Alternate History

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1983: Doomsday)

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Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
الجمهورية العربية الصحراوية الديمقراطية
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Parts of Western Sahara and Algeria
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Coat of arms of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Flag of the SADR Coat of Arms
Western sahara
Map of the situation in Western Sahara, SADR territory is yellow.

حرية ديمقراطية وحدة (Arabic)
("Liberty, Democracy, Unity")

(and largest city)
El Aaiún (claimed) Tindouf (de facto)
  others Spanish, Berber languages
Demonym Sahrawi
Government Single-party semi-presidential republic
  legislature Sahrawi National Council
Established February 27, 1976
Currency Sahrawi peseta

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (commonly known as the SADR) is a survivor state in Western Africa. The SADR claims to be the legitimate government of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara, although this legitimacy is often questioned and the SADR controls only a fraction of its claimed territory. 

Pre Doomsday

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a state that has claimed sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, rejecting claims that Morocco was the legitimate owner of the territory and that Morocco was denying the Sahrawi people their independence. 

The SADR was proclaimed by the Polisario Front on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara. Before Doomsday the SADR government controlled about 20-25% of the territory it claimed in Western Sahara, the rest being occupied by the Moroccan Army, which invaded the territory to assert its claim to the territory.  

Despite UN attempts to solve the conflict, no result was ever achieved, and the region remained in an uneasy deadlock ever since.

Post Doomsday

After Doomsday and the fall of many surrounding nations, the SADR lept at the opportunity, quickly sweeping aside Moroccan forces and moving on El Aaiún, quickly cornering the Moroccan Army there. Within a short amount of time, the Moroccan garrison was forced to surrender and Western Sahara was unified under the Polisario Front. The SADR military also invaded vacant northern Mauritania, although these areas are mostly desert and uninhabited the SADR still claims control over them. 

The Sahrawi government took control of the east and south of the territory and established their capital at the oasis of Tindouf in Algeria, taking advantage of the chaos prevailing in the neighboring country to secure their extraterritorial capital. Tindouf had been the base of the Polisario Front in Algeria since 1975, when they were first forced out by the Moroccan Army. 

Since then a state of intermittent warfare lasts between Pais del Oro and, since 2010, the Republic of Spain and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, this retains control of much of the territory, Pais del Oro had undertaken major operations against its rival.

Between 1986 and 1990 Pais del Oro took control of large areas in its southern territory, but not with the aim of reducing the Saharawi state. Rather, it was to achieve access to Federîck district in Mauritania with its very rich iron mines and because of disorder in this area had caused the area to fall into the hands of a faction of pro-Sahrawi peoples. The SADR denounced the invasion and vows to repel the Spanish. Scattered episodes of violence have followed ever since.


The SADR is effectively a single party state, with the entire government controlled by the Polisario Front from their base in Tindouf. The government is divided into the office of the President and the legislature, the Sahrawi National Council. 

The president of the SADR is Mohamed Abdelaziz, who has ruled since 1976. He is also the Secretary General of the Polisario Front. He rules uncontested and has often spoken of compromise in the past, but the increased levels of violence between the SADR and Spanish forces appears to have swayed him.

The Polisario Front has ruled since the SADR declared independence, and has quelled any domestic threats to its rule. Detentions are common, and torture and forced disappearances are not unheard of. These actions are often unreported, and the Polisario Front justifies such measures as being a facet of martial law.

International Relations

The SADR has relations with a few of the surrounding states, but not much else. Any membership applications to the League of Nations are blocked by the Republic of Spain over territorial land disputes. The SADR had extensive relations with Algeria before Doomsday, and Algeria was the Polisario Front's benefactor in the ongoing struggle against the Moroccans. This cooperation has more or less ended following Algeria's effective collapse. 

For almost all of its history, the SADR has claimed to be an Arab state, but the former Arab League did not recognize this, nor did much of the international community, mainly due to diplomacy of Morocco. The SADR did have some support for its independence within Africa, and in 1982 the SADR was admitted to the OAU against Moroccan objections. 

Since Pais del Oro and its successor, the Republic of Spain, are closely aligned with the former NATO powers, the Polisario Front has made overtures to the USSR and other countries antagonistic to Spain for both military and diplomatic aid. These overtures have had mixed success. 

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