Western Sahara

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Western sahara)
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 25°N 13°W / 25°N 13°W / 25; -13

Western Sahara
الصحراء الغربية
Aṣ-Ṣaḥrā’ al-Ġarbiyya
Taneẓroft Tutrimt
ⵜⴰⵏⴻⵥⵔⵓⴼⵜ ⵜⵓⵜⵔⵉⵎⵜ
Sáhara Occidental
Capital
and largest city
Native languages
Other languages
commonly spoken
Spanish
Demonym
Disputed sovereigntya
 -  Relinquished by Spain 14 November 1975 
Area
 -  Total 266,000 km2 (76th)
103,000 sq mi
 -  Water (%) negligible
Population
 -  2011 estimate 548,000[5] (168th)
 -  Density 1.9/km2 (237th)
5/sq mi
Currency (MAD, DZD, MRO)
Time zone (UTC+0)
Drives on the right
Calling code
ISO 3166 code EH
Internet TLD noneg
a. Mostly under the administration of Morocco as its Southern Provinces. The Polisario Front controls border areas behind the border wall (known as the Free Zone) on behalf of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
b. In the Moroccan-controlled zone.
c. In the SADR-controlled zone. The Sahrawi peseta is commemorative and not in circulation.
d. From 6 May 2012.
e. Via Morocco.
f. Via Algeria.
g. .eh is reserved but not officially assigned.

Western Sahara (US Listeni/ˌwɛstərn səˈhærə/; UK /ˌwɛstən səˈhɑrə/; Arabic: الصحراء الغربيةAṣ-Ṣaḥrā’ al-Gharbīyah; Spanish: Sahara Occidental; Berber: Taneẓroft Tutrimt) is a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the extreme northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to 266,000 square kilometres (103,000 sq mi). It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. The population is estimated at just over 500,000,[7] of whom nearly 40% live in El Aaiún (also spelled Laâyoune), the largest city in Western Sahara.

Occupied by Spain since the late 19th century, the Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since 1963 after a Moroccan demand.[8] It is the most populous territory on that list, and by far the largest in area. In 1965, the UN General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Western Sahara, asking Spain to decolonise the territory.[9] One year later, a new resolution was passed by the General Assembly requesting that a referendum be held by Spain on self-determination.[10]

In 1975, Spain relinquished the administrative control of the territory to a joint administration by Morocco (which had formally claimed the territory since 1957)[11] and Mauritania.[10] A war erupted between those countries and the Sahrawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, which proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) with a government-in-exile in Tindouf, Algeria. Mauritania withdrew in 1979, and Morocco eventually secured effective control of most of the territory, including all the major cities and natural resources.

Since a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire agreement in 1991, two thirds of the territory (including most of the Atlantic coast line)[12] has been controlled by Morocco and the remainder by the SADR, strongly backed by Algeria.[13] Internationally, countries such as the United States and Russia have taken a generally ambiguous and neutral position on each side's claims, and have pressed both parties to agree on a peaceful resolution. Both Morocco and Polisario have sought to boost their claims by accumulating formal recognition, essentially from African, Asian, and Latin American states in the developing world. The Polisario Front has won formal recognition for SADR from 82 states, and was extended membership in the African Union. Morocco has won recognition or support for its position from several African governments and from most of the Arab League.[14][15] In both instances, recognitions have, over the past two decades, been extended and withdrawn according to changing international trends.[citation needed] As of 2006, no other member state of the United Nations has recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.[16]

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Map of Western Sahara.

The earliest known inhabitants of the Western Sahara were the Berber people of the Gaetulian tribes. Depending on the century, Roman-era sources describe the area as inhabited by Gaetulian Autololes or the Gaetulian Daradae tribes. Berber heritage is still evident from regional and place-name toponymy, as well as from tribal names.

Other early inhabitants of the Western Sahara may be the Bafour[17] and later the Serer and some Arabian tribes. The Bafour were later replaced or absorbed by Berber-speaking populations which eventually merged in turn with the migrating Beni Hassan Arabian tribe.

The arrival of Islam in the 8th century played a major role in the development of the Maghreb region. Trade developed further, and the territory may have been one of the routes for caravans, especially between Marrakesh and Tombouctou in Mali.

In the 11th century, the Maqil Arabian tribes (fewer than 200 individuals) settled in Morocco (mainly in the Draa valley, between the Melwiya river, Tafilalet and Taourirt).[18] Towards the end of the Almohads' rule, the Beni Hassan tribe (a sub-tribe of the Maqil) were called by the local ruler of the Sous to quell a rebellion, they settled in the Sous Ksours and controlled such cities as Taroudant.[18] During the Merinid rule, the Beni Hassan rebelled but were defeated by the Sultan and escaped beyond the Saguia el-Hamra dry river.[18][19] The Beni Hassan then were at constant war with the Lamtuna nomadic Berbers of the Sahara. Over roughly five centuries, through a complex process of acculturation and mixing seen elsewhere in the Maghreb and North Africa, some of the indigenous Berber tribes mixed with the Maqil Arabian tribes and formed a culture unique to Morocco and Mauritania.[citation needed]

Spanish province[edit]

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 colony.[20] After 1939 and the outbreak of World War II, this area was administered by Spanish Morocco. As a consequence, Ahmed Belbachir Haskouri, the Chief of Cabinet, General Secretary of the Government of Spanish Morocco, cooperated with the Spanish 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 recommended list of candidates for new governors. Together with the Spanish High Commissioner, Belbachir selected from this list.[citation needed] During the annual celebration of Muhammad's birthday, these lords paid their respects to the caliph to show loyalty to the Moroccan monarchy.[citation needed]

As time went by, Spanish colonial rule began to unravel with the general wave of decolonization after World War II; former North African and sub-Saharan African possessions and protectorates gained independence from European powers. Spanish decolonization proceeded more slowly, but internal political and social pressures for it in mainland Spain built up towards the end of Francisco Franco's rule. There was a global trend towards complete decolonization. Spain began rapidly to divest itself of most of its remaining colonial possessions. By 1974–75 the government issued promises of a referendum on independence in the Western Sahara.

