For those who have seen my post about the Maluku Selatan Stamps this one should come as no surprise: another common set of bogus stamps that have been circulating around are the Sahara Occ. R.A.S.D. stamps.
Much like those of the Republic of South Moluccas, these are also present with colours and show interesting themes. Unlike the Moluccas stamps, however, these are commonly seen in used versions, with rather convincing cancellations.
Sahara OCC R.A.S.D (République Arabe Saharouie Démocratique - Arab Republic of Western Sahara) is a territory (Western Sahara) currently administered by Morocco, country that claimed it after the Spanish withdrawal from the Spanish Sahara colony in 1979 (CIA, The World Factbook). The tension between Morocco and the Polisario Front (which contests Moroccan sovereignty) is still present and peace efforts have failed to solve the problem. Western Sahara is only partially recognized as a sovereign state.
The stamp issues from the Arab Republic of Western Sahara are therefore bogus stamps, issued for propaganda purposes by the government in exile. For this reason it may be very difficult to find mention of them in regular stamp catalogues.
Although I myself do not collect cinderellas, I must admit it is quite enriching to come across such issues for its historical and current relevancy. That being said, at least in my opinion, the propaganda purpose of these stamps have been achieved and called quite some attention to the issue – at least among the stamp collecting community.
CIA. The World Factbook. Available on www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wi.html , accessed on the 22nd of April of 2013.
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