تيرس الغربية (Arabic)
|Province of Mauritania|
The striped blue and green is Western Tiris.
|النشيد الوطني الموريتاني|
"Nashid Wataniin Muritaniin"
|88,000 km2 (34,000 sq mi)|
|November 14, 1975|
|November 27, 1975|
• Partition of Spanish Sahara
|April 14, 1976|
• Mauritania evacuates Western Tiris
|August 5, 1979|
• Annexation of Western Tiris by Morocco
|August 11, 1979|
Tiris al-Gharbiyya (Arabic : تيرس الغربية, romanized: Tīris al-Ġarbiyya, lit. 'Western Tiris') was the name for the area of Western Sahara under Mauritanian control between 1975 and 1979.
Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish colony of Spanish Sahara in 1975 after the Madrid Accords, with Morocco taking the northern two-thirds (Saguia el-Hamra and the northern half of Río de Oro) as its Southern Provinces. Both countries claimed historical rights over the area, while the United Nations demanded that the indigenous population (Sahrawis) had a right to self-determination, and should be allowed to decide through a referendum whether the territory should join either of the neighbouring states, or be established as an independent country.
The latter was the preferred option of the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi organization which turned its guerrilla forces against both countries, having until then fought Spain. Its attacks against Mauritania proved highly effective. Polisario strikes against the iron mines at Zouerate and the Mauritania Railway (which carried most of the country's iron ore to the coast for export), as well as the costs of the war effort, soon brought the country to the brink of economic collapse, and produced increasing tensions in the army and government apparatus.
In 1978, the one-party government of Moktar Ould Daddah was severely compromised by the failing war effort, and fell to a coup by disgruntled army officers. Mauritania then disengaged from the conflict, surrendering its claims to any part of Western Sahara, and pulling out its troops. The areas occupied by Mauritania were entered by Morocco, which has since claimed ownership over the entire territory, despite continued opposition by Polisario, and its main backer, Algeria. Mauritanian president Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla in 1984 proceeded to recognize the Polisario-backed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as the legitimate sovereign of the area. After his toppling in yet another military coup d'état later the same year, this position was increasingly downplayed – though never explicitly overturned – in order to appease Morocco.
Western Tiris was the lower half of Río de Oro, the southern province of the former Spanish Sahara, comprising 88,000 km (55,000 mi) with a population of 12,897. It consisted mostly of barren desert terrain, scarcely populated except by some thousands of Sahrawi nomads, many of whom had fled towards the Algerian Tindouf Province in 1975. A few minor settlements dotted the coast, and the largest of these, Dakhla (formerly Villa Cisneros), was made the provincial capital.
While some reports indicate the territory may hold important quantities of mineral resources such as iron – and there is speculation, but no proof of, off-shore oil – the war prevented any serious exploration efforts. It remains mostly unexplored and unexploited to this day. The exception is the rich Atlantic fishing waters. They were never put to use by Mauritania, but have since been fished by Morocco and foreign ships under Moroccan licenses.
The name "Tiris" refers to a desert plain of the Sahara. Mauritania's northernmost province (in its internationally recognized territory) is similarly called Tiris Zemmour, where "Zemmour" refers to a mountain range in central Western Sahara.
The Ould Daddah government's claims to the territory was based in the strong cultural and tribal ties between the Moorish inhabitants of Mauritania, and the tribes of Western Sahara. The government argued they were all part of the same people, and also put forth the notion of pre-colonial sovereignty by certain Mauritanian emirates (tribal fiefdoms) over some of these tribes. Before of the International Court of Justice, Mauritania claimed in 1975 that the entire Spanish Sahara had historically constituted part of "Bilad Chinguetti", which it argued had been an undeclared tribal and religious community. But it also recognized that there had never been a Mauritanian state to claim the territory, since Mauritania itself was a modern-day creation of French colonialism. The court recognized the importance of these cultural links, but announced that they had not constituted sovereignty over the territory or its inhabitants before colonialism, and could not by themselves justify sovereignty today. Instead, it recommended a standard self-determination process where Sahrawis were given the choice of merger with Mauritania and/or Morocco, or independence.
In later years,[ when? ] the Mauritanian government has maintained a policy of strict neutrality between Polisario and Morocco, while retaining its recognition of the SADR. Minor parts of the Mauritanian political opposition will occasionally express interest in the area, although direct advocacy for retaking it is very rare. Other groups support either Polisario or Morocco. The official position of most parties is to support any outcome acceptable to both remaining sides of the conflict, and that has also been the government's position since the late 1980s, even if it has varied in tune with relations with Morocco.
The territory is now effectively divided between Moroccan and Polisario forces along the length of the Moroccan Wall, and with a cease-fire in effect pending the outcome of the United Nations decolonization process.
Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa. About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR); the remaining 80% of the territory is occupied and administered by neighboring Morocco. It has a surface area of 266,000 square kilometres (103,000 sq mi). It is the second most sparsely populated country in the world and the most sparsely populated in Africa, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. The population is estimated at just over 500,000, of which nearly 40% live in Morocco-controlled Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.
The politics of Western Sahara take place in a framework of an area claimed by both the partially recognized Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Morocco.
