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Western Sahara

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in western sahara

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In Detail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Western_Sahara)In Detail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Western_Sahara)
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In Detail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Western_Sahara)
Quick Facts
CapitalEl AaiunEl Aaiun (Laayoune)
Governmentlegal status of territory and issue of sovereignty unresolved; territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR),led by President Mohamed ABDELAZIZ and recognized by 54 nations; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an OAU member in 1984; guerrilla activities continued sporadically, until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented 6 September 1991
CurrencyMoroccan dirham (MAD)
Areatotal: 266,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 266,000 sq km
Population256,177 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageHassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Castillian Spanish
ReligionMuslim

Morocco virtually annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976, and the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Rabat's sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire; a referendum on final status has been repeatedly postponed.


western sahara Travel Guide :

Western Sahara

Geography

Image:wi-map.png
Map of Western Sahara
Location 
Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco
Geographic coordinates 
24 30 N, 13 00 W
Map references 
Africa
Area 
total: 266,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 266,000 sq km
Area - comparative 
about the size of Colorado
Land boundaries 
total: 2,046 km
border countries: Algeria 42 km, Mauritania 1,561 km, Morocco 443 km
Coastline 
1,110 km
Maritime claims 
contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue
Climate 
hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew
Terrain 
mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Sebjet Tah -55 m
highest point: unnamed location 463 m
Natural resources 
phosphates, iron ore
Land use 
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
NA sq km
Natural hazards 
hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility
Environment - current issues 
sparse water and lack of arable land
Environment - international agreements 
party to: none of the selected agreements
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note 
the waters off the coast are particularly rich fishing areas
Western Sahara

People

Population 
256,177 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: NA%
15-64 years: NA%
65 years and over: NA%
Population growth rate 
NA (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
NA births/1,000 population
Death rate 
NA deaths/1,000 population
Sex ratio 
NA
Infant mortality rate 
NA deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years
Total fertility rate 
NA children born/woman
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
NA
Nationality 
noun: Sahrawi(s), Sahraoui(s)
adjective: Sahrawian, Sahraouian
Ethnic groups 
Arab, Berber
Religions 
Muslim
Languages 
Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Spanish
Literacy 
definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Western Sahara

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Western Sahara
former: Spanish Sahara
Government type 
legal status of territory and issue of sovereignty unresolved; territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR),led by President Mohamed ABDELAZIZ and recognized by 54 nations; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an OAU member in 1984; guerrilla activities continued sporadically, until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented 6 September 1991
Capital 
none
Administrative divisions 
none (under de facto control of Morocco)
Suffrage 
none; a UN-sponsored voter identification campaign not yet completed
Executive branch 
none
Political pressure groups and leaders 
none
International organization participation 
none
Diplomatic representation in the US 
none
Diplomatic representation from the US 
none
Western Sahara

Economy

Economy - overview 
Western Sahara depends on pastoral nomadism, fishing, and phosphate mining as the principal sources of income for the population. The territory lacks sufficient rainfall for sustainable agricultural production, and most of the food for the urban population must be imported. All trade and other economic activities are controlled by the Moroccan Government. Moroccan energy interests in 2001 signed contracts to explore for oil off the coast of Western Sahara, which has angered the Polisario. Incomes and standards of living in Western Sahara are substantially below the Moroccan level.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - real growth rate 
NA%
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: 40%-45% (1996 est.) (1996 est.)
Population below poverty line 
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
NA%
Labor force 
12,000
Labor force - by occupation 
animal husbandry and subsistence farming 50%
Unemployment rate 
NA%
Budget 
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries 
phosphate mining, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate 
NA%
Electricity - production 
90 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
83.7 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
fruits and vegetables (grown in the few oases); camels, sheep, goats (kept by nomads)
Exports 
$NA
Exports - commodities 
phosphates 62%
Exports - partners 
Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts
Imports 
$NA
Imports - commodities 
fuel for fishing fleet, foodstuffs
Imports - partners 
Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts
Debt - external 
$NA
Economic aid - recipient 
$NA
Currency 
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Currency code 
MAD
Exchange rates 
Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 11.584 (January 2002), 11.303 (2001), 10.626 (2000), 9.804 (1999), 9.604 (1998), 9.527 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year
Western Sahara

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
about 2,000 (1999 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
0 (1999)
Telephone system 
general assessment: sparse and limited system
domestic: NA
international: tied into Morocco's system by microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and satellite; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) linked to Rabat, Morocco
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 2, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 
56,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
NA
Televisions 
6,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
.eh
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2000)
Internet users 
NA
Western Sahara

Transportation

Railways 
0 km
Highways 
total: 6,200 km
paved: 1,350 km
unpaved: 4,850 km (1991 est.)
Waterways 
none
Ports and harbors 
Ad Dakhla, Cabo BojadorCabo Bojador, El AaiunEl Aaiun (Laayoune)
Airports 
11 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Western Sahara

Military

Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
NA%
Western Sahara

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty remains unresolved; UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties reject other proposals

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