Alternative History
Western Sahara
País del Oro
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Melilla
Flag of Western Sahara
Flag of Western Sahara
Capital El Aaiún
Largest city Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Language Spanish, Arabic, Catalan
Population appr. 2,358,000 
Independence 1985
Currency peseta

Western Sahara, which was officially known as País del Oro (the golden land), was a successor state to Spain. Its territory consisted of the Spanish Canary Islands, the former colony of Western Sahara, the Balearic Islands and the city of Melilla on the North African coast. It is now a part of the newly created Republic of Spain.

Before Doomsday

Western Sahara

After an agreement among the European colonial powers at the Berlin Conference in 1884 on the division of spheres of influence in Africa, Spain seized control of the Western Sahara and established it as a Spanish protectorate after a series of wars against the local tribes reminiscent of similar European colonial adventures of the period, in the Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. After 1939 this area was administered by Spanish Morocco. As a consequence, Ahmed Belbachir Haskouri, the Chief of Cabinet, General Secretary of the Government and Head of the palace for the caliph of Spanish Morocco cooperated with the Spaniards to select governors in that area. The Saharan Lords who were already in prominent positions such as the members of Maa El Ainain family provided a list recommending new governors. Together with the Spanish High Commissioner, Belbachir selected from the list of recommendations. During the prophet's birthday celebration these Lords paid their due respect to the caliph to show loyalty to the Moroccan monarchy. As time went by, Spanish colonial rule began to unravel with the general wave of decolonization after World War II which saw Europeans lose control of North African and sub-Saharan African possessions and protectorates. Spanish decolonization in particular began rather late, but internal political and social pressures for it in mainland Spain built up towards the end of Francisco Franco´s rule, in the context of the global trend towards complete decolonization. Spain began rapidly and even chaotically divesting itself of most of its remaining colonial possessions. After initially being violently opposed to decolonization, Spain began to give in and by 1974–75 issued promises of a referendum on independence The nascent Polisario Front, a nationalist organization that had begun fighting the Spanish in 1973, had been demanding such a move.

At the same time, Morocco and Mauritania which had historical claims of sovereignty over the territory based on competing traditional claims, argued that the territory was artificially separated from their territories by the European colonial powers. The third neighbour of Spanish Sahara, Algeria viewed these demands with suspicion, influenced also by its long-running rivalry with Morocco. After arguing for a process of decolonization guided by the United Nations, the government of Houari Boumédiènne committed itself in 1975 to assisting the Polisario Front, which opposed both Moroccan and Mauritanian claims and demanded full independence.

The UN attempted to settle these disputes through a visiting mission in late 1975, as well as a verdict from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which declared that Western Sahara possessed the right of self-determination. On November 6, 1975, the Green March into Western Sahara began when 350,000 unarmed Moroccans converged on the city of Tarfaya in southern Morocco and waited for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.

In the waning days of General Franco's rule, the Spanish government secretly signed a tripartite agreement with Morocco and Mauritania as it moved to abandon the Territory on 14 November 1975, mere days before Franco's death. Although the accords foresaw a tripartite administration, Morocco and Mauritania each moved to annex the territory, with Morocco taking control of the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces and Mauritania taking control of the southern third. Spain terminated its presence in Spanish Sahara within three months, even repatriating Spanish corpses from its cemeteries. The Moroccan and Mauritanian moves, however, met staunch opposition from the Polisario, which had by now gained backing from Algeria. In 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal due to pressure from Polisario, Morocco extended its control to the rest of the territory, and gradually contained the guerrillas through setting up the extensive sand-berm in the desert to exclude guerrilla fighters.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands had been part of Spain since the 15th-16th century. They were the last place visited by Christopher Columbus before his historical travel to the Americas. During the following three centuries, the Canary Islands were one of the favored points where people were exiled to, due to the distance between the peninsula and the archipelago. However, its position near the Western Sahara colony made the islands useful for the supplying of troops in there, as well as to maintain contact with it and the other few colonies Spain had. In 1936, Francisco Franco was sent to the Canary Islands to prevent him from contacting potential conspirators for the coup d'etat that was said to be about to happen, but instead this allowed him to easily reach the Army of Africa, which played an important role in the Spanish Civil War. Finally, in 1982 (after Franco's death and the re-establishment of democracy) the Canary Islands became an Autonomous Community, and on June 11 1983, the first regional elections happened, giving victory to socialist Jerónimo Saavedra Acevedo.

Balearic Islands



Due to Spain's ties with both the United Kingdom, France and United States, along with its NATO membership, Spain was one of the countries hit by nuclear weapons on Doomsday. Targets included:

  • Madrid-Torrejón
  • Barcelona
  • Valencia
  • Moron
  • Bilbao
  • Zaragoza
  • Rota
  • Gibraltar (at the time British controlled, but the strike still affected Spanish lands)

Among the deaths included the Commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Españolas), the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, and Felipe Gonzalez, President of government. The blast also killed all the parliamentarians who were gathered in those days because of the debate on the state of the nation and virtually all government and defense staff. The casualty figures will never be known, but estimates are about two thirds of the nearly 38 million people who lived in the nation on the eve of Doomsday. When, in mid-1984, the military Juntas of Emergency that still survived in the peninsula agreed to evacuate to the islands, they only looked at the military troops: civilians were not taken into account. They had to tend to themselves.

Western Sahara

In the months following the Doomsday Morocco, overwhelmed by the humanitarian crisis in the northern half of the country, was forced to withdraw troops from the south. The Polisario seized the opportunity to reinforce their positions, cornering the Moroccan army in Laayoune.

Canary Islands

Balearic Islands

In the following weeks many refugees from Catalonia and Valencia and, to a lesser extent, other parts of the peninsula, came to the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands Government submitted without discussion to the Captaincy General, who in turn obeyed the authority of the JSC.


Melilla, due to its being near to Spain and yet far enough from the Peninsula that it was not directly affected by the explosions, saw several thousands of people arriving there.

Creation of País del Oro

Spanish legionaries in Sahara

País del Oro was created after the the provincial government of the Spanish Canary Islands (in the days of Doomsday it was president of the autonomous canary government Jeronimo Acebedo Saavedra who declared a state of emergency in the islands and gave the command to the captain-general of the islands Miguel Fontenla Fernandez), the constitution and the Statute of Autonomy was suspended, soon established contact with most of the survivor rulers of the peninsula together despite the difficulties brought (disorders, radioactive contamination of the area of the Straits of Gibraltar, opposed by some civilian juntas); while General Ponciano Fernandez Fernandez led the evacuation of tightly stretched garrison of Ceuta. Ceuta to Melilla joining forces with the general Jose Manuel Frasquet Barber. The surviving forces create the Junta Suprema de Co-ordinación, with the General Captaincy of Baleares, the General Commandancy of Melilla and other survivors of the Spanish army forces, these is revealed powerless to maintain control of the Peninsula and in the fall of 1984 ordered the evacuation of military personnel, health and other skilled workers and politicians and personalities.

The expansion in Africa by the remaining Spanish government was not planned immediately, emerged in response to the fear of this government action by Morocco.

According to the Covenants in Madrid in November 1975 Spain ceded the administration (the administration, not sovereignty) To Morocco and Mauritania. The Spanish military appealed to this sovereignty to take possession of the territory, then gave the local civilian administration and the Saharan.

Hipolito Fernandez-Palacios

Meanwhile, the POLISARIO, led by Mohamed Abdelaziz since 1978, rebels in the Western Sahara mainland unified to form a single country after the Spanish government was destroyed in the nuclear war on doomsday. The union which was originally a military alliance quickly developed under the auspices of  Abdelaziz and General Hipolito Fernandez-Palacios y Nuñez in a new kind of union with some kind of parallel to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (although without monarchy) was confirmed in late 1985 in th El Aaiún pacts.

In Laayoune pacts signed in 1985 (and considered the founding act of what became known as Pais del Oro) established a joint military, economic, monetary and foreign policy. The two signatories retained their respective sovereignties and this point has continued to follow formally.

In the late '90s the Interim Government of Spain successor of the Junta Suprema de Coordinación (Supreme Coordination Board) gradually transferred civil administration of municipalities and regions, first in the Canary Islands, Melilla and the Balearic Islands then. In mid-2003 were called a kind of Constituent Assembly enacted the following year the "Constitución Transitoria de los territorios de España de Ultramar" (Transitional Constitution of the overseas territories of Spain). Starting a period of democratization of national politics that today there is called Segunda Transición (Second Transition).


Western sahara.gif

Obviously not all were favorable to the Saharawi union with the Spanish, many, probably half of the population saw a betrayal of the Laayoune Pacts. A new Sahrawi government (the Independent Republic Sahrawi Arab or IRSA) took control of the east and south of the territory and established his capital at the oasis of Tindouf in Algeria, taking advantage of the chaos prevailing in the neighboring country.

Since then a state of intermittent warfare last between Pais del Oro and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, this retains control of much of the territory without Pais del Oro has undertaken major operations against rival. Only between 1986 and 1990 Pais del Oro took control of large areas in southern territory, but not so with the aim of reducing the Sahrawi state rival as the communication to achieve a Federîck (federal?) district very rich in Mauritania iron mines and because of disorders in this country had fallen into the hands of a faction of pro-Sahrawi.

Moreover, Hispanic Sahrawi were busy on other fronts: In 1986 the death of Hassan II (by pancreatic cancer) caused a succession crisis in the Kingdom of Morocco, Mohammed VI, Hassan's young son is acknowledged in Marrakech, while Moulay Hicham (Hassan´s cousin) taking power in Agadir. Pais del Oro providing assistance to Moulay Hicham. The War of Succession in Morocco occupied the PdO Army during the next decade, from 1986 until 1994, when a revolt of officers in Marrakech forced into exile Mohammed, leaving Moulay Hicham king in the south while in northern Morocco took the power the Islamists and several warlords. PdOr continued in subsequent years holding militarily to Moulay Hicham in his reconquest of the northern territories and the consolidation of a democratic order in Morocco.

War of Alborán Sea

In the beginning of the third millennium, the competition between Sicily and PdOr for control of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Spanish Republic's approach to Sicily which was culminated in the so-called War of the Alboran Sea. It began in 2003 with a revolt in Cartagena and other cities against the falangist government of the Spanish Republic. PdOr intervened on behalf of the rebels, and Sicily, an ally of the falangists intervened occupying the island of Ibiza in 2004, from which to launch further attacks on the Balearic Islands and on the convoys that supplied the Hispanic-Saharan occupying forces in the Peninsula.

The war forced PdOr to employ fully all financial and human resources on a distant stage and exposed their shortcomings forcing out to ask for help from other nations against Sicily. It is at this time PdOr resigned his quest to rebuild the former Spain and agreed to recognize the other States that had occupied the Peninsula. Understanding the risks of Sicilian control of the Strait of Gibraltar the Celtic Alliance, Portugal and the Rif went to war in late 2005 supported PdOr, and also Chile and the RUAS sent small contingents. With the help of the multinational force PdOr could eventually expel the Sicilians of Ibiza in 2006 and forced falangists of Murcia to surrender.

Attempts to reoccupy the Spanish Mainland

In 1988 an expedition took Almeria, but left a few weeks because of attacks by local guerrillas.

In 1990 Chipiona, in the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, was occupied, but had to be abandoned because of the radioactivity was still strong.

In 1992 a new attempt to conquer Almeria met with opposition from the emerging Spanish Republic in the southeast.

In the years following the aggressiveness of the Sicilian State (and allies) held PdO forces engaged in defending their own territory in the Balearic Islands and Melilla.

After the occupation of Cartagena by the forces of the Atlantic Defense Community, and under the auspices of the League of Nations, a process of negotiation is opened between PdO and the Spanish Republic, in the future that could culminate in the unification of both states. A referendum has been called after long negotiations by 21 June of 2010, a month later than the convening in Cleveland.

The outcome of the referendum was favorably for the unification of the two successor states and the Republic of Spain was officially proclaimed.


Pais del Oro was a Confederal Union of two States: The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Interim Government of Spain. Laayoune is the Confederal Capital and also the capital of the Saharawi State.  The presidency was dual, held by the chairmen of the Interim Government of Spain and the Sahrawi Republic. Legislative power was held by the Confederal Parliament divided into two chambers: the Congreso de los Diputados (Chamber of Deputies) with 270 members and the "Senado" (Senate) with 100 members (50 of the Spanish part and 50 of the Saharawi). Confederal Parliament prepared common law, but this could be expanded or corrected by autonomous parliaments of each region: The Saharawi Parliament, Parlamento de Canarias (Canary Parliament), Parlament de les Illes Balears (Balearic Parliament) or the Consejo Municipal de Melilla (Municipal Council of Melilla).


Pais del Oro controlled exports of phosphates (fertilizer needed to further reduce levels of radiation from the ground), both the extracted directly in Western Sahara as the extracted in Morocco (controlled the trade by the Hispanic-Saharans). PdOr also controls exports of iron from mines of Frederîck in Mauritania and from other mines of the Rif. The Hispanic-Saharan fishing fleet keeps control of fishing grounds off the Moroccan coast and the Strait area, however, this activity is threatened by the general depletion of fish stocks caused by the incidence of solar radiation.

In the Canary Islands is a highly developed agriculture in the early years oriented to self-sufficiency, some years shifts towards exports (wine, tobacco, bananas).


The Canary Islands were the most populated region of the state with approximately 1,808,000 inhabitants, the Sahara, despite its greater extension has only 270,000 inhabitants, Melilla, although its population has risen sharply from 83 just over 112,000, while the Balearic Islands, very affected by radioactive contamination and devastated by the raids of Sicily has a population 168,000 people. The census gives a total population of 2,358,000 people.


The PdO Army was formed by the guerrillas of the Polisario and the remnants of the Spanish army, especially the Legion (with quarters in Melilla, Almeria, Fuerteventura and remains of other garrisons in the doomsday), the regulars of Melilla and remains of Ceuta, the brigada ligera paracaidista (paratroop brigade, with quarter in Murcia in the doomsday) and other surviving units of the Spanish army, navy and aviation, recruits performing military service and those recruited in the early days were also rehired necessarily (course, those who do not desert). Those who added numerous contingents of former policemen, guardias civiles and militarized professional as firefighters, forest rangers, doctors, etc.

Military service was extended to four years and has been extended to women (fertile women are exempt from it). Recently there is the option of completing the last two years of service in periods of one semester in the next four years.

The Spanish Navy that before 1983 was one of the top ten navies in the world was not much affected by nuclear strikes only the Strait fleet was badly damaged but the fleets serving in the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean or the Cantabric Sea only received damage to the navigation and communications systems. Over time, the Spanish Navy has become obsolete, because of the lack of shipyards, to renew has had to resort to buy ships and other equipment to other countries (Brazil and ANZC).

Foreign Relations

Since 86 had stepped up diplomatic contacts with the interim Portuguese interim government and indirectly Canada. In the decade 90s they re-established normal relations with South America through the SAC. Since 26 September 2007, it has been a part of the Atlantic Defense Community. Recently the increasing aggressiveness of the "Mafia State" of Sicily culminating in direct military conflict. It was also a member of the League of Nations.

Pais del Oro claimed all the territories that had formed the old Spain. This claim that was recognized by the LoN, but today is unrealizable, for the flourishing of new actors on the peninsula, in 2004 the government officially recognized Galicia, Asturias and the Basque Country, after diplomatic pressure from Portugal, the SAC and the Celtic Alliance, but maintained their claims on the rest of the peninsula. A committee for the reunification Spanish has been created under the auspices of the LoN, but supporters of union with Pais del Oro are rare on the peninsula with the exception of the Spanish National Republic in the southeast, where the union with Pais del Oro is viewed as the end of isolation and famine and the beginning of a new democratic normality.

With regards to the Saguenay crisis, Pais del Oro remains silent, to not cause suspicion in peninsular governments.

Due to indirect information via Andorra, little is officially known at this time about the government's situation in metropolitan Spain.


The partnership between the Spanish and the Saharawi has resulted in one of the most original society of the post-nuclear world. Saharawi Muslims aren't too religious and have modernized without trouble. In contrast, the Spanish in contact with the Saharawi have taken many of their customs, such as clothing, the use of turbans and headscarves and beards grown. The Arab influence is also seen other aesthetic aspects such as architecture, music, food and furniture.

Backed by the religious freedom and the crisis of conscience after doomsday, Islam has spread among the Spanish settlers in the Sahara and Melilla, and even among the islands. Conversions to Christianity among the Saharawi by contrast are poor, despite the establishment of the archbishopric of Laayoune.

The Balearic Islands are an exception and have not taken part in these changes. By contrast the Catalan language and culture were imposed after the arrival of refugees from Catalonia and Valencia in the first days after Doomsday.

See also