International recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

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The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) was proclaimed by the Polisario Front on 27 February 1976, in Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara. SADR claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony; however, at present the SADR government controls only about 20-25% of the territory it claims.[1] It calls the territories under its control the Liberated Territories.

As of 2014, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has been recognized by 84 UN member states.[note 1] Of these, 39 have since "frozen" or "withdrawn" recognition.[note 2] SADR has, at some point in time, been recognised by 43.5% of United Nations (UN) member states, 38 out of 53 (72%) African Union (AU) member states, 18 out of 57 (32%) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states, and 5 out of 22 (23%) Arab League (AL) member states have recognised . Several states that do not recognize the Sahrawi Republic nonetheless recognize the Polisario Front as the legitimate representative of the population of the Western Sahara, but not as the government-in-exile of a sovereign state.

The SADR has been a full member of the African Union (AU), formerly the Organization of African Unity (OAU), since 1984. Morocco withdrew from the OAU in protest and remains the only African nation not within the AU since South Africa's admittance in 1994. The SADR also participates as guest on meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement[2][3] or the New Asian–African Strategic Partnership,[4] over Moroccan objections to SADR participation. On the other hand, Moroccan "territorial integrity" is favored by the Arab League.[5][6]

Besides Mexico, Algeria, Iran, Venezuela, Vietnam, Nigeria and South Africa, India was the major middle power to have ever recognized SADR, having allowed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to open embassy in New Delhi in 1985. However, India "withdrew" its recognition in 2000.[7]

States which have recognized SADR[edit]

International recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR):
  SADR, as claimed
  States that currently recognize SADR
  States that have "withdrawn", "frozen" or "suspended" recognition of SADR[note 2]

84 UN member states and South Ossetia either currently recognize SADR or have recognized it in the past. Of these, 39 have "suspended", "frozen" or "withdrawn" recognition[note 2] (most recently Mauritius). Several of these states (mostly African countries and Caribbean or Pacific island-states) have done this as a result of Moroccan political pressures or exchanges and/or offers of economic assistance and investment.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][18][19][20] As of 9 July 2011, South Sudan is the most recent nation to formally recognise the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The parliament of Sweden voted to recognize Western Sahara in December 2012 but this has not yet been enacted by the Swedish government. In January 2014 a bill was submitted in the Danish parliament that would recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; it has not yet been voted on.

The following lists all the states that have ever recognized the SADR.