At the same time, Morocco and Mauritania, which had historical and competing claims of sovereignty over the territory, argued that it had been artificially separated from their territories by the European colonial powers. Algeria, which also bordered the territory, viewed their demands with suspicion, as it also had a long-running rivalry with Morocco. After arguing for a process of decolonization to be guided by the United Nations, the Algerian government under Houari Boumédiènne in 1975 committed to assisting the Polisario Front, which opposed both Moroccan and Mauritanian claims and demanded full independence of the Western Sahara.

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). It acknowledged that Western Sahara had historical links with Morocco and Mauritania, but the population of this territory possessed the right of self-determination. On 6 November 1975 Morocco initiated the Green March into Western Sahara; 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 the border in a peaceful march. A few days before, on 31 October, Moroccan troops invaded Western Sahara from the northwest[citation needed].

Demands for independence[edit]

Commemoration of the 30th independence day from Spain in the Liberated Territories (2005)

In the waning days of General Franco's rule, and after the Green March, the Spanish government signed a tripartite agreement with Morocco and Mauritania as it moved to transfer the territory on 14 November 1975. The accords were based on a bipartite administration, and Morocco and Mauritania each moved to annex the territories, with Morocco taking control of the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces, and Mauritania taking control of the southern third as Tiris al-Gharbiyya. Spain terminated its presence in Spanish Sahara within three months, repatriating Spanish remains from its cemeteries.[21]

The Moroccan and Mauritanian annexations were resisted by the Polisario Front, which had gained backing from Algeria. It initiated guerrilla warfare and, in 1979, Mauritania withdrew due to pressure from Polisario, including a bombardment of its capital and other economic targets. Morocco extended its control to the rest of the territory. It gradually contained the guerrillas by setting up the extensive sand-berm in the desert (known as the Border Wall or Moroccan Wall) to exclude guerrilla fighters. Hostilities ceased in a 1991 cease-fire, overseen by the peacekeeping mission MINURSO, under the terms of a UN Settlement Plan.

Stalling of the referendum and Settlement Plan[edit]

The referendum, originally scheduled for 1992, foresaw giving the local population the option between independence or affirming integration with Morocco, but it quickly stalled. In 1997, the Houston Agreement attempted to revive the proposal for a referendum but likewise has hitherto not had success. As of 2010, negotiations over terms have not resulted in any substantive action. At the heart of the dispute lies the question of who qualifies to be registered to participate in the referendum, and, since about the year 2000, Morocco considers that since there is no agreement on persons entitled to vote, a referendum is not possible. Meanwhile, Polisario still insisted on a referendum with independence as a clear option, without offering a solution to the problem of who is qualified to be registered to participate in it.

Both sides blame each other for the stalling of the referendum. The Polisario has insisted on only allowing those found on the 1974 Spanish Census lists (see below) to vote, while Morocco has insisted that the census was flawed by evasion and sought the inclusion of members of Sahrawi tribes which escaped from Spanish invasion to the north of Morocco by the 19th century.

Efforts by the UN special envoys to find a common ground for both parties did not succeed. By 1999 the UN had identified about 85,000 voters, with nearly half of them in the Moroccan-controlled parts of Western Sahara or Southern Morocco, and the others scattered between the Tindouf refugee camps, Mauritania and other places of exile. Polisario accepted this voter list, as it had done with the previous list presented by the UN (both of them originally based on the Spanish census of 1974), but Morocco refused and, as rejected voter candidates began a mass-appeals procedure, insisted that each application be scrutinized individually. This again brought the process to a halt.

According to a NATO delegation, MINURSO election observers stated in 1999, as the deadlock continued, that "if the number of voters does not rise significantly the odds were slightly on the RASD side".[22] By 2001, the process had effectively stalemated and the UN Secretary-General asked the parties for the first time to explore other, third-way solutions. Indeed, shortly after the Houston Agreement (1997), Morocco officially declared that it was "no longer necessary" to include an option of independence on the ballot, offering instead autonomy. Erik Jensen, who played an administrative role in MINURSO, wrote that neither side would agree to a voter registration in which they were destined to lose (see Western Sahara: Anatomy of a Stalemate).

