Western SaharaWestern Sahara
former Spanish province (Spanish Sahara) in NW Africa: divided (1975) between Mauritania & Morocco: Mauritania renounced its claim to its territory (1979), which was subsequently occupied by Morocco
A region of northwest Africa on the Atlantic coast. Sparsely settled primarily by Berbers, the region was claimed as a protectorate by Spain in 1884 and established as the province of Spanish Sahara in 1958. Spain ceded the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1976, but resistance by nationalist guerrillas forced Mauritania to renounce its claim to the region (1979). After an inconclusive war, Morocco and the guerrillas agreed to a ceasefire (1991) that left Western Sahara's ultimate fate undecided.