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Auto Shows Western Sahara: scenes of life on the road to Mauritania

18:55  28 november  2020
18:55  28 november  2020 Source:   bfmtv.com

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Western Sahara to Mauritania Border Crossing - Продолжительность: 12:42 Lewis Crampton 4 051 просмотр. Morocco and Western Sahara Overland Adventure (Epic three year Africa circumnavigation!) - Продолжительность: 4:13 The Road Chose Me 16 219 просмотров.

Riding a fully loaded Transalp (Model 1988), through a land-mined area. Three kilometers of severely sandy dirt tracks separate the Moroccan border from

Des hommes se retrouvent près de camions remplis de marchandises à Guerguerat, à l'extrême sud du Sahara occidental, le 26 novembre 2020 © FADEL SENNA Men meet near trucks filled with goods in Guerguerat, in the far south of Western Sahara, November 26, 2020

Three motels, three cafes, two gas stations, three grocery stores and a hairdresser ... In the dusty hamlet of Guerguerat, in the far south of Western Sahara, all life revolves around the border with Mauritania, on the only road connecting Morocco and West Africa.

Des membres de la mission des Nations unies au Sahara occidental sortent d'un hélicoptère, à Guerguerat au Sahara occidental le 25 novembre 2020 © Fadel SENNA Members of the United Nations mission in Western Sahara come out of a helicopter, in Guerguerat in Western Sahara on November 25, 2020

"There is nothing else here", underlines the grocer on more prosperous of Guerguerat, the Moroccan Aziz Boulidane.

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One might imagine travelling through the Sahara by train to be a zen-like voyage. In some ways it is – but it is also an unforgiving and ceaseless assault on the body and senses. The booming and grinding; the constant tremors rippling through the body; the grit swirling through your hair in the hot breeze

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This enterprising man has set up a small terrace in front of his shop to serve coffee to truckers and passing travelers, near the Moroccan customs which controls heavy goods vehicles in transit.

It is this border point, located in the heart of an arid and stony desert zone, close to the Atlantic coast, which recently crystallized the tensions between Morocco and the separatists of the Polisario Front, a new episode in a long conflict on the become of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara.

Des travailleurs vident les marchandises des camions à Guerguerat, au Sahara occidental, le 26 novembre 2020 © FADEL SENNA Workers empty goods from trucks in Guerguerat, Western Sahara, November 26, 2020

The Moroccan army deployed on November 13 in the UN-controlled buffer zone to "secure" a crucial passage for trade. A group of Saharawi independence activists had been blocking for about three weeks the road built, according to them, in violation of the 1991 ceasefire agreement signed under the aegis of the UN after 15 years of fighting.

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The Mauritanian city of Chinguetti, home to centuries-old Islamic texts, was granted World Heritage status in 2000 but the sands of the Sahara could bury It is no coincidence that the Valley of the Kings and the Old Kingdom Pyramids are on the western side of the Nile. They were not completely wrong

Mauritania . The land of which, since ancient times, a thousand poets have sung. The country of the bidanes. And of the ADRAR TMAR, the fabulous mountains of

Since then, Morocco has consolidated its positions on the ground by protecting the passage with a sand wall guarded by the military and by breaking down the last stretch of road which is reduced to an interlacing of sand tracks.

The operation was carried out "in the interest of Africa, Morocco and the countries of the North", assured the Moroccan Prime Minister, Saad-Eddine El Othmani, who went there for the first time Friday, along with a delegation of politicians.

- "Gateway to Africa" ​​-

"The border post has an important economic weight and generates significant income", explains El Fekir Khattat, an elected municipal official who proudly describes his region as "Morocco's door to the 'Africa".

The intervention of the Moroccan army "will strengthen economic attractiveness", he said.

The elected representative is counting on the construction of two industrial zones "to enhance the commercial activity" generated by the road and to "create employment" in this desert region and sparsely populated.

Operation of Morocco in Western Sahara, the Polisario proclaims the end of the ceasefire

 Operation of Morocco in Western Sahara, the Polisario proclaims the end of the ceasefire © Provided by Le Point The separatists of the Polisario Front announced on Friday the end of a 30-year-old ceasefire in Western Sahara, after the launch by the Maroc of a military operation in a buffer zone of this disputed territory. The head of the UN , Antonio Guterres , said "regrets" that his efforts of the last days to "avoid an escalation" have failed. Mauritania and Algeria , neighboring countries involved in political negotiations stalled since 2019, called for restraint.

West Africa North Africa Ghana Empire Western Sahara Largest Countries City State Africa Travel Mauritania - women with henna tattoos - Inchiri. Two Muslim women with their hands decorated. Atar, Mauritania . Save the girl child campaign by SOCIAL GEOGRAPHIC According to one United

The Western Sahara cycle route runs from Guelmim in Morocco via Mauritania to Saint-Louis in Senegal. It is 2,100 km (1,300 mi) through the Western Sahara , crossing the westernmost part of the Sahara (bordering the sea) while avoiding disputed territories controlled by the SADR

Rabat has already carried out several major projects in this territory rich in fish-bearing waters and phosphate deposits.

The Polisario Front denounces "the plundering of natural resources belonging to the Saharawi people".

It was in 2017, the year of Morocco's reintegration into the African Union, that King Mohamed VI released seven billion euros of investments to transform this part of the Sahara into an "economic hub".

Two of the projects, each representing an envelope of nearly one billion euros, concern the development of a north-south "expressway" over a thousand km and the transformation of the port of Dakhla into a "regional maritime hub ", to serve the north of Morocco, the ports of West Africa and the Canaries.

- "Strategic point" -

Daouda Sene, the manager of the Barbas hotel, the oldest establishment in the Guerguerat region, prides himself on working in "a strategic point on the international level".

"This is where all Europeans and Africans who want to go to West Africa go," underlines the 46-year-old Senegalese, who was recruited a few months ago to "improve the image and the level of the motel, located at Bir Gandouz, 80 km north of the border.

Normally, his establishment welcomes "all nationalities": Malians, Senegalese, Ivorians, Mauritanians, Gambians, Moroccans, for transport and trade; French, Spanish, Portuguese or Chinese for leisure travel, tourism or fishing.

But in recent months, activity has suffered from the closure of borders linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, then blockades by the Polisario Front on the road.

"Before, the hotel worked well, but the turnover has dropped", regrets the manager.

He remains convinced, however, that the village of Bir Gandouz, which currently has a thousand souls, will one day become a large tourist and commercial center, "bigger than the port of Dakhla".

Currently, some 200 trucks use the "Nationale 1" daily, through which camels raised freely in the desert sometimes cross.

hr-sof / awa / bfi

Western Sahara: Algeria's anger after Donald Trump's announcement .
© (Map: S. Borelva / RFI) Western Sahara a source of tension between Morocco and Algeria. "Foreign maneuvers which aim to destabilize Algeria": the Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, commented in these terms this Saturday, December 12 on the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel, and the recognition by the United States of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara. Outgoing US President Donald Trump made the announcement Thursday evening.

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