Outline of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

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This map indicates the territory claimed by the SADR, viz. Western Sahara (the lower half of the section shaded green). The majority of this territory is currently administered by Morocco; the remainder is named the Free Zone by the SADR, it is marked in yellow.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic:

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) – partially recognised state that claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. SADR was proclaimed by the Polisario Front on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara. The SADR government controls about 20-25% of the territory it claims.[1] It calls the territories under its control the Liberated Territories or the Free Zone. Morocco controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory and calls these lands its Southern Provinces. The SADR government considers the Moroccan-held territory to be an occupied territory.

General reference[edit]

Geography of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

The red line indicates the Moroccan Wall. The territory to the east of it is the Free Zone, controlled by the SADR.
An enlargeable topographic map of Western Sahara

Geography of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Environment of Western Sahara[edit]

An enlargeable satellite image of Western Sahara

Environment of Western Sahara

Natural geographic features of Western Sahara[edit]

Landforms in Western Sahara

  • Deserts in Western Sahara
  • Glaciers in Western Sahara: none [2]
  • World Heritage Sites in Western Sahara: None

Administrative divisions of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Regions of Western Sahara

Municipalities of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Government and politics of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Politics of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Politics of Western Sahara



Branches of the government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Executive branch of the government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Legislative branch of the government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Judicial branch of the government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Foreign relations of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Foreign relations of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

International organization membership[edit]

Law and order in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Law of Western Sahara

Military of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Military of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

  • Command
  • Forces
    • Army: Sahrawi People's Liberation Army, with 6,000 to 7,000 active troops.
    • Navy: none
    • Air Force: none

History of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Stages of the Moroccan Wall.

History of Western Sahara

  • Hanno the Navigator – Carthaginian explorer c. 500 BC, best known for his naval exploration of the African coast.
  • Sanhaja – a nomadic people who were once one of the largest Berber tribal confederations of the Maghreb region.
    • Almoravid dynasty – during the 11th century, the Sanhaja tribal confederation allied with the Lamtuna tribe to found the Almoravid dynasty.
  • Trans-Saharan trade – throughout history, some trade routes crossed this region, particularly to and from the Ghana Empire during the Middle Ages.
Saharan trade routes circa 1400, with the modern territory of Niger highlighted
  • Spanish Sahara – name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara when it was ruled as a colonial territory by Spain between 1884 and 1975.
    • Ifni War – series of armed incursions into Spanish West Africa by Moroccan insurgents and Sahrawi rebels that began in October 1957 and culminated with the abortive siege of Sidi Ifni.
    • Polisario Front emerges – formally constituted on May 10, 1973 with the express intention of militarily forcing an end to Spanish colonization.
    • Green March – strategic mass demonstration in November 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government, to force Spain to hand over the disputed, autonomous semi-metropolitan Spanish Province of Sahara to Morocco. The demonstration of some 350,000 Moroccans advanced several miles into the Western Sahara territory, escorted by near 20,000 Moroccan troops, and meeting very little response by the Sahrawi Polisario Front.
    • Madrid Accords – treaty between Spain, Morocco, and Mauritania to end the Spanish presence in the territory of Spanish Sahara, which was until the Madrid Accords' inception a Spanish province and former colony.
    • Tropas Nómadas – auxiliary regiment to the colonial army in Spanish Sahara composed of Sahrawi tribesmen, equipped with small arms and led by Spanish officers, guarding outposts and sometimes conducting patrols on camelback. Following the Spanish Government's decision to hand over the territory to Morocco and Mauritania towards the end of 1975, numbers of them deserted. Many of the Tropas Nómadas soldiers are believed to have joined Polisario and Spanish-trained fighters formed the core of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army set up to fight Morocco and Mauritania after the Green March.
    • 1975 United Nations visiting mission to Spanish Sahara – United Nations General Assembly in 1975 dispatched a visiting mission to the territory and the surrounding countries, in accordance with its resolution 3292 (December 13, 1974), to assist in the decolonization process.
  • Western Sahara conflict – ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front of the Sahrawi people and the state of Morocco. The conflict is the continuation of the past insurgency by Polisario against the Spanish colonial forces in 1973-1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War between the Polisario and Morocco (1975–1991).
    • Western Sahara War – armed struggle between the Sahrawi Polisario Front and Morocco between 1975 and 1991, being the most significant phase of the Western Sahara conflict.
      • Polisario declaration of independence – took place in 1976, establishing the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
      • Sahrawi refugee camps – set up in the Tindouf Province, Algeria in 1975-76 for Sahrawi refugees fleeing from Moroccan forces. With most refugees still living in the camps, the refugee situation is among the most protracted ones worldwide.
      • First Battle of Amgala (1976) – Units from the Algerian Army were attacked by units from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces on the night of 27 January. Algeria claimed their troops were providing food and medical supplies to refugees at Amgala, while Morocco said the Algerian troops were heavily armed and were aiding Polisario.
      • Settlement Plan – agreement made in 1991 between the Polisario Front and Morocco on the organization of a referendum, which would constitute an expression of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, leading either to full independence, or integration with the kingdom of Morocco. It resulted in a cease-fire which remains in effect (more or less) to this day.
      • United Nations Security Council Resolution 690 – adopted unanimously on 29 April 1991, established MINURSO (see below) to implement the Settlement Plan (see above).
        • United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) – UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara established in 1991 under United Nations Security Council Resolution 690 as part of the Settlement Plan, which had paved way for a cease-fire in the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front (as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) over the contested territory of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara).
    • Independence Intifada – series of disturbances, demonstrations and riots that broke out in May 2005 in the Moroccan-occupied parts of Western Sahara and south of Morocco.
      • Gdeim Izik protest camp – protest camp in Western Sahara established by a group of Sahrawis on 9 October 2010 and lasting into November, with related incidents occurring in the aftermath of its dismantlement on 8 November. It has been suggested by Noam Chomsky, that the month-long protest encampment at Gdeim Izik constituted the start of the Arab Spring,[5][6] traditionally considered to be the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia on 17 December 2010.[7][8][9][10]
      • 2011 Western Saharan protests – began on 25 February 2011 as a reaction to the failure of police to prevent anti-Sahrawi looting in the city of Dakhla, Western Sahara, and blossomed into protests across the territory. They were related to the Gdeim Izik protest camp in Western Sahara established the previous fall, which had resulted in violence between Sahrawi activists and Moroccan security forces and supporters.
  • Former members of the Polisario Front

