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Talk:Western Sahara

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Countries vs. Sovereign States[edit]

Moved from Wikitravel:Travellers' pub by Evan

I'm not quite sure where this comment should be posted, so bear with me. I've just noticed that WikiTravel has a seperate country article on the Western Sahara, a disputed chunk of land that is being fought over by Morocco and Mauritania. Although the sovereignty of this land is still unclear--which is why the CIA factbook gives it its own listing--it is currently administered by Morocco, and for the purposes of travel (currency, border formalities, language, etc) can be considered part of that country. I would suggest subsuming the Western Sahara article into the Morocco section, but have no idea how to go about it. Cheers. -- Allyak 13:40, Jul 30, 2004 (EDT)

Essentially political questions like this are difficult for a travel guide to answer: see also Palestine and a few other tough nuts to crack. I would suggest that, in general, we stick to the CIA World Factbook's divisions since at least we can claim that those are unbiased (or at least biased by somebody other than Wikitravel!). Jpatokal 22:50, 30 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Yes, because claiming that the CIA is unbiased... ;o)
These are controversial subjects, and I think it better to have separate articles for disputed pieces of land, and to mention that the sovereignity of these is not settled in the article. Yann 04:06, 31 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Railway[edit]

As long as I know the furthest south you can get in Northern Africa by train is Marrakech, far far away from Laayoune. Al_turtusi

I'm sure you know Western Sahara better than 99.9% of Wikitravel, so please plunge forward! Jpatokal 03:58, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

Flag of Western Sahara[edit]

According to what is mentioned above, Western Sahara has no official flag as it's not a sovereign country. The flag in this page is the one of the auto-proclamed republic of Polisario Front backed in Tindouf south Algeria far from the Western Sahara region. I propose to get rid of this flag as the official statute of the region is a non self governing territory even if it's actually under the moroccan administration.--AhmedSalem 07:02, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

Flags do not imply sovereignty, and we have them for plenty of other non-state territories like Hong Kong, Greenland, Palestine, etc. Jpatokal 07:06, 16 July 2009 (EDT)
In this particular case YES. It induces people into error because first the independent movement is taking place in Tindouf south Algeria far from the Western Sahara region then the UN has never put an official flag to the region. For those who are visiting the region regularly, the most commun flag is the moroccan one but to ensure more neutrality I suggest to get rid of any flag. There is no customs between the north of the country and the Western Sahara region. There is a line in worldwide maps separating Morocco into two parts (for some historical reasons) but in practice there is no customs. Everyone can cross the line by foot, car, bus...without any custom control.

SADR Administration[edit]

I disagree with this paragraph as there is no officiel UN document mentionning that SADR is a sovereign country. After the war held in the region from 1979 till 1991 between the Moroccan army and the Polisario Front army, the UN peacekeeping force MINURSO took place to maintain peace in the region. MINURSO defined a buffer zone where these locations are situated. This buffer zone is forbidden to all military forces (Moroccan & Polisario Front).--AhmedSalem 07:09, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

The article does not claim that SADR is a sovereign country. Jpatokal 08:31, 16 July 2009 (EDT)
Writing these cities are under the control of SADR administration is totally wrong. There is no nationality called SADR. There is no municipalities under the control of SADR in the Western Sahara region. These cities are located in a zone controlled by the MINURSO. According to the ceasfire agreement, SADR has no right to come in this area. If you go to this website link title you can get all statistic information about these locations. But again for more neutrality, I suggest to change the title into : "Cities located in the Minurso controlled area". That's the most neutral expression.
Simply put, that's factually wrong. MINURSO does not "control" anything. The Berm separates the two sides, the Buffer Strip around the berm is 5 km wide, the Restricted Area is 30 km wide. The zone to the east of the Berm is under de facto Polisario control, just like the zone to the west is under de facto Moroccan control. Jpatokal 11:17, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

Wrong Information[edit]

There are many wrong information in this article about : 1. the local currency is definitely MAD (Moroccan Dirham) 2. the education system is there. please look at the following website link title 3. the 'Eat' section doesn't make sense !! Sugar as many produces are subsidized in the whole country 4. the 'Respect' section is also biases. It must be rewritten to ensure neutrality. Dakhla spot is the most famous spot in the world. People are coming from the fourth points of the world. --AhmedSalem 07:33, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

Re: 1, that's what the article says, but SADR pesetas also exist. [1]
Re: 2, 3 and 4, please suggest your own replacements. Jpatokal 08:31, 16 July 2009 (EDT)
1. Excuse me but I am from the region and I can attest that there are Moroccan dirhams in the Western Sahara region and there are Algerian dinars in Tindouf camps (stronghold of Polisario Front) as they are located on the Algerian soil.
2. Too much to say about the education system. Let me ask the municipality of Laayoune city and get back to you with updated information otherwise there is information in the above website.
3. As the objective of this Wiki is to relate the reality on the ground, I think we can simply say in good English as mine is quite dodgy that travelers can find all food products they want in all locations in the Western Sahara region.
4. I believe this wiki is to inform people about vacation facilities and not about the political issue. There are many hotels and restaurants in Laayoune and Dakhla. Do you want me to give more details on that?--AhmedSalem 09:54, 16 July 2009 (EDT)
Yes, that would be much better than pointless political squabbling. Jpatokal 11:19, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

Important[edit]

Is it a wiki for worldwide travelers or a wiki for politicians and Polisario Front supporters? I guess it's the first case so I believe travelers will envoy visiting the region as I am native from the Western Sahara region. I can give advices on that but I have no idea how to make without violating Wikitravel policy.--AhmedSalem 07:44, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

Easy -- give actual travel information. Attractions, restaurants, hotels, how to get in, how to travel around, etc. Jpatokal 08:31, 16 July 2009 (EDT)
In the meantime, I suggest to delete all what is related to the political issue as each side will argue his position (unionists vs independentists)

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