Glossary: Western Sahara
Formerly Spanish Sahara. Region of West Africa bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by Morocco, on the south and nearly all of its west by Mauritania. In the northwest corner, it shares a very short border with Algeria. Spain divided Spanish Sahara between Morocco and Mauritania--ignoring the sentiments of indigenous groups--when it relinquished colonial control in 1976. Subsequently Polisario (q.v.) guerrillas supported by Algeria among other states waged a war for independence primarily against forces of Morocco.