Baker Plan[edit]

System of the Moroccan Walls in Western Sahara (territory outside them in yellow) set up in the 1980s

As personal envoy of the Secretary-General, James Baker visited all sides and produced the document known as the "Baker Plan".[23] This was discussed by the United Nations Security Council in 2000, and envisioned an autonomous Western Sahara Authority (WSA), which would be followed after five years by the referendum. Every person present in the territory would be allowed to vote, regardless of birthplace and with no regard to the Spanish census. It was rejected by both sides, although it was initially derived from a Moroccan proposal. According to Baker's draft, tens of thousands of post-annexation immigrants from Morocco proper (viewed by Polisario as settlers but by Morocco as legitimate inhabitants of the area) would be granted the vote in the Sahrawi independence referendum, and the ballot would be split three ways by the inclusion of an unspecified "autonomy", further undermining the independence camp. Morocco was also allowed to keep its army in the area and retain control over all security issues during both the autonomy years and the election. In 2002, the Moroccan king stated that the referendum idea was "out of date" since it "cannot be implemented";[24] Polisario retorted that that was only because of the King's refusal to allow it to take place.

In 2003, a new version of the plan was made official, with some additions spelling out the powers of the WSA, making it less reliant on Moroccan devolution. It also provided further detail on the referendum process in order to make it harder to stall or subvert. This second draft, commonly known as Baker II, was accepted by the Polisario as a "basis of negotiations" to the surprise of many.[25] This appeared to abandon Polisario's previous position of only negotiating based on the standards of voter identification from 1991 (i.e. the Spanish census). After that, the draft quickly garnered widespread international support, culminating in the UN Security Council's unanimous endorsement of the plan in the summer of 2003.

End of the 2000s[edit]

North Western Sahara landscape.

Baker resigned his post at the United Nations in 2004; his term did not see the crisis resolved.[26] His resignation followed several months of failed attempts to get Morocco to enter into formal negotiations on the plan, but he met with rejection. The new king, Mohammed VI of Morocco, opposes any referendum on independence, and has said Morocco will never agree to one: "We shall not give up one inch of our beloved Sahara, not a grain of its sand."[27]

Instead, he proposes, through an appointed advisory body Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), a self-governing Western Sahara as an autonomous community within Morocco. His father, Hassan II of Morocco, initially supported the referendum idea in principle in 1982, and in signed contracts with Polisario and the UN in 1991 and 1997. No major powers have expressed interest in forcing the issue, however, and Morocco has shown little interest in a real referendum.

The UN has put forth no replacement strategy after the breakdown of Baker II, and renewed fighting has been raised as a possibility. In 2005, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan reported increased military activity on both sides of the front and breaches of several cease-fire provisions against strengthening military fortifications.

Morocco has repeatedly tried to get Algeria into bilateral negotiations, based on its view of Polisario as the cat's paw of the Algerian military. It has received vocal support from France and occasionally (and currently) from the United States. These negotiations would define the exact limits of a Western Sahara autonomy under Moroccan rule but only after Morocco's "inalienable right" to the territory was recognized as a precondition to the talks. The Algerian government has consistently refused, claiming it has neither the will nor the right to negotiate on the behalf of the Polisario Front.

Demonstrations and riots by supporters of independence and/or a referendum broke out in the Moroccan-controlled parts of Western Sahara in May 2005 and in parts of southern Morocco (notably the town of Assa). They were met by police. Several international human rights organizations expressed concern at what they termed abuse by Moroccan security forces, and a number of Sahrawi activists have been jailed. Pro-independence Sahrawi sources, including the Polisario, have given these demonstrations the name "Independence Intifada", while most sources have tended to see the events as being of limited importance. International press and other media coverage has been sparse, and reporting is complicated by the Moroccan government's policy of strictly controlling independent media coverage within the territory.

Dakhla Bay, near Dakhla.

Demonstrations and protests still occur, even after Morocco declared in February 2006 that it was contemplating a plan for devolving a limited variant of autonomy to the territory but still explicitly refused any referendum on independence. As of January 2007, the plan had not been made public, though the Moroccan government claimed that it was more or less complete.[28]

Polisario has intermittently threatened to resume fighting, referring to the Moroccan refusal of a referendum as a breach of the cease-fire terms, but most observers seem to consider armed conflict unlikely without the green light from Algeria, which houses the Sahrawis' refugee camps and has been the main military sponsor of the movement.

In April 2007, the government of Morocco suggested that a self-governing entity, through the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), should govern the territory with some degree of autonomy for Western Sahara. The project was presented to the UN Security Council in mid-April 2007. The stalemating of the Moroccan proposal options has led the UN in the recent "Report of the UN Secretary-General" to ask the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political solution.[29]

In October 2010 Gadaym Izik camp was set up near El Aaiun as a protest by displaced Sahrawi people about their living conditions. It was home to more than 12,000 people. In November 2010 Moroccan security forces entered Gadaym Izik camp in the early hours of the morning, using helicopters and water cannon to force people to leave. The Polisario Front said Moroccan security forces had killed a 26-year-old protester at the camp, a claim denied by Morocco. Protesters in Laayoune threw stones at police and set fire to tires and vehicles. Several buildings, including a TV station, were also set on fire. Moroccan officials said five security personnel had been killed in the unrest.[30]

On 15 November 2010, the Moroccan government accused the Algerian secret services of orchestrating and financing the Gadaym Izik camp with the intent to destabilize the region. The Spanish press was accused of mounting a campaign of disinformation to support the Saharwi initiative, and all foreign reporters were either prevented from travelling or else expelled from the area.[31] The protest coincided with a fresh round of negotiations at the UN.[32]

Politics[edit]

A police checkpoint in the suburbs of Laayoune.

Sovereignty over Western Sahara is contested between Morocco and the Polisario Front and its legal status remains unresolved. The United Nations considers it to be a "Non-Self-Governing Territory".