Western Sahara, formerly 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, which is an independence movement based in Tifariti and Bir Lehlou. The Annexation of Western Sahara by Morocco took place in two stages, in 1976 and 1979, and is considered illegal under international law.
The Polisario Front, Frente Polisario, Frelisario or simply Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro, is a rebel Sahrawi nationalist liberation movement claiming Western Sahara.
Moktar Ould Daddah was a Mauritanian politician who led the country after it gained its independence from France. Daddah served as the country's first Prime Minister from 1957 to 1961 and as its first President of Mauritania, a position he held from 1960 until he was deposed in a military coup d'etat in 1978.
Spanish Sahara, officially the Spanish Possessions in the Sahara from 1884 to 1958, then Province of the Sahara between 1958 and 1976, was the name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara when it was occupied and ruled by Spain between 1884 and 1976. It had been one of the most recent acquisitions, as well as one of the last remaining holdings, of the Spanish Empire, which had once extended from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies.
The Madrid Accords, formally the Declaration of Principles on Western Sahara, was a treaty between Spain, Morocco, and Mauritania setting out six principles which would end the Spanish presence in the territory of Spanish Sahara and arrange a temporary administration in the area pending a referendum.
The Southern Provinces or Moroccan Sahara are the terms utilized by the Moroccan government to refer to the disputed territory of Western Sahara. These designations encompass the entirety of Western Sahara, which spans three of Morocco's 12 top-level administrative regions. The term "Southern Provinces" frequently appears in Moroccan state television.
Col. Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah was the head of state of Mauritania from 4 January 1980 to 12 December 1984. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2003 presidential election and the 2007 presidential election.
To assist in the decolonization process of the Spanish Sahara, a colony in North Africa, the United Nations General Assembly in 1975 dispatched a visiting mission to the territory and the surrounding countries, in accordance with its resolution 3292.
The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic/Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991. Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed SADR state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.
The politics of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic refers to politics of the Polisario Front's proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a country in North Africa with limited recognition by other states, controlling parts of the Western Sahara region.
Opération Lamantin was a December 1977 – July 1978 military intervention by France on the behalf of the Mauritanian government, in its war against Sahrawi guerrilla fighters of the Polisario Front, seeking independence for Western Sahara. Airstrikes were launched in the provinces with the aim of stopping separatist raids in the rail route from the iron mines in Zouérat to the coast of Nouadhibou, and pushing them to release French hostages. France used Jaguar combat aircraft from Dakar Airbase. The bombings targeted areas around the railway, which was constantly raided by Polisario. With the release of the hostages and the halt of Polisario's attacks on ore cargo, the mission was deemed successful.
Greater Mauritania is a term for the Mauritanian irredentist claim that generally includes the Western Sahara and other Sahrawi-populated areas of the western Sahara Desert. The term was initially used by Mauritania's first President, Mokhtar Ould Daddah, as he began claiming the territory then known as Spanish Sahara even before Mauritanian independence in 1960.
The Western Sahara War was an armed struggle between the Sahrawi indigenous Polisario Front and Morocco from 1975 to 1991, being the most significant phase of the Western Sahara conflict. The conflict erupted after the withdrawal of Spain from the Spanish Sahara in accordance with the Madrid Accords, by which it transferred administrative control of the territory to Morocco and Mauritania, but not sovereignty. In late 1975, the Moroccan government organized the Green March of some 350,000 Moroccan citizens, escorted by around 20,000 troops, who entered Western Sahara, trying to establish a Moroccan presence. While at first met with just minor resistance by the Polisario Front, Morocco later engaged a long period of guerrilla warfare with the Sahrawi nationalists. During the late 1970s, the Polisario Front, desiring to establish an independent state in the territory, attempted to fight both Mauritania and Morocco. In 1979, Mauritania withdrew from the conflict after signing a peace treaty with the Polisario Front. The war continued in low intensity throughout the 1980s, though Morocco made several attempts to take the upper hand in 1989–1991. A cease-fire agreement was finally reached between the Polisario Front and Morocco in September 1991. Some sources put the final death toll between 10,000 and 20,000 people.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic:
Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is an Arab Maghreb country in West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Morocco in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest. It is named after the ancient Berber Kingdom of Mauretania, which later became a province of the Roman Empire, even though the modern Mauritania covers a territory far to the south of the old Berber kingdom that had no relation with it.
Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is an Arab Maghreb country in West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest. It is named after the ancient Berber Kingdom of Mauretania, which later became a province of the Roman Empire, even though the modern Mauritania covers a territory far to the south of the old Berber kingdom that had no relation with it.
Presidential elections were held in Mauritania on 8 August 1976, alongside a parliamentary by-election for the new seven seats representing Tiris El Gharbiya, the Mauritanian-occupied area of Western Sahara. At the time, the country was a one-party state with the Mauritanian People's Party (PPM) as the sole legal party. Its leader, incumbent President Moktar Ould Daddah, was the only candidate and was re-elected unopposed. Voter turnout was 97.9%. They were the last elections held until the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1992.
Sahrawi nationalism is a political ideology that seeks self-determination of the Sahrawi people, the indigenous population of Western Sahara. It has historically been represented by the Polisario Front. It came as a reaction against Spanish colonialist policies imposed from 1958 on, and subsequently in reaction to the Mauritanian and Moroccan invasions of 1975.