This disputed territory on the coast of northwest Africa between Morocco and Mauritania was formerly the Spanish colony of Spanish Sahara. In 1975 it was partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania after an agreement with Spain.
In 1979, however, Mauritania withdrew from their southern sector. Since then it has been disputed between Morocco and the local population, but is recognized as a state by over 70 countries (2004). It has an area about as large as the United Kingdom but a very small population.
The whole territory is part of the Sahara desert and it has a similar climate to the adjacent parts of southern Morocco and northern Mauritania.
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