Formally, Morocco is administered by a bicameral parliament under a constitutional monarchy. The last elections to the parliament's lower house were deemed reasonably free and fair by international observers.[citation needed] Certain powers, such as the capacity to appoint the government and to dissolve parliament, remain in the hands of the monarch. The Morocco-controlled parts of Western Sahara are divided into several provinces that are treated as integral parts of the kingdom. The Moroccan government heavily subsidizes the Saharan provinces under its control with cut-rate fuel and related subsidies, to appease nationalist dissent and attract immigrants from Sahrawis and other communities in Morocco proper.[33]

The exiled government of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a form of single-party parliamentary and presidential system, but according to its constitution, this will be changed into a multi-party system at the achievement of independence. It is presently based at the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria, which it controls. It also controls the part of Western Sahara to the east of the Moroccan Wall, known as the liberated territories. This area has a very small population, estimated to be approximately 30,000 nomads.[34] The Moroccan government views it as a no-man's land patrolled by UN troops. The SADR government whose troops also patrol the area have proclaimed a village in the area, Bir Lehlou, as SADR's provisional capital.

Human rights[edit]

A sangar (fortification) from the Western Sahara conflict. The fortification is built of rocks on top of a mesa overlooking the Grart Chwchia, Al Gada, Western Sahara. The Sangar is facing north and was probably built by the Sahrawis in the 1980s.
Sahrawi human-rights defender Ali Salem Tamek in Ait Meloul Prison, Morocco.[35]

The Western Sahara conflict has resulted in severe human rights abuses, constantly reported by external reporters and HR activists,[36] most notably the displacement of tens of thousands of Sahrawi civilians from the country, the expulsion of tens of thousands of Moroccan civilians by the Algerian government from Algeria,[37] and numerous casualties of war and repression.

During the war years (1975–91), both sides accused each other of targeting civilians. Moroccan claims of Polisario terrorism has generally little to no support abroad, with the US, EU, AU and UN all refusing to include the group on their lists of terrorist organizations. Polisario leaders maintain that they are ideologically opposed to terrorism, and insist that collective punishment and forced disappearances among Sahrawi civilians [38] should be considered state terrorism on the part of Morocco.[39] Both Morocco and the Polisario additionally accuse each other of violating the human rights of the populations under their control, in the Moroccan-controlled parts of Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria, respectively. Morocco and organizations such as France Libertés consider Algeria to be directly responsible for any crimes committed on its territory, and accuse the country of having been directly involved in such violations.[40]

Morocco has been repeatedly criticized for its actions in Western Sahara by international human rights organizations such as:

POLISARIO has received criticism from the French organization France Libertes on its treatment of Moroccan prisoners of war,[62] and on its general behaviour in the Tindouf refugee camps in reports by the Belgian commercial counseling society ESISC, or European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center.[63][64] A number of former Polisario officials who have defected to Morocco accuse the organisation of abuse of human rights and sequestration of the population in Tindouf.[65][66]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[edit]

Moroccan regions and provinces[edit]

Three Moroccan regions are within or partly within Western Sahara:

Morocco controls territory to the west of the berm (border wall) while the Sahrawi Republic controls territory to the east (see map on right).

Dispute[edit]

Remains of the former Spanish barracks in Tifariti after the Moroccan air strikes in 1991.

The Western Sahara was partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring the northern two-thirds of the territory.[67] When Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979, Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control over the whole territory.[67] The official Moroccan government name for Western Sahara is the "Southern Provinces", consisting of the Río de Oro and Saguia el-Hamra regions.

The portion not under the control of the Moroccan government is the area that lies between the border wall and the actual border with Algeria (for map see Minurso map). The Polisario Front claims to run this as the Free Zone on behalf of the SADR. The area is patrolled by Polisario forces,[68] and access is restricted, even among Sahrawis, due to the harsh climate of the Sahara, the military conflict and the abundance of land mines. Landmine Action UK undertook preliminary survey work by visiting the Polisario-controlled area of Western Sahara in October 2005 and February–March 2006. A field assessment in the vicinity of Bir Lahlou, Tifariti and the berms revealed that the densest concentrations of mines are in front of the berms. Mines were laid in zigzags up to one meter apart, and in some parts of the berms, there are three rows of mines. There are also berms in the Moroccan-controlled zone, around Dakhla and stretching from Boujdour, including Smara on the Moroccan border. However, mine-laying was not restricted to the vicinity of the berms; occupied settlements throughout the Polisario-controlled areas, such as Bir Lahlou and Tifariti, are ringed by mines laid by Moroccan forces.[69]

Despite this, the area is traveled and inhabited by many Sahrawi nomads from the Tindouf refugee camps of Algeria and the Sahrawi communities in Mauritania.[34] United Nations MINURSO forces are also present in the area. The UN forces oversee the cease-fire between Polisario and Morocco agreed upon in the 1991 Settlement Plan.[70]

The Polisario forces (of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army, SPLA) in the area are divided into seven "military regions", each controlled by a top commander reporting to the President of the Polisario proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.[68][71] The total size of the Polisario's guerrilla army present in this area is unknown, but it is believed to number a few thousand men, despite many combantants being demobilized due to the cease-fire.[71] These forces are dug into permanent positions, such as gun emplacements, defensive trenches and underground military bases, as well as conducting mobile patrols of the territory.[68][72][not in citation given]

A demonstration in Madrid for the independence of the Western Sahara.
Topography of Western Sahara.

