Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Ten Designs from 1992 Flora and Fauna Issue
These are ten of fourteen designs in a 1992 issue
depicting flora and fauna of the Western Sahara.
The stamps pictured above inscribed Sahara Occ(cidental) (Western Sahara) and R.A.S.D. (Republica Arabe Saharaui Democratica) have been the subject of complaints to the U.P.U. from Moroccan postal authorities who view these as propaganda issues as prejudicial to their sovereignty. As Moroccan postal authorities suggest, the stamps are probably intended primarily for philatelic markets and for propaganda purposes. Although fifty-eight countries have recognized the government of Western Sahara, its stamps are not recognized by the Universal Postal Union.
When Spain withdrew from the Western Sahara in 1975 its territory was divided between Morocco and Mauritania. However, the Polisario Independence movement continued its struggle for independence. The creation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was announced in Bir Lehlou on February 27, 1976. This city was under Polisario control when a cease-fire was implemented in 1981 and it became the official capital for the government-in-exile. Moroccan-held El Aaiun is the official capital, but most government activities are focused on Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria.
Mackeown, K.J.S. "Circular No. 71 - Morocco." Circulars. 2004. Universal Postal Union. 5 Mar. 2012. http://pls.upu.int/document/2008/an/bi_circulaires/071.pdf.
Mackeown, K.J.S. "Circular No. 69 - Morocco." Circulars. 2004. Universal Postal Union. 5 Mar. 2012. http://pls.upu.int/document/2004/an/bi_circulaires/069.pdf.
"Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic." Wikipedia. 2 Mar. 2012. Wikimeida Foundation, Inc. 5 Mar. 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahrawi_Arab_Democratic_Republic.
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