Sites & cities that bear the name of Tifariti


Today in : Western Sahara
First trace of activity : ca. 15th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : تيفاريتي

Description : Tifariti (Berber: Tifariti, Arabic: تيفاريتي‎) is an oasis town located in north-eastern Western Sahara, east of the Moroccan Berm, 138 km (86 mi) from Smara and 15 km (9 mi) north of the border with Mauritania. It is part of what Polisario Front calls the Liberated Territories and Morocco call the Buffer Zone. It has been the de facto temporary capital of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic since the government moved there in 2008 from Bir Lehlou. It is the headquarters of the 2nd military region of the SADR. It is also the name of a Daïra of the Wilaya of Smara, in the Sahrawi refugee camps. In 2010, the population of Tifariti was estimated at around 3,000 persons. Tifariti is located between Smara, the traditional spiritual centre of the Sahara founded by the Ma El Ainin (177 km (110 mi) away) and the Algerian town of Tindouf (320 km (200 mi) away), where the Sahrawi refugee camps are located. Primarily a nomadic encampment located near an oasis, it was always a kind of seasonal town for the Sahrawis, an Arabic-speaking Bedouin people controlling the area since medieval times. In 1912, a French Foreign Legion expedition commanded by Captain Gerard, who was trying to link with their troops in Morocco, was exterminated by Sahrawi rebel nomads near Tifariti. Then, it was permanently settled and used by the Spanish authorities as an advanced desert military outpost. Now in reconstruction, it is estimated that Tifariti had a population of approximately 7,000 inhabitants in 1975. Its inhabitants largely abandoned the town in 1976 because of the war with Morocco. Tifariti never had many fixed structures, due to the nomadic lifestyle of the Sahrawis. It is located in a rugged desert area, with little vegetation.

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