Major Sahrawi political events, such as Polisario congresses and sessions of the Sahrawi National Council (the SADR parliament in exile) are held in the Free Zone (especially in Tifariti and Bir Lehlou), since it is politically and symbolically important to conduct political affairs on Sahrawi territory. In 2005, MINURSO lodged a complaint to the Security Council of the United Nations for "military maneuvers with real fire which extends to restricted areas" by Morocco.[73] A concentration of forces for the commemoration of the Saharawi Republic’s 30th anniversary[74] were however subject to condemnation by the United Nations,[75] as it was considered an example of a cease-fire violation to bring such a large force concentration into the area. In late 2009, Moroccan troops performed military maneuvers near Umm Dreiga, in the exclusion zone, violating the cease-fire. Both parties have been accused of such violations by the UN, but to date there has been no serious hostile action from either side since 1991.

Annual demonstrations against the Moroccan Wall are staged in the region by Sahrawis and international activists from Spain, Italy, and other mainly European countries. These actions are closely monitored by the UN.[76][not in citation given]

During the joint Moroccan–Mauritanian control of the area, the Mauritanian-controlled part, roughly corresponding to Saquia el-Hamra, was known as Tiris al-Gharbiyya.

Geography[edit]

Western Sahara is located in Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco. It also borders Algeria to the northeast.

The land is some of the most arid and inhospitable on the planet. The land along the coast is low, flat desert and rises, especially in the north, to small mountains reaching up to 600 metres (2,000 ft) on the eastern side.

While the area can experience flash flooding in the spring, there are no permanent streams. At times a cool off-shore current can produce fog and heavy dew.

Economy[edit]

Aside from its rich fishing waters and phosphate reserves Western Sahara has few natural resources and lacks sufficient rainfall and fresh water resources for most agricultural activities. The territory has one of the of the world’s largest reserves of phosphate deposits located in Bou Craa which is owned by the Office Cherifien des Phosphates, a Moroccan state agency.[77][clarification needed] There is speculation that there may be off-shore oil and natural gas fields, but the debate persists as to whether these resources can be profitably exploited, and if this would be legally permitted due to the Non-Self-Governing status of Western Sahara (see below).

Western Sahara's economy is based almost entirely on fishing and phosphate mining which employs two thirds of its work force.[78] Some lesser extent agriculture and tourism also contribute to the territory's economy. Most food for the urban population comes from Morocco. All trade and other economic activities are controlled by the Moroccan government.(as its defacto southern province) The government has encouraged citizens to relocate to the territory by giving subsidies and price controls on basic goods. These heavy subsidies have created a state-dominated economy in the Moroccan-controlled parts of Western Sahara.

Recently leaked United States diplomatic cables reveal that the territory is somewhat an economic burden for Morocco;[78] the Moroccan $800 million US subsidy program to Western Sahara was said to be one of the largest per-capita aid programs in history.[78] Supporting life in a territory with scarce fresh water resources is extremely costly. For example, the entire drinking water for the city of Laayoune comes from desalinization facilities and costs 3 US dollars per cubic meter but is sold at the national price of 0.0275 US dollars; the difference is paid for by the government of Morocco.[78] Fuel is sold at half the price, and basic goods are heavily subsidized;[78] businesses operating in the territory do not pay taxes.[78] All of this is done to keep the balance of Western Sahara's finances.[78] The territory is otherwise thought to be economically unviable and unable to support its population without the Moroccan subsidies.[79] The cable concluded that the territory is unlikely to ever be of any economic benefit for Morocco even if offshore oil fields were to be discovered and exploited.[78]

Due to the disputed nature of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory, the application of international accords to Western Sahara is highly ambiguous. Political leadership of trade agreement signatories such as the United States (US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement) and Norway (European Free Trade Association trade accord) have made statements as to these agreements' non-applicability—although practical policy application is ambiguous.[80][81][82]

Exploitation of natural resources[edit]

Satellite image of El Aaiún is the capital of Western Sahara

After reasonably exploitable oil fields were located in Mauritania, speculation intensified on the possibility of major oil resources being located off the coast of Western Sahara. Despite the fact that findings remain inconclusive, both Morocco and the Polisario have signed deals with oil and gas exploration companies. US and French companies (notably Total and Kerr-McGee) began prospecting on behalf of the Moroccan Office National de Recherches et d’Exploitations Petrolières (ONAREP).[83]

In 2002, Hans Corell, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and head of its Office of Legal Affairs issued a legal opinion on the matter.[83] The opinion was rendered following an analysis of relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations General Assembly resolutions, the case law of the International Court of Justice and the practice of sovereign states.[83] It concluded that while the existing exploration contracts for the area were not illegal, "if further exploration and exploitation activities were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the principles of international law."[83] After pressures from corporate ethics-groups, Total S.A. pulled out in late 2004.[84]

In May 2006, the remaining company Kerr-McGee also left following sales of numerous share holders like the National Norwegian Oil Fund, due to continued pressure from NGOs and corporate groups.[85]

The European Union fishing agreements with Morocco include Western Sahara.

