Overview[edit] The Moroccan government controls and administers 80% of Western Sahara (the part west of the Moroccan Wall) and all the oceanic coasts of Western Sahara, government and private companies exploit coastal areas for fishing and the land areas for phosphate mining. The Polisario Front controls the remaining fifth, which is isolated from the ocean, mostly empty of any population, dry, and unfit for conventional urbanization or any basic economic activity.[citation needed] The two thirds of Western Sahara that are controlled by Morocco are treated by the government as normal Moroccan territory. The government conducts various economic and social development programs and includes these "Southern Provinces" in the national budget of government funding, national sport competitions, education programs, and national parliamentary elections. Following the Green March and the Madrid Accords signed with Spain and Mauritania in 1975, Morocco took control of Saguia el-Hamra, and the northern part of Río de Oro, while Mauritania took control of the remaining part of Río de Oro, renamed as Tiris al-Gharbiyya. A locally based Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front launched a guerrilla war, with the crucial financial and logistical backing of Algeria and Libya, aiming to win independence of the territory under the "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" (SADR). Following bloody clashes with the Polisario troops (SPLA) and deteriorating ties with Algeria, Mauritania pulled out in 1979 and gave up its share in the Western Sahara in order to avoid further complicated conflicts with the Sahrawi Republic, Algeria, and Morocco. Morocco then seized the opportunity and took control of the remaining part of Río de Oro as well, which had been recognized by the Moroccan regime as Mauritanian a few years earlier. Since a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire agreement in 1991, about two thirds of the territory is administered by Morocco, including all the seacoasts, due to the construction of the Moroccan Wall. The Polisario Front controls most of the remainder, which is almost unpopulated.[citation needed] Polisario's army is considered incapable[by whom?] of covering the vast one-third of Western Sahara, east of the Moroccan military berm.[citation needed] Moreover, most of Polisario's army is thought to be concentrated in the Tinduf area inside Algeria, safe from the long arm of Morocco's superior artillery and air force.[citation needed] The cease-fire line corresponds to the route of the weaponized Moroccan Wall (the military berm). Both sides claim the territory of Western Sahara in its entirety. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic had been recognized by 84 nations, and is a full member of the African Union, but not of the UN. Moroccan territorial integrity is implicitly recognized by the Arab League with strong reservations from Algeria and Syria.[citation needed] Administratively, Morocco divided the territory under its control into administrative units (wilayas). Flags and coats of arms were created for the three wilayas of Boujdour,[1] Smara and Laayoune.[2] There were further changes in the territories in 1983, with the area becoming four wilayas through the addition of Dakhla.[3] In 1990 Wadi al-Dhahab (Río de Oro) was added. Morocco has assigned a special satellite TV channel for the "Southern Provinces", called Laayoun TV.[citation needed]

Population[edit] Following the 1975 Green March, the Moroccan state has sponsored settlement schemes enticing thousands of Moroccans to move into the Moroccan-occupied part of Western Sahara (80% of the territory). By 2015, it was estimated that Moroccan settlers made up at least two thirds of the 500,000 inhabitants.[4] In addition to guaranteeing a right of return for the Sahrawi refugees, the Sahrawi government in exile has indicated a willingness to offer Sahrawi citizenship to Moroccan settlers and their descendants in a future independent state.[5][6] Western Sahara portal Morocco portal

References and notes[edit] ^ "Boujdour province, Morocco". crwflags.com. Retrieved 2007-03-20.  ^ "Laayoune province, Morocco". crwflags.com. Retrieved 2007-03-20.  ^ "Dakhla (Oued Eddahab-Lagouira) Province, Morocco". crwflags.com. Retrieved 2007-03-20.  ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/06/morocco-western-sahara-referendum-delay ^ South African Institute for Security Studies[permanent dead link] ^ Canadian Government Website report on SADR offer of citizenship to Moroccan settlers v t e Regions of Morocco from 2015 Béni Mellal-Khénifra Casablanca-Settat Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab(**) Drâa-Tafilalet Fès-Meknès Guelmim-Oued Noun(*) Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra(*) Marrakech-Safi Oriental Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Souss-Massa Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima 1997-2015 Chaouia-Ouardigha Doukkala-Abda Fès-Boulemane Gharb-Chrarda-Béni Hssen Grand Casablanca Guelmim-Es Semara(*) Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra(*) Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz Meknès-Tafilalet Oriental Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira(*) Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer Souss-Massa-Drâa Tadla-Azilal Tangier-Tetouan Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate 1971-1997 Southern(*) Tansift Central Northwestern North-Central Eastern South-Central Regions falling partly (*) or entirely (**) within the disputed territory of Western Sahara v t e Western Sahara articles Political status Sahrawi Republic History  (timeline) Before 1975 Colonial wars in Morocco Spanish Sahara (1884–1975) Colonial governors Spanish Morocco (1913–1956) High commissioners Moroccan Army of Liberation Ifni War (1957–1958) 1975 UN visiting mission (May) ICJ Advisory Opinion (October) Green March (November) Madrid Accords (November) Since 1975 Western Sahara War (1975–1991) Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR, 1976–present) Berm (built 1981–1987) Settlement Plan (1991) UN referendum mission (MINURSO, 1991–present) Houston Agreement (1997) Baker Plan (2000/2003) UN Security Council Resolution 1495 (2003) / 1754 (2007) Manhasset negotiations (2007–2008) Geography Cities Climate Ecoregions Wildlife Politics Human rights LGBT Legal status Moroccan Initiative Polisario Front former members Politics SADR Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS) International recognition Economy Sahrawi peseta (currency) Telecommunications Transportation Culture Cuisine Demographics Music Sahrawi people Outline Bibliography Category Portal Coordinates: 25°N 13°W / 25°N 13°W / 25; -13 Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Southern_Provinces&oldid=830317026" Categories: Southern ProvincesFormer regions of MoroccoProvinces of MoroccoWestern SaharaDisputed territories in AfricaSahrawi Arab Democratic RepublicStates and territories established in 1971States and territories disestablished in 19971971 establishments in Morocco1970s establishments in Western Sahara1997 disestablishments in AfricaHidden categories: All articles with dead external linksArticles with dead external links from January 2018Articles with permanently dead external linksArticles needing additional references from August 2012All articles needing additional referencesNPOV disputes from March 2013All NPOV disputesWikipedia articles needing style editing from March 2013All articles needing style editingArticles with multiple maintenance issuesAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from March 2013Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from March 2013Coordinates not on Wikidata

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