Bir Gandus or Bir Gandouz is a village in Western Sahara controlled by Morocco. As a rural commune of Morocco it serves as the headquarters of Morocco's Aousserd Province and recorded a population of 4625 in the 2014 Moroccan census, it holds a Moroccan military post. Although sometimes called so, it is not a border post; the border post to Mauritania is to the west on the RN1 at Guerguerat although the stamp given there bore the name of Bir Gandus. Satellite image on Google Maps
A meridian is the half of an imaginary great circle on the Earth's surface, terminated by the North Pole and the South Pole, connecting points of equal longitude, as measured in angular degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian. The position of a point along the meridian is given by that longitude and its latitude, measured in angular degrees north or south of the Equator; each meridian is perpendicular to all circles of latitude. Each is the same length, being half of a great circle on the Earth's surface and therefore measuring 20,003.93 km. The first prime meridian was set by Eratosthenes in 200 BCE; this prime meridian was used to provide measurement of the earth, but had many problems because of the lack of latitude measurement. Many years around the 19th century there was still concerns of the prime meridian; the idea of having one prime meridian came from William Parker Snow, because he realized the confusion of having multiple prime meridian locations. Many of theses geographical locations were traced back to the ancient Greeks, others were created by several nations.
Multiple locations for the geographical meridian meant that there was inconsistency, because each country had their own guidelines for where the prime meridian was located. The term meridian comes from the spanish meridies, meaning "midday"; the Sun crosses the celestial meridian at the same time. The same Latin stem gives rise to the terms a.m. and p.m. used to disambiguate hours of the day when utilizing the 12-hour clock. Toward the ending of the 12th century there were two main locations that were acknowledged as the geographic location of the meridian and Britain; these two locations conflicted and a settlement was reached only after there was an International Meridian Conference held, in which Greenwich was recognized as the 0° location. The meridian through Greenwich, called the Prime Meridian, was set at zero degrees of longitude, while other meridians were defined by the angle at the center of the earth between where it and the prime meridian cross the equator; as there are 360 degrees in a circle, the meridian on the opposite side of the earth from Greenwich, the antimeridian, forms the other half of a circle with the one through Greenwich, is at 180° longitude near the International Date Line.
The meridians from West of Greenwich to the antimeridian define the Western Hemisphere and the meridians from East of Greenwich to the antimeridian define the Eastern Hemisphere. Most maps show the lines of longitude; the position of the prime meridian has changed a few times throughout history due to the transit observatory being built next door to the previous one. Such changes had no significant practical effect; the average error in the determination of longitude was much larger than the change in position. The adoption of WGS84 as the positioning system has moved the geodetic prime meridian 102.478 metres east of its last astronomic position. The position of the current geodetic prime meridian is not identified at all by any kind of sign or marking in Greenwich, but can be located using a GPS receiver, it was in the best interests of the nations to agree to one standard meridian to benefit their fast growing economy and production. The disorganized system they had before was not sufficient for their increasing mobility.
The coach services in England had erratic timing before the GWT. U. S. and Canada were improving their railroad system and needed a standard time as well. With a standard meridian, stage coach and trains were able to be more efficient; the argument of which meridian is more scientific was set aside in order to find the most convenient for practical reasons. They were able to agree that the universal day was going to be the mean solar day, they agreed that the days would begin at midnight and the universal day would not impact the use of local time. In the "Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada a report was submitted, dated 10 May 1894. Therefore, a compass needle will be parallel to the magnetic meridian. However, a compass needle will not be steady in the magnetic meridian, because of the longitude from east to west being complete geodesic; the angle between the magnetic and the true meridian is the magnetic declination, relevant for navigating with a compass. Navigators were able to use the azimuth of the rising and setting Sun to measure the magnetic variation.
The true meridian is the plane that passes through true north poles and true south poles at the spot of the observer. The difference between true meridian and magnetic meridian is that the true meridian is fixed while the magnetic meridian is formed through the movement of the needle. True bearing is the horizontal angle between a line. Henry D. Thoreau classified this true meridian
Algeria the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world's largest Arab country, the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, to the north by the Mediterranean Sea; the country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 1,541 communes. It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries. Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Carthaginians, Vandals, Umayyads, Idrisid, Rustamid, Zirid, Almoravids, Spaniards and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a middle power.
It supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest defence budget on the continent. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union. On 2 April 2019, president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after nearly 20 years in power, following pressure from the country’s army after mass protests against Bouteflika's campaign for a fifth term; the country's name derives from the city of Algiers. The city's name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazā'ir, a truncated form of the older Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna, employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi. In the region of Ain Hanech, early remnants of hominid occupation in North Africa were found.
Neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles similar to those in the Levant. Algeria was the site of the highest state of development of Middle Paleolithic Flake tool techniques. Tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are called Aterian; the earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Iberomaurusian. This industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 6000 and 2000 BC; this life, richly depicted in the Tassili n'Ajjer paintings, predominated in Algeria until the classical period. The mixture of peoples of North Africa coalesced into a distinct native population that came to be called Berbers, who are the indigenous peoples of northern Africa. From their principal center of power at Carthage, the Carthaginians expanded and established small settlements along the North African coast.
These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages. As Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing and political organization supported several states. Trade links between Carthage and the Berbers in the interior grew, but territorial expansion resulted in the enslavement or military recruitment of some Berbers and in the extraction of tribute from others. By the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War, they succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthage's North African territory, they minted coins bearing the name Libyan, used in Greek to describe natives of North Africa. The Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic Wars.
In 146 BC the city of Carthage was destroyed. As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew. By the 2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms had emerged. Two of them were established behind the coastal areas controlled by Carthage. West of Numidia lay Mauretania, which extended across the Moulouya River in modern-day Morocco to the Atlantic Ocean; the high point of Berber civilization, unequaled until the coming of the Almohads and Almoravids more than a millennium was reached during the reign of Masinissa in the 2nd century BC. After Masinissa's death in 148 BC, the Berber kingdoms were reunited several times. Masinissa's line survived until 24 AD, when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire. For several centuries Algeria was ruled by the Romans. Like the rest of No
Mauritania is a country in Northwest Africa. It is the eleventh largest sovereign state in Africa and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, Senegal to the southwest; the country derives its name from the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania, which existed from the 3rd century BCE into the 7th century CE in the far north of modern-day Morocco and Algeria. 90% of Mauritania's land is within the Sahara. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast, home to around one-third of the country's 4.3 million people. The government was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. Mauritania (. In other languages, it is known variously as Agawej or Cengiṭ, Gànnaar and Moritani; the ancient tribes of Mauritania were Berber people.
The Bafours were agricultural, among the first Saharan people to abandon their nomadic lifestyle. With the gradual desiccation of the Sahara, they headed south. Many of the Berber tribes claimed Yemeni origins. There is little evidence to support such claims, but a 2000 DNA study of Yemeni people suggested there might be some ancient connection between the peoples. Other peoples migrated south past the Sahara to West Africa. In 1076, Moorish Islamic warrior monks attacked and conquered the large area of the ancient Ghana Empire; the Char Bouba war was the unsuccessful final effort of the peoples to repel the Yemeni Maqil Arab invaders. The invaders were led by the Beni Hassan tribe; the descendants of the Beni Hassan warriors became the upper stratum of Moorish society. Hassaniya, a bedouin Arabic dialect that derives its name from the Beni Hassan, became the dominant language among the nomadic population. Berbers retained a niche influence by producing the majority of the region's marabouts: those who preserve and teach Islamic tradition.
Imperial France absorbed the territories of present-day Mauritania from the Senegal River area and northwards, starting in the late 19th century. In 1901, Xavier Coppolani took charge of the imperial mission. Through a combination of strategic alliances with Zawaya tribes, military pressure on the Hassane warrior nomads, he managed to extend French rule over the Mauritanian emirates. Trarza and Tagant were occupied by the French armies in 1903–04, but the northern emirate of Adrar held out longer, aided by the anti-colonial rebellion of shaykh Maa al-Aynayn, as well by insurgents from Tagant and the other regions. Adrar was defeated militarily in 1912, incorporated into the territory of Mauritania, drawn up and planned in 1904. Mauritania was part of French West Africa from 1920, as a protectorate and a colony. French rule brought legal prohibitions against an end to inter-clan warfare. During the colonial period, 90% of the population remained nomadic. Many sedentary peoples, whose ancestors had been expelled centuries earlier, began to trickle back into Mauritania.