In a previously confidential legal opinion (published in February 2010, although it was forwarded in July 2009), the European Parliament’s Legal Service opined that fishing by European vessels under a current EU – Morocco fishing agreement covering the Western Sahara’s waters is in violation of international law.[86]

Similarly, the exploitation of phosphate mines in Bou Craa has led to charges of international law violations and divestment from several European states.[87]

Demographics[edit]

Morocco built several empty towns in Western Sahara, ready for Refugees coming back from Tindouf[88]

The indigenous population of Western Sahara is usually known in Western media as Sahrawis. But they are also referred to in Morocco as "Southerners" or "Southern Berbers". They are Hassaniya-speaking or Berber-speaking tribes of Berber origin. Many of them have mixed Berber-Arab heritage, effectively continuations of the tribal groupings of Hassaniya-speaking and Zenaga-Berber speaking Moorish tribes extending south into Mauritania and north into Morocco as well as east into Algeria. The Sahrawis are traditionally nomadic bedouins with a life style very similar to that of the Tuareg Berbers from whom Sahrawis most likely have descended, and they can be found in all surrounding countries. War and conflict has led to major population displacement.

As of July 2004, an estimated 267,405 people (excluding about 160,000 Moroccan military personnel) lived in the Moroccan-controlled parts of Western Sahara. Many people from parts of Morocco have come to live in the territory, and these latest arrivals are today thought to outnumber the indigenous Western Sahara Sahrawis. The precise size and composition of the population is subject to political controversy.

The Polisario-controlled parts of Western Sahara are barren. This area has a very small population, estimated to be approximately 30,000 in 2008.[34] The population is primarily made up of nomads who engage in herding camels back and forth between the Tindouf area and Mauritania. However, the presence of mines scattered throughout the territory by the Moroccan army makes it a dangerous way of life.

Spanish census and MINURSO[edit]

A 1974 Spanish census claimed there were some 74,000 Sahrawis in the area at the time (in addition to approximately 20,000 Spanish residents), but this number is likely to be on the low side, due to the difficulty in counting a nomad people, even if Sahrawis were by the mid-1970s mostly urbanized. Despite these possible inaccuracies, Morocco and the Polisario Front agreed on using the Spanish census as the basis for voter registration when striking a cease-fire agreement in the late 1980s, contingent on the holding of a referendum on independence or integration into Morocco.

El Mchaouar square, El Aaiún, Western Sahara.

In December 1999, the United Nations' MINURSO mission announced that it had identified 86,425 eligible voters for the referendum that was supposed to be held under the 1991 Settlement plan and the 1997 Houston accords. By "eligible voter" the UN referred to any Sahrawi over 18 years of age that was part of the Spanish census or could prove their descent from someone who was. These 86,425 Sahrawis were dispersed between Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara and the refugee camps in Algeria, with smaller numbers in Mauritania and other places of exile. These numbers cover only Sahrawis 'indigenous' to the Western Sahara during the Spanish colonial period, not the total number of "ethnic" Sahrawis (i.e., members of Sahrawi tribal groupings), who also extend into Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. The number was highly politically significant due to the expected organization of a referendum on self-determination.

The Polisario has its home base in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria, and declares the number of Sahrawi population in the camps to be approximately 155,000. Morocco disputes this number, saying it is exaggerated for political reasons and for attracting more foreign aid. The UN uses a number of 90,000 "most vulnerable" refugees as basis for its food aid program.

Culture[edit]

The major ethnic group of the Western Sahara are the Sahrawis, a nomadic or Bedouin ethnic group speaking the Hassānīya dialect of Arabic, also spoken in much of Mauritania. They are of mixed Arab-Berber descent, but claim descent from the Beni Hassan, an Arab tribe that have migrated across the desert in the 11th century.

Physically indistinguishable from the Hassaniya speaking Moors of Mauritania, the Sahrawi people differ from their neighbours partly because of different tribal affiliations (as tribal confederations cut across present modern boundaries) and partly as a consequence of their exposure to Spanish colonial domination. Surrounding territories were generally under French colonial rule.[citation needed]

Like other Saharan Bedouin and Hassaniya groups, the Sahrawis are mostly Muslims of the Sunni branch and the Maliki fiqh. Local religious custom (Urf) is, like other Saharan groups, heavily influenced by pre-Islamic Berber and African practices, and differs substantially from urban practices. For example, Sahrawi Islam has traditionally functioned without mosques in the normal sense of the word, in an adaptation to nomadic life.[citation needed]

The original clan-/tribe-based society underwent a massive social upheaval in 1975 when the war forced part of the population to settle in the refugee camps of Tindouf, Algeria, where they remain. Families were broken up by the dispute.

The Museum of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army is located in this refugee camp. This museum is dedicated to the struggle for the independence of Western Saharan people. It presents weapons, vehicles and uniforms, as well as abundant documentation history.

