Western Sahara is the last country in Africa awaiting decolonisation.
Invaded by Spain in the late 19th century, mass mobilisations in the early 1970s heralded the birth of the modern independence movement.
In 1973, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario Front) was established to wage an armed independence struggle.
By 1975, Polisario had fought Spain to a standstill. Rather than grant independence, Spain made an agreement with neighbouring countries Morocco and Mauritania to occupy Western Sahara.