The previous capital of the country under the French rule, Saint-Louis, was located in Senegal, so when the country gained independence in 1960, Nouakchott, at the time little more than a fortified village, was chosen as the site of the new capital of Mauritania. After gaining independence, larger numbers of indigenous Sub-Saharan African peoples entered Mauritania, moving into the area north of the Senegal River. Educated in French language and customs, many of these recent arrivals became clerks and administrators in the new state; this occurred. This changed the former balance of power, new conflicts arose between the southern populations and Moors. Between these groups stood African origins, part of the Arab society, integrated into a low-caste social position. Modern-day slavery still exists in different forms in Mauritania. According to some estimates, thousands of Mauritanians are still enslaved. A 2012 CNN report, "Slavery's Last Stronghold," by John D. Sutter and documents the ongoing slave-owning cultures.
This social discrimination is applied chiefly against the "black Moors" in the northern part of the country, where tribal elites among "white Moors" hold sway. Slavery practices exist within the sub-Saharan African ethnic groups of the south; the great Sahel droughts of the early 1970s caused massive devastation in Mauritania, exacerbating problems of poverty and conflict. The Arabized dominant elites reacted to changing circumstances, to Arab nationalist calls from abroad, by increasing pressure to Arabize many aspects of Mauritanian life, such as law and the education system; this was a reaction to the consequences of the French domination under the colonial rule. Various models for maintaining the country's cultural diversity have been suggested, but none were implemented; this ethnic discord was evident during inter-communal violence that broke out in April 1989, but has since subsided. Mauritania expelled some 70,000 sub-Saharan African Mauritanians in the late 1980s. Ethnic tensions and the sensitive issue of
Political status of Western Sahara
Western Sahara the Spanish colony of Spanish Sahara, is a disputed territory claimed by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro, an independence movement based in Algeria. It is listed by the United Nations as a non-decolonized territory and is thus included in the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Since the Madrid Accords of 1975, a part of Western Sahara has been administered by Morocco as the Southern Provinces. Another section, the Liberated Territories, is administered by the Polisario Front as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Mauritania administers the western half of the Ras Nouadhibou Peninsula. A UN-monitored cease-fire has been in effect since September 1991. While no other country has recognized Morocco's unilateral annexation of Western Sahara, a number of countries have expressed their support for a future recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory as an autonomous part of the Kingdom.
There is, for instance, a de facto recognition of the Moroccan claim on the part of some countries such as the case of the United Kingdom. Although the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office treats the status of Western Sahara as'undetermined', its lack of reference to its current effective partition, considering the existence of the Polisario-held areas, indicates an acceptance of Morocco as the administering power in the entire territory. Overall, the annexation has not garnered as much attention in the international community as many other disputed annexations. In order to resolve the sovereignty issue, the UN has attempted to hold a referendum through the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, is holding direct talks between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front; the UN recognizes neither SADR sovereignty over Western Sahara. The official position of the Kingdom of Morocco since 1963 is that all of Western Sahara is an integral part of the kingdom; the Moroccan government refers to Western Sahara only as "Moroccan Sahara", the "Saharan provinces", or the "Southern Provinces".
According to the Moroccan government, in 1958 the Moroccan Army of Liberation fought Spanish colonizers and liberated what was Spanish Sahara. The fathers of many of the Polisario leaders were among the veterans of the Moroccan Southern Army, for example the father of Polisario leader Mohammed Abdelaziz. Morocco is supported in this view by a number of former Polisario leaders; the Polisario Front is considered by Morocco to be a Moroccan separatist movement, referring to the Moroccan origins of most of its founding members, its self-proclaimed SADR to be a puppet state used by Algeria to fight a proxy war against Morocco. The Polisario Front backed by Algeria, is described by itself and its supporters as a national liberation movement that opposes Moroccan control of Western Sahara, whilst it is considered by Morocco and supporters of Morocco's claims over the Western Sahara to be a separatist organisation, it began as a movement of students who felt torn between the divergent Spanish and Moroccan influences on the country.
The original goal of the Polisario, to end Spanish colonialism in the region, was achieved, but their neighbors and Mauritania, seized sovereignty of the region, which the Polisario felt was entitled to self-determination and interdependence. The Polisario engaged in guerrilla warfare with the Mauritanian forces, it evacuated the Sahrawi population to the Tindouf refugee camps due to Royal Moroccan Air Force bombing of the refugee camps on Sahrawi land with napalm and white phosphorus. The Polisario Front has called for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara to be decided through a referendum. Although the SADR is not recognised as a state by the UN, the Polisario is considered a direct participant in the conflict and as the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, recognized by the United Nations since 1979; the Polisario Front argues that Morocco's position is due to economical interests and political reasons. The Polisario Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in Bir Lehlou, on 27 February 1976.
