Commune and town
Le Mouggar in 1970 (Tindouf)
Tindouf in the 1970s
Location of Tindouf commune within Tindouf Province
Location of Tindouf commune within Tindouf Province
Tindouf is located in Algeria
Location of Tindouf within Algeria
Coordinates: 27°40′31″N 8°07′43″W / 27°40′31″N 8°07′43″W / 27.67528; -8.12861Algeria
ProvinceTindouf (seat)
DistrictTindouf (coextensive)
 • Total70,009 km2 (27,031 sq mi)
400 m (1,300 ft)
 • Total150,000 (of which 45,966 are not people living in the Sahrawi refugee camps)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Postal code

Tindouf (Berber: Tinduf, Arabic: تندوف‎) is the main town, and a commune in Tindouf Province, Algeria, close to the Mauritanian, Western Saharan and Moroccan borders.The commune has population of around 160,000 but the census and population estimates do not count the Sahrawi refugees making the population as of the 2008 census 45,966,[2] up from 25,266 in 1998,[3] and an annual population growth rate of 6.3%.[2]

The region is considered of strategic significance. It houses Algerian military bases and an airport with regular flights to Algiers as well as to other domestic destinations.[4] The settlement of Garet Djebilet lies within the municipal territory of Tindouf near the border with Mauritania; the settlement has an iron mine and a defunct airport, and is approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) northwest of Âouinet Bel Egrâ. Since 1975, it also contains several Sahrawi refugee camps operated by the Polisario Front, a national liberation movement seeking the self-determination of Western Sahara.


Tindouf in 1880.

The town of Tindouf was built near an isolated Saharan oasis in 1852 by members of the Tajakant tribe, but sacked and destroyed by the Reguibat, another Sahrawi tribe in 1895, and the Tajakant tribe were expelled from the region. It remained deserted until French troops arrived in the area in 1934. Since Algerian independence in 1962, the town has been deliberately built up, partly because of its importance as a last outpost before the Moroccan, Sahrawi and Mauritanian borders.[citation needed]

In 1963, the area was the scene of fighting between Algerian and Moroccan forces laying claim to western Algeria, in the Sand War. The region has since been heavily militarized, increasing its relevance. Since the mid-70s, the Tindouf region served as base for the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi nationalist organization fighting for Western Sahara's independence. The Polisario Front is headquartered in self-administered refugee camps south of the city, which filled up as Moroccan and Mauritanian forces conquered Western Sahara in 1975. During the war years of 1975–1990, Polisario forces struck in Western Sahara, Mauritania (until 1979) and southern Morocco (including the region of Tata), using the Tindouf region as their rear base area, with Algerian protection and support. Since 1990 the area has been quiet, although the refugee community remains in Algeria, pending a UN-sponsored peace process and a referendum on independence. (See Minurso.)

Other Languages
العربية: تندوف
Bân-lâm-gú: Tindouf
català: Tindouf
čeština: Tindúf
dansk: Tindouf
Deutsch: Tindūf
español: Tinduf
Esperanto: Tinduf
euskara: Tinduf
فارسی: تندوف
français: Tindouf
한국어: 틴두프
Bahasa Indonesia: Tindouf
italiano: Tindouf
עברית: טינדוף
lietuvių: Tindufas
Nederlands: Tindouf
Nordfriisk: Tindouf
norsk: Tindouf
occitan: Tindouf
پنجابی: تندوف
polski: Tinduf
português: Tindouf
română: Tindouf
русский: Тиндуф
Scots: Tindouf
српски / srpski: Тиндуф
suomi: Tindouf
svenska: Tindouf
Taqbaylit: Tinduf
українська: Тіндуф
اردو: تندوف
Tiếng Việt: Tindouf
Winaray: Tindouf
中文: 廷杜夫