The Dakhla Peninsula Monument in Western Saraha in French and Arabic.




Located in Northwest Africa, Western Sahara was a Spanish protectorate from 1884-1976.  In 1963, the United Nations designated it a Non-Self-Governing Territory, with Spain as the administering power.  In 1973, the Frente Polisario was established and launched a resistance campaign against Spain.  In November 1975, Spain agreed with Morocco and Mauritania to assume administrative control of the territory.  Conflict between the Frente Polisario (supported by Algeria) and Morocco and French-backed Mauritania began in 1975. When Mauritania withdrew in 1979, Morocco assumed the administration of that additional territory, and now administers around 90% of the region.  The U.N. brokered a ceasefire between Morocco and Frente Polisario in 1991.  Since then, Morocco and the Frente Polisario have taken part in ongoing U.N. led talks to produce a more permanent political situation.


More information about the recent history of Western Sahara can be found on the website of the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), including this detailed timeline.