States that currently recognize (45 UN member states and South Ossetia)
States that have "withdrawn", "frozen" or "suspended" recognition[note 2] (39 UN member states)
State[note 3] Date of recognition[23][24][25][26] Diplomatic relations[note 4] Relevant membership, further details
1  Madagascar 28 February 1976[27] No AU; Recognized by the Democratic Republic of Madagascar. Recognition "frozen" 6 April 2005.[28][29][30][31][32]
2  Burundi 1 March 1976[33][34] No AU; Recognition "frozen" 5 May 2006,[33][35] resumed 16 June 2008,[36][37] but "withdrawn" 25 October 2010.[38][39][40][41]
3  Algeria 6 March 1976[42] Yes AU, Arab League, OIC
4  Benin 11 March 1976[34][43] No AU, OIC; Recognized by the People's Republic of Benin. Recognition "suspended" 21 March 1997.[43][44][45][46]
5  Angola 11 March 1976[34] Yes AU; Recognized by the People's Republic of Angola.
6  Mozambique 13 March 1976[34] Yes AU, OIC; Recognized by the People's Republic of Mozambique.
7  Guinea-Bissau 15 March 1976 No AU, OIC; Recognition "withdrawn" 2 April 1997,[47][48][49] recognition resumed 26 May 2009,[50][51][52] but "withdrawn" again 30 March 2010.[53][54][55]
8  North Korea 16 March 1976 No
9  Togo 17 March 1976 No AU, OIC. Recognition "withdrawn" 16 June 1997.[47][56][57]
10  Rwanda 1 April 1976 Yes AU
11  Yemen 2 February 1977 No Arab League, OIC; Recognition granted by People's Democratic Republic of Yemen which unified with the Yemen Arab Republic 22 May 1990.
12  Seychelles 25 October 1977[60] No AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 17 March 2008.[61][62][63]
13  Congo 3 July 1978 No AU; Recognized by the People's Republic of Congo. Recognition "withdrawn" 13 September 1996.[25]
14  Sao Tome and Principe 22 July 1978 No AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 23 October 1996.[25]
15  Panama 23 July 1978 No Recognition "suspended" 20 November 2013.[64][65][66][67]
16  Equatorial Guinea 3 November 1978 No AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 2 May 1980.[25]
17  Tanzania 9 November 1978 Yes AU
18  Ethiopia 24 February 1979 Yes AU; Recognized by the Socialist Ethiopia.
19  Vietnam 2 March 1979[68][69] No Vietnam's current position is unclear.
20  Cambodia 10 April 1979 No Recognized by the People's Republic of Kampuchea. Recognition denounced 14 August 2006.[76][77][78]
21  Laos 9 May 1979 Yes
22  Afghanistan 23 May 1979 No OIC; Recognized by the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Recognition "withdrawn" 11 July 2002.[79][80]
23  Cape Verde 4 June 1979[81] Yes AU; Recognition "frozen" 27 July 2007,[81][82][83] resumed 6 February 2012 or before.[84][85][when?]
24  Grenada 20 August 1979 No Recognition "withdrawn" 11 August 2010.[86][87][88]
25  Ghana 24 August 1979 Yes AU; Recognition "frozen" May 2001,[25][citation needed] but resumed 2011.[89][when?]
26  Guyana 1 September 1979 Yes OIC
27  Dominica 1 September 1979 No Recognition "withdrawn" 22 July 2010.[90][91]
28  Saint Lucia 1 September 1979 No Recognition "withdrawn" 21 March 1989,[92] "withdrawal" reiterated 9 August 2010.[87][88][92][93]
29  Jamaica 6 September 1979 No
30  Nicaragua 6 September 1979 Yes Recognition "frozen" 21 July 2000,[94][95] but diplomatic relations resumed 12 January 2007.[96]
31  Uganda 6 September 1979 Yes AU, OIC
32  Mexico 8 September 1979 Yes
33  Lesotho 9 October 1979 Yes AU
34  Zambia 12 October 1979[97] Yes AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 29 March 2011,[97][98][99] but resumed 21 November 2012.[100]
35  Cuba 20 January 1980 Yes
36  Iran 27 February 1980[103] No OIC
37  Sierra Leone 27 March 1980 Yes AU, OIC; Recognition "frozen" 16 July 2003,[104][105] but resumed 20 June 2011.[106]
38  Syria 15 April 1980 No Arab League, OIC
39  Libya 15 April 1980 No AU, Arab League, OIC; Recognized by the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
40  Swaziland 28 April 1980 No AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 4 July 1997.[47]
41  Botswana 14 May 1980 No AU
42  Zimbabwe 3 June 1980[107] Yes AU
43  Chad 4 July 1980 No AU, OIC; Recognition "withdrawn" 9 May 1997,[47] resumed[when?] then "withdraw" 17 March 2006,[108][109] diplomatic relations at the level of ambassador reportedly launched 17 July 2007,[110] but this was denied by the Prime Minister of Chad 20 July 2007.[111][112]
44  Mali 4 July 1980 No AU, OIC
45  Costa Rica 30 October 1980 No Recognition "frozen" 22 April 2000.[113][114][115]
46  Vanuatu 26 November 1980[116][117] Yes Recognition "withdrawn" 24 November 2000,[116][117][118][119][120] diplomatic relations resumed 31 July 2008.[121][122]
47  Papua New Guinea 12 August 1981 No Recognition "withdrawn" 30 March 2011.[123][124][125][126]
48  Tuvalu 12 August 1981 No Recognition "withdrawn" 3 September 2000.[118][127][128]
49  Kiribati 12 August 1981 No Recognition "withdrawn" 3 September 2000.[118][127][128]
