La Güera

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Coordinates: 20°50′N 17°5.5′W / 20.833°N 17.0917°W / 20.833; -17.0917

La Güera

الكويرة  (Arabic)
Ghost town
La Güera ruins, January 2003
La Güera ruins, January 2003
La Güera is located in Western Sahara
La Güera
La Güera
Location in Western Sahara
Coordinates: 20°50′N 17°5′W / 20.833°N 17.083°W / 20.833; -17.083
Claimed bySahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Morocco
Controlled byMauritaniaMauritania
Founded30 November 1920
 • Total3,726
Time zoneGMT

La Güera (Arabic: الكويرةal-Kūwayra; also known as La Agüera, Lagouira, El Gouera) is a ghost town on the Atlantic coast at the southern tip of Western Sahara, on the western side of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of Nouadhibou. It is also the name of a daira at the Sahrawi refugee camps in south-western Algeria.

It is the southernmost town of Western Sahara, claimed by the Kingdom of Morocco. La Güera is situated south of the Moroccan Wall, and is technically abandoned by both Moroccan and Polisario Front forces.


The name La Güera comes from the Spanish word Agüera which is a ditch that carries rainwater to crops.

Foundation and settlement[edit]

Residence of the Spanish Governor in La Güera, 1935

La Güera came into existence in late 1920, when Spanish colonizer Francisco Bens (who had earlier taken possession of the Cape Juby region as a protectorate in 1916), after negotiating with tribal chiefs of the zone, established a fort and an air base on the western side of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula, just a few kilometres away from the French settlement of Port-Étienne (now Nouadhibou) on the eastern side of the peninsula. (In the 1912 Convention of Madrid, Spain and France had agreed on a border between Mauritania and Spanish possessions that ran down the middle of the peninsula.)

In 1924, La Güera was incorporated into the Spanish colony of Río de Oro. During the short period (1920–1924) that the town was ruled as a separate part of the colony it released its own postage stamps.[1][2] The town was served by La Güera Airport until the 1970s.

Western Sahara War[edit]

In 1979, when Mauritania withdrew from the war, La Güera's population was estimated to be 816 inhabitants.[3]

By 2002, it had been abandoned and partially overblown by sand, inhabited only by a few Imraguen fishermen[4][5] and guarded by a Mauritanian military outpost, despite this not being Mauritanian territory.[5]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Signboard showing, among others, the twinning of La Güera with the Spanish town of Crevillent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stamp Issuers – La Aguera Archived 2016-08-31 at the Wayback Machine, 24 March 2008
  3. ^ "Sahara occidental: un conflicto de grandes repercusiones para España" (in Spanish). (Leviatán magazine). 1985-08-31. Archived from the original on 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  4. ^ (in French) Abdallah Ben Ali, Guéguerre à Lagouira[permanent dead link], Maroc Hebdo International, issue 534, 22–28 November 2002
  5. ^ a b (in French) Redouane Ramdani, Enquête: Aux frontières du réel Archived 2013-12-12 at the Wayback Machine, TelQuel, issue 248, 18–24 November 2004
  6. ^ Águilas y la Güera se hermanan, 19 July 2005 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Veinte años de hermanamiento almanseño con Saint Mèdard La Verdad, 16 May 2010 (in Spanish)
  9. ^ a b c d Gemellaggi e Patti di Amicizia[permanent dead link] Regione Toscana – Consiglio Regionale, 27 March 2010 (in Italian)
  10. ^ Ayuntamiento de Crevillent – Composición (in Spanish)
  11. ^ En 2013 se celebrará el 20 aniversario del hermanamiento con el pueblo saharaui, 9 October 2012 (in Spanish)
  12. ^ Hermanos lejanos El Correo, 24 August 2008 (in Spanish)
  13. ^ "Aytº de Iurreta (Bizkaia)" (in Spanish). Euskal Fondoa. Retrieved 2013-02-14.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ La Güera, Sáhara (in Spanish)
  15. ^ "Aytº de Orio (Gipuzkoa)" (in Spanish). Euskal Fondoa. Retrieved 2013-02-14.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Acta del pleno municipal sobre el Hermanamiento de Santa Lucía con la Güera. 1986 (in Spanish)
  17. ^ Hermanamiento, 29 September 2005 (in Spanish)
  18. ^ Un libro de fotografías conmemora el XX aniversario del hermanamiento de Vitoria con la Daira de la Güera El Diario Vasco, 2 March 2008 (in Spanish)

External links[edit]