Map - El Aaiún (Laâyoune / El Aaiún)

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El Aaiún (Laâyoune / El Aaiún)

El-Aaiún (Hassaniya Arabic: لعيون, '; ; Berber: Leɛyun; Literary Arabic: ', lit. "The Springs") is a city in the Morocco-controlled part of Western Sahara. The modern city is thought to be founded by the Spanish colonizer Antonio de Oro in 1938. In 1940, Spain designated it as the capital of the Spanish Sahara. El-Aaiún is the capital of the Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra region under Moroccan administration and full military control.

The town is divided in two by the dry river of Saguia el Hamra. On the south side is the old lower town, constructed by Spanish colonists. A cathedral from that era is still active; its priests serve this city and at Dakhla further south.

Since 1976 the city has been occupied and administered by Morocco, which claims Western Sahara as a part of its territory. The Polisario Front, supported in part by Algeria, has been working for Western Sahara sovereignty as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and it considers the city its occupied capital.

 

Map - El Aaiún (Laâyoune / El Aaiún)

Latitude / Longitude : 27° 9' 44" N / 13° 12' 11" W | Time zone : UTC+0 | Currency : MAD | Telephone : 212  

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Country - Western Sahara

Western Sahara (الصحراء الغربية ; ; Spanish and French: Sahara Occidental) is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa, partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially occupied by neighboring Morocco. Its surface area amounts to 266000 km2. It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. The population is estimated at just over 500,000, of which nearly 40% live in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.

Occupied by Spain until the late 20th century, Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since 1963 after a Moroccan demand. It is the most populous territory on that list, and by far the largest in area. In 1965, the UN General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Western Sahara, asking Spain to decolonize the territory. One year later, a new resolution was passed by the General Assembly requesting that a referendum be held by Spain on self-determination. In 1975, Spain relinquished the administrative control of the territory to a joint administration by Morocco (which had formally claimed the territory since 1957) and Mauritania. A war erupted between those countries and a Sahrawi nationalist movement, the Polisario Front, which proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) with a government in exile in Tindouf, Algeria. Mauritania withdrew its claims in 1979, and Morocco eventually secured de facto control of most of the territory, including all the major cities and natural resources. The United Nations considers the Polisario Front to be the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, and maintains that the Sahrawis have a right to self-determination.
Currency / Language  
ISO Currency Symbol Significant figures
MAD Moroccan dirham د م. 2
ISO Language
AR Arabic language
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Neighbourhood - Country  
  •  Algeria 
  •  Mauritania 
  •  Morocco 

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