apr 1956  Tarfaya (Cabo Juby) Strip part of Spanish Morocco 
                             protectorate.
Jul 1936                   Spanish Nationalist forces take control.
20 Jul 1946 - 10 Apr 1958  Spanish West Africa (África Occidental Española)
                             (Río de Oro, Saguia el Hamra, and Ifni). 
23 Nov 1957 - 25 Feb 1958  Moroccan irregular occupation of parts of Spanish
                             Sahara (Edchera to 13 Jan 1958; Tan-Tan to Feb
                             1958; Tafurdat and Smara to 10 Feb 1958; Bir 
                             Nazaran and Ausert to 21 Feb 1958).
12 Jan 1958                Overseas province of Spain (Spanish Sahara).
 2 Apr 1958                Tarfaya Strip ceded to Morocco by Spain in Treaty
                             of Angra Cinta.
 4 Jul 1974                Western Sahara granted autonomy; not implemented.
15 Oct 1975                International Court of Justice advisory opinion
                             declares that Western Sahara has historical links
                             with Morocco and Mauritania, but the population 
                             of this territory possessed the right of
                             self-determination.   
14 Nov 1975                Tripartite Madrid Accords by which Spain ceded
                             temporary administration of Western Sahara to
                             Morocco and Mauritania.
27 Nov 1975                Morocco and Mauritania invade Western Sahara.
11 Dec 1975                Moroccan troops enter El Aaiun.
26 Feb 1976                Spain terminates its administration, but refuses
                             to accept annexation of Western Sahara by Morocco
27 Feb 1976                Saharan (Sahrawi) Arab Democratic Republic¹ (SADR) 
                             proclaimed by the Polisario Front.
14 Apr 1976                Spanish Sahara is partitioned by Morocco 
                             and Mauritania (Mauritanian part is named Tiris 
                             el Gharbia. Moroccan sector reorganized into the
                             provinces of Boujdour, Laayoune, and Es Semara).
 5 Aug 1979                Mauritanian agreement with the SADR, Mauritania
                             evacuates Western Sahara. 
11 Aug 1979                Former Mauritanian part of territory annexed by
                             Morocco, which is named Oued el Dahab province.
 6 Sep 1991 -              United Nations monitored cease-fire implemented.
 SADR Map
Historical Maps of
Western Sahara
Map of Expansion
of Moroccan
Control

(1982-1989)
SADR Diplomatic
Recognition List
 
 
 
 
 
 

Commander
 3 Nov 1884 - 10 Jul 1885  Emilio Bonelli Hernando            (b. 1855 - d. 1926)
Royal Commissioner