Demographics of Western Sahara[edit]

Demographics of Western Sahara

Culture of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Culture of Western Sahara

National symbols[edit]


Art in Western Sahara[edit]

People of Western Sahara[edit]

Persons and personalities[edit]

Sports in Western Sahara[edit]

Sports in Western Sahara

Economy and infrastructure of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Economy of Western Sahara

Communications of SADR[edit]

Communications in Western Sahara

Education in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Education in Western Sahara

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cuadro de zonas de división del Sáhara Occidental (in Spanish)
  2. ^ The only glaciers in Africa are on Mt Kenya (in Kenya), on Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania), and in the Ruwenzori Mountains (which are located in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). See Proceedings of the Riederalp Workshop, September 1978; Actes de l'Atelier de Riederalp, septembre 1978): IAHS-AISH Publ. no. 126, 1980.
  3. ^ Baehr, Peter R. The United Nations at the End of the 1990s. 1999, page 129.
  4. ^ a b "Western Sahara". The World Factbook. United States Central Intelligence Agency. July 3, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  5. ^ ""The Genie Is Out of the Bottle": Assessing a Changing Arab World with Noam Chomsky and Al Jazeera's Marwan Bishara". Democracy Now!. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  6. ^ Bernabé López García (07-02-2011). "Las barbas en remojo". El País. Retrieved 05-03-2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  7. ^ Engelhart, Katie (27 May 2011). "Why We Should Prepare for the Arab Spring to Fail". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Mayer, Catherine (24 April 2011). "The Slap that Triggered the Arab Spring "Was Impossible"". Time. TIME Magazine. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  9. ^ McLaughlin, Eliot (26 April 2011). "Collective courage fuels protests across Arab world". CNN. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Day, Elizabeth (15 May 2011). "The slap that sparked a revolution". The Guardian. London. The Observer. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Atlas of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Official SADR pages
Special topics