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Western Sahara

A map of  Western SaharaA map of Western Sahara Described by the United Nations as a "non-self-governing territory", Western Sahara is claimed by both Morocco and the Polisario Front, a political group representing the Sahrawi people who live there. Most of Western Sahara is made up of flat desert. The only uplands are in the north, where the land rises to low mountains. The territory’s arid climate makes it one of the harshest places on Earth; all year round, it is extremely hot and dry.

A map of Western SaharaA map of Western Sahara
Coastline near Ad DakhlaCoastline near Ad Dakhla

Moroccan WallMoroccan Wall

Disputed territory

The Polisario Front, who represent Western Sahara's native Sahrawi people, is supported by neighbouring Algeria: it wants Western Sahara to become independent. Morocco, on the other hand, is willing only to grant autonomy, the power for the region to rule itself, while remaining part of its territory. A referendum (national vote) on independence has yet to be held. In the meantime, a long sand wall called the “Moroccan Wall” separates Moroccan-controlled areas in the west from Polisario-controlled land in the east.

Western Sahara is the largest territory in the world which does not have the right to govern itself.

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