Cross-cultural influence[edit]

The contemporary history of the territory has experienced long-term international presence and occupation that has deeply influenced the cultural practices of the people, such as languages spoken throughout the territory and its institutions.[89] Spanish colonization lasted roughly from 1884-1976, following the creation of the Madrid Accords where Spain absolved all responsibility over the territory and left it to Morocco and Mauritania.[90]

Throughout the nine decades of Spanish colonial presence, one of the primary spoken languages in the Western Sahara came to be Spanish. The reasons for its widespread usage was due to the necessity of communicating with Spanish leadership and administrators throughout the territory, whom ultimately established institutions modeled after those of Spain.[89] The importance and prevalence of Spanish has persisted to the present day, even after Spanish withdrawal from the Western Sahara in 1976, due to various education exchanges and host programs for Sahrawi children to Spain and Cuba.[91]

One such exchange program to Spain is Vacaciones en Paz (Vacations in Peace), which is an annual holiday program that was created in 1988 and is organized by the Union of Sahrawi Youth (UJSARIO) in collaboration with 300 other associations throughout Spain.[92] The program itself allows 7,000 to 10,000 Sahrawi children between the ages of 8 and 12 the opportunity to live in Spain for the summer outside of the refugee camps. Sometimes children return to the same Spanish household year after year while they are still eligible, and forge strong relationships with their host families.[92] These types of exchange programs that successfully create cross-border and cross-cultural relationships reinforce the usage of the Spanish language throughout subsequent generations of Sahrawi children.

Gender relations[edit]

A collage of Sahrawi women, including human rights activist Aminatou Haidar.

Much Spanish literature and recent refugee studies scholarship has been dedicated to the exploration of the major role women play in Sahrawi society, and the degree of freedom they experience within the occupied territory and the refugee camps. There is a consensus among Sahrawi women that they have always enjoyed a large degree of freedom and influence within the Sahrawi community.[93]

Traditionally, Sahrawi women have played pivotal roles in Sahrawi culture, as well as in efforts to resist colonialism and foreign interference in their territory.[94] Similar to other nomadic traditions on the African continent, Sahrawi women traditionally exercised significant power and occupied leadership roles both in the camp and in their tents. Women were present, and at times dominant, in both the public and private spheres of Sahrawi life.

Sahrawi women could inherit property, subsist independently from their fathers, brothers, husbands, and other male relatives.[94] Women were key for establishing alliances through marriage, being that the Sahrawi culture values monogamy, with their tribe and to others.[95] Furthermore, Sahrawi women were endowed with major responsibility for the camp during long periods of absence by the men of the camp due to war or trade. Among the responsibilities women had were setting up, repairing, and moving the tents of the camp, and participating in major tribal decisions.[96]

In the contemporary history of the Western Sahara, women have occupied central roles and been highly represented in the political sphere.[97] During Spanish colonial rule, Sahrawi women actively provided financial and physical support to the resistance movements during the 1930s, 50s, and the late 1960s.[94] In more official ways, women were consistently part of the Sahrawi National Liberation Movement, otherwise known as the Frente Polisario, which in 1994 created the National Union of Sahrawi Women (NUSW).[97] The NUSW was structured at the local, regional, and national levels and concentrated on four areas: the occupied territories and emigration, information and culture, political and professional development, and foreign affairs.[97]

Art and cultural expression[edit]

Graffiti art, by prominent Spanish artist MESA, in Dakhla refugee camp.

FiSahara International Film Festival is an annual film festival that takes place in one of the southwestern refugee camps in Algeria.[98] At this event, actors, directors, and film industry insiders from around the world join the Sahrawi people for a week-long festival of screenings, parallel activities, and concerts. The festival provides entertainment and educational opportunities for Sahrawi refugees alongside cultural celebrations for visitors and spectators. It aims to raise awareness of the humanitarian crises in the refugee camps, and expose the Sahrawi people to this medium of art and expression.[99]

Another example of graffiti art on a wall in Dakhla refugee camp, by Spanish artist MESA.

Highly renowned Spanish filmmakers and actors, such as Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Pedro Almodóvar have supported and attended the festival. In 2013, the festival screened over 15 films from around the world including comedies, short films, animations, and documentaries. Some of the films were made by the refugees themselves.[100] Art as embodied in film has been a strong and popular medium that Sahrawi youth have used to express themselves, and share their stories of conflict and exile.

ARTifariti, the International Art and Human Rights Meeting in Western Sahara, is an annual art workshop set up in the Liberated Zone and refugee camps, specifically in Tifariti, that brings artists from all over the world. This event led to the introduction of graffiti art to the camps, and popular graffiti artists have come to the workshop to work with refugees.[101] One such artist was Spanish street artist MESA, who travelled to the Sahrawi refugee camps in 2011 and displayed his own graffiti throughout the landscape .[102] His canvases of choice were destroyed walls, which he brought back to life through his art.

