Western Sahara (EH)

(formerly Spanish Sahara). An area on the northwest coast of Africa, bordered on the north by Morocco, the east and south by Algeria and Mauritania, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 102,700 square miles (266,000 square kilometers) and a population (1994) of 220,000, mostly Arab and Berber nomads who herd camels, goats, and sheep. The predominant religion is Islam. The territory was controlled by either Spain or Morocco for more than 400 years. In 1958 Spain made the area one of its provinces—Spanish Sahara. In 1976 Spain ceded the territory to Morocco and Mauritania; at that time it was renamed Western Sahara. Shortly thereafter an independence organization, the Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, proclaimed a new Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. In 1979 Mauritan...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.

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