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La Güera ruins, January 2003
|Claimed by||Kingdom of Morocco
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
|Controlled by||Mauritania (de facto)|
|Founded||30 November 1920|
La Güera (also known as La Agüera, Lagouira, or El Gouera) (Arabic: الكويرة) 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 km west of Nouadhibou. It is also the name of a daira at the Sahrawi refugee camps in south-western Algeria. The name comes from the Spanish word Agüera which is a ditch that carries rainwater to crops. By 2002, it had been abandoned and partially overblown by sand, inhabited only by a few Imraguen fishermen and guarded by a Mauritanian military outpost, despite this not being Mauritanian territory.
It is the southernmost town of Western Sahara, claimed by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; however, Lagouira is situated south of the Moroccan Wall, and abandoned by both Moroccan and Polisario Front forces.
Foundation and settlement
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 miles 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. The town was served by La Güera Airport until the 1970s.
Western Sahara War
In 1979, when Mauritania withdrew from the war, La Güera's population was estimated to be 816 inhabitants.
Twin towns - sister cities
- (French) Abdallah Ben Ali, Guéguerre à Lagouira, Maroc Hebdo International, issue 534, 22–28 November 2002
- (French) Redouane Ramdani, Enquête: Aux frontières du réel, TelQuel, issue 248, 18–24 November 2004
- Stamp Issuers - La Aguera Stampsofdistinction.com, 24 March 2008
- SELLOS DE COLONIAS ESPAÑOLAS LA AGÜERA Todocoleccion.net (Spanish)
- "Sahara occidental: un conflicto de grandes repercusiones para España" (in Spanish). Domingodelpino.com (Leviatán magazine). 1985-08-31. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- Águilas y la Güera se hermanan Aguilasnoticias.com, 19 July 2005 (Spanish)
- 11.- PROTOCOLO DE COOPERACIÓN ENTRE EL AYUNTAMIENTO DE ALAQUÀS Y LA DAIRA LA GÜERA.- PROPUESTA DE APROBACIÓN. Alaquas.org (Spanish)
- Veinte años de hermanamiento almanseño con Saint Mèdard La Verdad, 16 May 2010 (Spanish)
- Gemellaggi e Patti di Amicizia Regione Toscana - Consiglio Regionale, 27 March 2010 (Italian)
- Ayuntamiento de Crevillent - Composición Crevillent.es (Spanish)
- En 2013 se celebrará el 20 aniversario del hermanamiento con el pueblo saharaui Andaluciainformacion.es, 9 October 2012 (Spanish)
- Hermanos lejanos El Correo, 24 August 2008 (Spanish)
- "Aytº de Iurreta (Bizkaia)" (in Spanish). Euskal Fondoa. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- La Güera, Sáhara Leganes.org (Spanish)
- "Aytº de Orio (Gipuzkoa)" (in Spanish). Euskal Fondoa. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- Acta del pleno municipal sobre el Hermanamiento de Santa Lucía con la Güera. 1986 Lefrig.org (Spanish)
- Hermanamiento Yerri.es, 29 September 2005 (Spanish)
- Un libro de fotografías conmemora el XX aniversario del hermanamiento de Vitoria con la Daira de la Güera El Diario Vasco, 2 March 2008 (Spanish)