A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


The Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, bounded by Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Atlantic Ocean, is disputed territory. The inhabitants of this area travel under a variety of national documents, but the territory itself is neither an internationally recognized state nor a recognized part of another nation.

After Spain withdrew its protectorate, Morocco and Mauritania annexed portions of the territory, but guerrilla forces proclaimed the region independent. Mauritania has signed a peace treaty with the guerrillas, Morocco controls the main urban areas, and the guerrilla forces move freely in the sparsely populated deserts. A UN-sponsored self-determination vote has been repeatedly delayed.

Any questions on the citizenship status of people claiming citizenship of this territory should be directed to the following address:

CA/OCS/CCS/NEA U.S. Department of State West Africa Bureau, Room 3250 Washington, DC 20520

Telephone: 202-647-3407 Fax: 202-647-4855


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