The annual Paris-Dakar rally has for several years crossed Western Sahara. The first part goes through the area north of the city of Smara, under Moroccan occupation. The second part goes through the Polisario-controlled parts of Western Sahara for a few kilometers before the competitors enter Mauritania.
But for several years the organisers of the event have failed to name Western Sahara an independent country, to the anger of Polisario.
But now the map designer has finally got the picture right.
Download the route for 2008 here.
The rally takes place in January 2008.
At right, a competitor crosses the wall that goes through Western Sahara. The crossing is done at a place where the wall is on its lowest.
Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
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