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Amgala is an oasis in Western Sahara. It is located between Tifariti and Smara, outside the Moroccan Wall in the area controlled by the Polisario.[1][2]

CountryWestern Sahara
Claimed byMorocco Kingdom of Morocco,
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Controlled bySahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Western Sahara WarEdit

Amgala was the scene of several SPLA-RMA battles. In January 1976 and again in February 1976, clashes took place in Amgala between units of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (RMA) and Polisario Front forces (SPLA), supported by units of the Algerian Army.[3]

Because of its ample supply of water, Amgala was an important place in the Saguia el-Hamra Valley and Algerian troops set up a Polisario base here where refugees could be given food and medical assistance and transported onward to Algeria. The unexpected attack by the Moroccans caused much anger as well as heavy damage, and ninety-nine Algerian soldiers were captured. An all-out war between the two countries was only avoided because of decisive action by President Houari Boumediene of Algeria. After that, Algeria withdrew its troops from the area but increased its support for the rebels.[4] Algeria claimed that their forces were only in the area to render humanitarian assistance to Sahrawi refugees fleeing from Moroccan occupation and heading for the Sahrawi refugee camps at Tindouf, in western Algeria.[5] Morocco said the conflict was a direct military intervention by Algeria on the side of Polisario.[6]

A second battle took place at Amgala between the 13 and 15 February 1976. On this occasion, Polissario troops defeated the small Moroccan garrison which suffered heavy casualties and were nearly wiped out. Morocco complained that the Algerians had been involved in this attack but the latter denied the claim.[7]

Another Battle of Amgala took place on 8 November 1989.[8]


  1. ^ "Map 3175: Western Sahara" (PDF). United Nations. October 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  2. ^ International Crisis Group, Western Sahara: the Cost of the Conflict, rapport 65, 11 juin 2007, page 6 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2013-09-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Hollowell, Thomas (15 June 2009). Allah's Garden. Allah's Garden: A True Story. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-9641423-9-8. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  4. ^ Besenyő János (2009). Western Sahara. Besenyő János. pp. 97–98. ISBN 978-963-88332-0-4.
  5. ^ Africa research bulletin: Political, social, and cultural series. Blackwell. 1976. p. 3943. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  6. ^ Barbier, Maurice (2003). Le conflit du Sahara occidental: Réédition d'un livre paru en 1982 (in French). Harmattan. p. 186. ISBN 978-2-296-27877-6.
  7. ^ Hughes, Stephen O. (2006). Morocco Under King Hassan. Garnet & Ithaca Press. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-86372-312-4.
  8. ^ Africa Research, Ltd (1995). Africa contemporary record: annual survey and documents. Africana Pub. Co. ISBN 978-0-8419-0560-3. Retrieved 22 July 2012.