Claims on Western Sahara had proliferated since the 1960s, fuelled by Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah. Before Mauritania signed the Madrid Accords and after the withdrawal of the last Spanish forces, in late 1975, the Mauritanian Army invaded the southern part of Western Sahara, while the Moroccan Army did the same in the north. In April 1976, Mauritania and Morocco partitioned the country into three parts, Mauritania getting the southern one, named Tiris al-Gharbiyya. Mauritania waged four years of war against Polisario guerrillas, conducting raids on Nouakchott, attacks on the Zouerate mine train and a coup d'état that deposed Ould Daddah. Mauritania withdrew in the summer of 1979, after signing the Algiers Agreement with the Polisario Front, recognizing the right of self-determination for the Sahrawi people, renouncing any claims on Western Sahara; the Moroccan Army took control of the former Mauritanian territory. Mauritania recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on 27 February 1984.
Algeria has supported the independence of the whole of Western Sahara since 1975, when Spanish forces and settlers withdrew from the area. It is one of the few countries to do so in the Arab League, it has provided aid to the'Polisario Front'. Algeria's role became in
Nouadhibou is the second largest city in Mauritania and serves as a major commercial center. The city itself has about 118,000 inhabitants expanding to over 140,000 in the larger metropolitan area, it is situated on a 65-kilometer peninsula or headland called Ras Nouadhibou, Cap Blanc, or Cabo Blanco, of which the western side, with the Moroccan city of La Güera, is part of Western Sahara. Nouadhibou is located a couple of kilometres from the border between Mauritania and Morocco de facto, Western Sahara de jure, its current mayor is Elghassem Ould Bellali, installed on 15 October 2018. The city consists of four major areas: the city centre, including the airport. Attractions in Nouadibou include the Table Remarquable, several markets, a ships' graveyard and Mediterranean monk seals; the port of Nouadhibou is the final resting place of over 300 ships and hence the world’s largest ship graveyard. Unlike the arrival en masse of ships at Mallows Bay, here the number of craft has built up over time, as corrupt officials accepted bribes from boat owners to allow them to dump their vessels in the area.
Nouadhibou has always been an important transit point for international transport. In the beginning of the 21st century, it was a stopover for the Latécoère air-transport network for mail and passengers for western Africa and overseas colonies like Martinique. Antoine de Saint-Exupery spent much time there as writer. Near the harbour is the terminus of Mauritania's only railway line, which brings iron ore from the mining areas near Fdérik and Zouérat, which are located up to 704 kilometres inland. Processing iron ore forms the largest industry in Nouadhibou, although the overall major economic activity is fishing; the town was established as a small fishing port, controlled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the French. In 1907 by decree of the governor general of French West Africa Ernest Roume, it was renamed Port-Étienne after the former French Minister of the Colonies Eugène Étienne. After Mauritania became independent in 1960, the town name changed to Nouadhibou. On 30 June 1973, at the time of the second-longest solar eclipse in the 20th century, an Aerobee rocket was launched at Nouadhibou for solar research.
From February 2006 onwards Nouadhibou has become the departure point for African migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands. This dangerous route to reach the European Union has become popular as a result of increased emigration controls along the Moroccan coast and around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the second half of 2005; the city is reputedly a centre of trading of meteorites found in the Sahara. Nouadhibou features a desert climate under the Köppen climate classification; the city sees no rainfall during the course of the year averaging a paltry 18 millimetres of precipitation annually. Despite the fact that it features a hot desert climate, the area does not quite see the extreme temperatures that other areas with this climate feature; the average annual temperature in the city is 21.7 °C. Nouadhibou is linked with the Coastal Motorway RN2 to the capital Nouakchott and by highway to the Moroccan border in the north. Nouadhibou is connected by railway to the iron mines in Zouérat, 670 km to the east.
The freight trains can be reputedly the longest in the world. The railway carries passengers and calls at Choum; the city is served by Nouadhibou Airport. Plans were drawn up at the beginning of 1963 to build a port called Port Wharf in the fishing harbour, which included the construction of industrial and trade buildings; this became operational in 1966. This wharf was designed to accommodate traffic of up to 50,000 tonnes. In 1977 the wharf was lengthened to provide 3 extra berths for ships of average tonnage raising its capacity to 320,000 tonnes; the Nouadhibou Regional Hospital was opened in 2017 after a built time of five years and is the largest hospital in that region Two football clubs from Nouadhibou participate in the Mauritanian Premier League as of the 2018/19 season: FC Nouadhibou and ASC Snim. Adventures of Mauritania Shipwrecks on the coast of Mauritania