MESA inspired other Sahrawis to express themselves and embody their national struggle through art and graffiti. One such artist is Mohamed Sayad, a Sahrawi artist that has been transforming the refugee camp landscape by creating works of art amongst the devastation in camps that have existed for four decades.[102] His canvases, much like MESA, are walls that have been ruined by massive floods in the Sahrawi refugee camps in southwestern Algeria. Sayad's work tells a consistent story, one that draws on his experience of protracted conflict and a life under Moroccan occupation. Sayad's graffiti depicts aspects of Sahrawi culture, and includes actual Sahrawi people as his subjects.[102]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Regions and Territories: Western Sahara". BBC News. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Q&A: Western Sahara Clashes". BBC News. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Jensen, Erik (2005). Western Sahara: Anatomy Of A Stalemate. International Peace Academy Occasional Paper Series. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 48. ISBN 1-58826-305-3. 
  4. ^ "Western Sahara". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  5. ^ {{url=http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Western%20Sahara%7Ctitle=Western Sahara Summary Statistics|publisher=UN data |author=United Nations Statistics Division |year=2014 |accessdate=3 April 2014}}
  6. ^ Ahmed R. Benchemsi and Mehdi Sekkouri Alaoui. "Au cœur du polisario". Telquel. Retrieved 23 September 2011. [dead link] "Tout cela se paie en dinars algériens".
  7. ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009). World Population Prospects, Table A.1 (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  8. ^ Mariano Aguirre, Vers la fin du conflit au Sahara occidental, Espoirs de paix en Afrique du Nord Latine in: Le Monde diplomatique, Novembre 1997
  9. ^ United Nations General Assembly (16 December 1965). "RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DURING ITS TWENTIETH SESSION, resolution 2072 (XX), QUESTION OF IFNI AND SPANISH SAHARA". 
  10. ^ a b "Milestones in the Western Sahara Conflict". [dead link]
  11. ^ González Campo, Julio. "Documento de Trabajo núm. 15 DT-2004. Las pretensiones de Marruecos sobre los territorios españoles en el norte de África (1956–2002)" (in Spanish). es:Real Instituto Elcano. p. 6. 
  12. ^ The only part of the coast outside the berm is the extreme south, including the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula.
  13. ^ Baehr, Peter R. The United Nations at the End of the 1990s. 1999, page 129.
  14. ^ "Arab League supports Morocco's Territorial Integrity", Arabic News, Morocco-Regional, Politics, 8 January 1999[unreliable source?]. Retrieved 24 August 2006.[unreliable source?]
  15. ^ "Arab League Withdraws Inaccurate Moroccan maps", Arabic News, Regional-Morocco, Politics, 17 December 1998. Retrieved 24 August 2006.[unreliable source?][unreliable source?]
  16. ^ United Nations Security Council: Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara (S/2006/249) paragraph 37, p. 10
  17. ^ Handloff, Robert. "The West Sudanic Empires". Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c History of Ibn Khaldun Volume 6, pp80-90 by Abderahman Ibn Khaldun
  19. ^ "al-Anis al-Motrib Rawd Al-Qirtas fi Tarikh Moulouk al-Maghrib wa Fas by Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Abdallah ibn Abi-Zarae al-Fassi
  20. ^ "ICE Conflict Case ZSahara". .american.edu. 17 March 1997. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  21. ^ Tomás Bárbulo, "La historia prohibida del Sáhara Español," Destino, Imago mundi, Volume 21, 2002, Page 292
  22. ^ iBi Center. "NATO PA – Archives". Nato-pa.int. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  23. ^ United Nations Security Council Document S-2000-461 on 22 May 2000 (retrieved 10 August 2007)
  24. ^ "CountryWatch – Interesting Facts Of The World". Countrywatch.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  25. ^ Shelley, Toby. Behind the Baker Plan for Western Sahara, Middle East Report Online, 1 August 2003. Retrieved 24 August 2006.
  26. ^ Western Sahara: Baker Resigns As UN Mediator After Seven Years
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ "afrol News – No plans for referendum in Western Sahara". Afrol.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  29. ^ Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara (13 April 2007)(ped). UN Security Council
  30. ^ "Deadly Clashes as Morocco Breaks Up Western Sahara Camp". BBC News. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  31. ^ Black, Ian (15 November 2010). "New Expulsions of Spanish Citizens from Western Sahara". El País (English edition circulated with Herald International) (PDF). 
  32. ^ Black, Ian (12 November 2010). "Deadly Clashes Stall Western Sahara-Morocco Peace Talks". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  33. ^ Thobhani, Akbarali. Western Sahara Since 1975 Under Moroccan Administration: Social, Economic, and Political Transformation. Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 0-7734-7173-1. 
  34. ^ a b c "Norwegian Refugee Council Report: Western Sahara, Occupied country, displaced people, 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  35. ^ "Violent aggression against the Saharawi political prisoners in Salé". SPS. 02/12/2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  36. ^ Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK (25 August 2012). "A Brush With Morocco's Secret Police in Laayoune, Moroccan-Occupied Western Sahara (PHOTOS)". Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Amnesty International | Working to Protect Human Rights". Web.amnesty.org. Retrieved 13 February 2012. [dead link]
  39. ^ "Western Sahara - Sahara Occidental - Akhbar Es-Sahra 2". Arso.org. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  40. ^ Morocco's Memorandum to UN unveils Algiers' responsibility in Sahara conflict, political parties, Arabic News, Morocco-Algeria, Politics, 29 September 2004[unreliable source?]
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Morocco/Western Sahara: Activists Need Fair Trial". Human Rights Watch. 9 December 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  43. ^ "Western Sahara: Keeping It Secret – The United Nations Operation in the Western Sahara". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  44. ^ "Western Sahara [Morocco] (2006)". Freedomhouse.org. 10 May 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Report of the OHCHR to Western Sahara & the refugee camps in Tindouf 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  47. ^ "Human rights in Morocco & Western Sahara". Derechos.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  48. ^ "Wave of arrests in Western Sahara". Defendinternational.com. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  49. ^ "Morocco: Protect And Preserve Mass Grave Sites". Defendinternational.com. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  50. ^ "Western Sahara: UPDATE – Human rights defenders on hunger strike in protest at continued arbitrary detention". Frontlinedefenders.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  51. ^ "Western Sahara: Severe beating of human rights defender, Mr Mohammed al-Tahleel by security forces". Frontlinedefenders.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  52. ^ "Western Sahara: Torture and solitary confinement of human rights defender Mr Yahya Mohamed el Hafed Aaza". