Western Sahara is an immense desert area at the Atlantic coast; it borders on Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. Between 1848 and 1975 this sparsely populated country was a Spanish dominion. After Franco's death and the quick retreat of the colonizers, the signing of the secret and illegal Madrid memorandum entitled Morocco and Mauritania to occupy Western Sahara, which led to the exodus of almost entire Saharan population. Some 70.000 people found shelter in refugee camps at the very south-western part of Algeria, around the town of Tindouf. The Saharans organized themselves politically and militarily in the Polisario Front and continue to struggle. In the meanwhile, new generations of Saharans have grown up in the refugee camps, which currently count some 180.000 people.