10 Jul 1885 -  6 Apr 1887  Emilio Bonelli Hernando            (s.a.)
Subgovernors
(subordinated to the governors of the Canary Islands)
 6 Apr 1887 - c.1902       Emilio Bonelli Hernando            (s.a.)
1902 -  1 Dec 1903         Ángel Villalobos
Governors
(subordinated to governors of the Canary Islands to 29 Aug 1934, then to the
Spanish High Commissioners for Morocco to 20 Jul 1946)(from 20 Jul 1946,
also the governors-general of Spanish West Africa)
 1 Dec 1903 -  7 Nov 1925  Francisco Bens Argandoña           (b. 1867 - d. 1949)
 7 Nov 1925 - 19 Jun 1932  Guillermo de la Peña Cusi
19 Jun 1932 - 30 Aug 1933  Eduardo Canizares Navarro          (d. 1980)
30 Aug 1933 -  1 Jul 1934  José González Deleito              (d. 1959)
 1 Jul 1934 -  4 May 1936  Benigno Martínez Portillo          (d. 1936)
 4 May 1936 -  7 Aug 1936  Carlos Pedemonte Sabin             (d. c.1936)
 7 Aug 1936 - 12 Mar 1937  Rafael Gallego Sainz               (b. 1898 - d. 1937)
12 Mar 1937 - 31 May 1940  Antonio de Oro Pulido              (d. 1940)
31 May 1940 - 17 Aug 1949  José Bermejo López                 (b. 1894 - d. 1971)
17 Aug 1949 - 29 Mar 1952  Francisco Rosaleny Burguet
29 Mar 1952 - 26 Feb 1954  Venancio Tutor Gil                 (d. 1959)
26 Feb 1954 - 23 May 1957  Ramón Pardo de Santayana Suárez    (d. 1967)
23 May 1957 - 10 Jan 1958  Mariano Gómez Zamalloa y Quirce    (b. 1897 - d. 1973)
Governors-general (to 10 Apr 1958, also governors-general of Spanish West Africa)
10 Jan 1958 - 22 Jul 1958  José Héctor Vázquez                (b. 1903 - d. 1977)
27 Jul 1958 -  6 Oct 1961  Mariano Alonso Alonso              (b. 1899 - d. 1974)
13 Oct 1961 - 21 Feb 1964  Pedro Latorre Alcubierre           (b. 1900 - d. 1995)
 6 Mar 1964 -  5 Nov 1965  Joaquín Agulla y Jiménez-Coronado  (b. 1903 - d. 1971)
 5 Nov 1965 - 26 Nov 1965  Adolfo Artalejo Campos             (d. 1965)
 5 Dec 1965 -  2 Feb 1967  Ángel Enríquez Larrondo            (b. 1905 - d. 1997)
18 Feb 1967 -  4 Mar 1971  José María Pérez de Lema Tejero    (d. 1984)
 4 Mar 1971 -  6 Jun 1974  Fernando de Santiago y Díaz de     (b. 1910 - d. 1994)
                             Mendívil 
 6 Jun 1974 -  6 Feb 1976  Federico Gómez de Salazar y Nieto  (b. 1912 - d. 2006)
Transitional Administration
 6 Feb 1976 - 26 Feb 1976  Representatives
                           + Rafael de Valdés Iglesias (Spain)(b. 1923 - d. 1995) 
                           + Ahmed Bensouda (Morocco)         (b. 1920 - d. 2008)
                           + Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh         (b. 1938)
                             Abdallahi (Mauritania)
Chairmen of the Revolutionary Council
27 Feb 1976 -  9 Jun 1976  El Wali Mustafa Sayed              (b. 1947? - d. 1976) POLISARIO
10 Jun 1976 - 30 Aug 1976  Mahfoud Ali Beiba (acting)         (b. 1953 - d. 2010)  POLISARIO
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council
30 Aug 1976 - 16 Oct 1982  Mohamed Abdelaziz                  (b. 1947)            POLISARIO
President
16 Oct 1982 -              Mohamed Abdelaziz                  (s.a.)               POLISARIO

Prime ministers
 5 Mar 1976 -  4 Nov 1982  Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed          (b. 1946?)           POLISARIO
                             (1st time) 
 4 Nov 1982 - 18 Dec 1985  Mahfoud Ali Beiba (1st time)       (s.a.)               POLISARIO
18 Dec 1985 - 16 Aug 1988  Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed          (s.a.)               POLISARIO
                             (2nd time) 
16 Aug 1988 - 18 Sep 1993  Mahfoud Ali Beiba (2nd time)       (s.a.)               POLISARIO
19 Sep 1993 -  8 Sep 1995  Bouchraya Hammoudi Beyoun                               POLISARIO
                             (1st time)
 8 Sep 1995 - 10 Feb 1999  Mahfoud Ali Beiba (3rd time)       (s.a.)               POLISARIO
10 Feb 1999 - 29 Oct 2003  Bouchraya Hammoudi Beyoun                               POLISARIO
                             (2nd time)
29 Oct 2003 -              Abdelkader Taleb Oumar             (b. 1951)            POLISARIO


Commanders of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)

