Western Sahara is a disputed region - it is not a sovereign state. It was previously occupied by Spain until 1975, when Spain relinquished the control of the territory to a joint administration by Morocco and Mauritania. Morocco later gained control of the entire region. A third party also claimed control over the region, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. There is now a ceasefire between the SADR and Morocco, and as of 2006, no member state of the UN recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.
The region has an area of 266,000 sq km and a population of 548,000.