Western Sahara 2014
Western Sahara is a disputed territory located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It is bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The territory has been contested by Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) since 1975. The UN-backed SADR, which is recognized as a government-in-exile by over 50 countries worldwide, is backed by Algeria and Libya. See Countryaah for a list of countries starting with W.
Western Sahara has an arid climate, with most of its terrain consisting of desert or semi-desert. It has a population of around 500,000 people, most of whom are Sahrawis who practice Islam and speak Hassaniya Arabic or Spanish as their first language. The area is rich in phosphate deposits and off-shore fishing resources. Tourism is also an important industry for Western Sahara; however, much of it remains undeveloped due to ongoing political tensions in the region.
Western Sahara. In April, the UN Security Council voted unanimously in a resolution that extended the mandate of the peacekeeping UN force MINURSO to 2015. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch called on the UN to extend the mandate to include monitoring the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Western Sahara in refugee camps in Algeria. A similar addition to the resolution was halted by Morocco in the Security Council last year.
According to Countryaah.com, Western Sahara population in 2020 is estimated at 597,350. MINURSO’s primary task is to monitor the ceasefire and prepare a referendum on independence. Since the establishment of the UN force in 1991, the mandate has been extended 41 times.
In October, two Swedish fishermen were convicted in the European Court of Justice for fishing illegally outside Western Sahara in 2007 and 2008. Since 2005, when the EU signed a controversial fisheries agreement with Morocco, authorization from the Union has been required to fish in Moroccan waters. According to Abbreviation Finder, WI stands for Western Sahara in English. Click to see other meanings of this 2-letter acronym.
In November, thousands of people in Madrid demonstrated demands for self-government for Western Sahara, which was previously a Spanish colony. Since Morocco invaded the area with Mauritania in 1976, large parts of the Western Saharan people have been displaced to refugee camps in Algeria, while settlers from Morocco have moved into Western Sahara. In the fall, the King of Morocco, Muhammad VI, gave a speech in which he stated that Western Sahara would continue to be a part of Morocco “until God inherits the earth and all living beings therein.”