50  Nauru 12 August 1981 No Recognition "withdrawn" 3 September 2000.[118][127][128]
51  Solomon Islands 12 August 1981 No Recognition "withdrawn" January 1989.[25]
52  Mauritius 1 July 1982 No AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 17 January 2014.[129][130][131]
53  Venezuela 3 August 1982 Yes
54  Suriname 11 August 1982 No OIC
55  Bolivia 14 December 1982[132] Yes
56  Ecuador 14 November 1983 Yes Recognition "withdrawn" 14 June 2004,[133][134] but resumed 8 February 2006.[135]
57  Mauritania 27 February 1984 No AU, Arab League, OIC
58  Burkina Faso 4 March 1984 No AU, OIC; Recognized by the Republic of Upper Volta. Recognition "withdrawn" 5 June 1996.[47][136]
59  Peru 16 August 1984 No Recognition "frozen" 9 September 1996.[137]
60  Nigeria 11 November 1984 Yes AU, OIC
61  Serbia 28 November 1984[25] No Recognition granted by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but "withdrawn" 26 October 2004 by Yugoslavia's self-declared successor state Serbia and Montenegro[138][139] (whose own successor state is Serbia).
62  Colombia 27 February 1985[140] No Recognition "frozen" 20 December 2000.[25][citation needed]
63  Liberia 31 July 1985 Yes AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 5 September 1997,[47][142][143] but resumed 30 October 2012 or before.[144][when?]
64  India 1 October 1985 No Recognition "withdrawn" 26 June 2000.[7][145]
65  Guatemala 10 April 1986 No Recognition "frozen" April 1998,[25][citation needed] Guatemala allegedly denied having ever recognized the SADR July 2002.[146][citation needed]
66  Dominican Republic 24 June 1986[148] No Recognition "frozen" 23 May 2002.[148][149][150][151][152][153][154][155]
67  Trinidad and Tobago 1 November 1986 No
68  Belize 18 November 1986 Yes
69  St. Kitts and Nevis 25 February 1987 No Recognition "withdrawn" 12 August 2010.[87][88][156]
70  Antigua and Barbuda 27 February 1987 No Recognition "withdrawn" 12 August 2010.[87][88][157]
71  Albania 29 December 1987 No OIC; Recognized by the Socialist People's Republic of Albania. Recognition "withdrawn" 11 November 2004.[158]
72  Barbados 27 February 1988 No Recognition "frozen" 11 February 2013.[159][160][161][162]
73  El Salvador 31 July 1989 Yes Recognition "withdrawn" April 1997,[25] then resumed 6 June 2009 or before.[163][when?]
74  Honduras 8 November 1989 Yes Recognition allegedly "withdrawn" January 2000,[164] but this was denied by the SADR[165] and reiterated by Morocco.[166] On 5 June 2013 the two states signed an agreement that in part "expressed their wish to initiate the process for the restoration of diplomatic relations".[167][168][169][170]
75  Namibia 11 June 1990[171] Yes AU
76  Malawi 16 November 1994[172] Yes AU; Recognition "withdrawn" 26 June 2001,[173] diplomatic relations established 24 March 2002,[174][175] recognition "withdrawn" 27 December 2002,[176] diplomatic relations reestablished 1 February 2008,[172][177][178] recognition "withdrawn" again 16 September 2008,[179][180][181][182][183][184][185][186] then resumed 6 March 2014 or before.[187][when?]
77  Paraguay 9 February 2000[188] No Recognition "frozen" 25 July 2000,[25] resumed 12 August 2008,[189] but "suspended" 3 January 2014.[190][191][192][193][194]
78  St. Vincent and the Grenadines 14 February 2002[195] No Recognition "frozen" 13 February 2013.[196][197][198]
79  Timor-Leste 20 May 2002[199] Yes
80  South Africa 15 September 2004[97][200][201][202] Yes AU
81  Kenya 25 June 2005[97][203] Yes AU; Diplomatic relations temporally frozen 18 October 2006,[203][204] recognition "frozen" 26 June 2007,[205][206] then resumed 6 February 2014 or before.[207][208][when?]
82  Uruguay 26 December 2005[209][210][211] Yes
83  Haiti 22 November 2006[212] No Recognition "withdrawn" 2 October 2013.[213][214][215][216][217]
 South Ossetia 27 February 2011[218] No
84  South Sudan 9 July 2011[220] Yes AU

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ SADR is also recognised by South Ossetia, which itself is recognised only by 5 UN members
  2. ^ a b c d According to international law regarding recognition of states, contained in article 6 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States: "Recognition of a state simply means that the state recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable". Therefore, once one state recognizes another as a fellow sovereign state, this recognition cannot be revoked, except when one or the other ceases to exist. One can only revoke the recognition of a government (for example by breaking off diplomatic relations), not of the state itself.[21][22]
  3. ^ States with limited recognition are included, but not numbered in the first column.
  4. ^ The information in this column is taken from Foreign relations of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
  5. ^ Such statements are interpreted as a method of implied recognition.[219]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]