Jun 1991 - Apr 1992        Armand Roy (Canada)
Apr 1992 - Oct 1992        Luis Block Urban (Peru)(acting)
 1 Oct 1992 - 30 Mar 1996  André Van Baelen (Belgium)      
 1 Apr 1996 - 30 Nov 1996  José Eduardo Garcia Léandro        (b. 1940)
                             (Portugal)
30 Nov 1996 - 21 Jul 1997  Jorge Barroso de Moura (Portugal)  (b. 1939)
28 Jul 1997 - 28 Oct 1999  Bernd S. Lubenik (Austria)
16 Nov 1999 - 10 Aug 2002  Claude Buze (Belgium)              (b. 1944)
11 Aug 2002 - 9 Sep 2005   György Száraz (Hungary)            (b. 1946?)
Aug 2005 - Aug 2007        Kurt Mosgaard (Denmark)
                             (acting to 11 Sep 2005)
28 Aug 2007 -  4 Apr 2011  Jingmin Zhao (China)               (b. 1954)
10 Apr 2011 - 23 Jul 2013  Abdul Hafiz (Bangladesh)           (b. 1957)
27 Aug 2013 -              Imam Edy Mulyono (Indonesia)       (b. 1961)

 ¹Morocco retains de facto control, however the SADR is currently has diplomatic relations and is recognized by 45 countries and the African Union (1982 [to 2002 Organization of African Unity]): Algeria (1976), Angola (1976), Belize (1986), Bolivia (1982), Botswana (1980), Cape Verde (1979-2007, 2012), Chad (1980-1997, 2007), Cuba (1980), East Timor (2002), Ecuador (1983-2004, 2006), El Salvador (1989-97, 2009), Ethiopia (1979), Ghana (1979), Guyana (1979), Honduras (1989), Iran (1980), Jamaica (1979), Laos (1979), Kenya (2005-2006, 2014), Lesotho (1979), Libya (1980), Malawi (1994-2002, 2008, 2012), Mali (1984), Mauritania (1984), Mexico (1979), Mozambique (1976), Namibia (1990), Nicaragua (1979-2000, 2007), Nigeria (1984), North Korea (1976), Rwanda (1976), Sierra Leone (1980-2003, 2011), South Africa (2004), South Sudan (2011), Suriname (1982), Syria (1980), Tanzania (1978), Trinidad & Tobago (1986), Uganda (1979), Uruguay (2005), Vanuatu (1980-2000, 2008), Venezuela (1982), Vietnam (1979), Zambia (1979-2011, 2012), Zimbabwe (1980);
--- former diplomatic recognitions: Afghanistan (1979-2002), Albania (1987-2004), Antigua & Barbuda (1987-2010), Barbados (1988-2013), Benin (1976-97), Burkina Faso (1984-96), Burundi (1976-2006, 2008-10), Cambodia (1979-2006), Colombia (1985-2000), Congo (Brazzaville) (1978-96), Costa Rica (1980-2000), Dominica (1979-2010), Dominican Republic (1986-2002), Equatorial Guinea (1978-80), Grenada (1979-2010), Guatemala (1986-98), Guinea-Bissau (1976-97, 2009-10), Haiti (2006-13), India (1985-2000), Kiribati (1981-2000), Liberia (1985-97), Madagascar (1976-2005), Mauritius (1982-2014), Nauru (1981-2000), Panama (1978-2013), Papua New Guinea (1981-2011), Paraguay (2000, 2008-2014), Peru (1984-96), St. Kitts & Nevis (1987-2010), St. Lucia (1979-2010), St. Vincent & the Grenadines (2002-13), São Tomé & Príncipe (1978-96), Seychelles (1977-2008), Solomon Islands (1981-89), South Yemen (1977-90), Swaziland (1980-97), Togo (1976-97), Tuvalu (1981-2000), Yugoslavia ([from 2003 Serbia & Montenegro] 1984-2004)

Territorial Disputes: Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, whose sovereignty remains unresolved; UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since 6 Sep 1991, administered by the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties thus far have rejected all brokered proposals. Many neighboring states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; several states have extended diplomatic relations to the "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" represented by the Polisario Front in exile in Algeria, while others recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara; most of the approximately 90,000 Sahrawi refugees have been sheltered in camps in Tindouf, Algeria since the 1980s.

Party abbreviation: POLISARIO = Frente Popular de Liberación de Seguía el-Hamra y Río de Oro (Popular Front for the Liberation of Seguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro, authoritarian, Sahrawi nationalist, socialist to 1991, separatist, only legal party of SADR, est.1973)







© Ben Cahoon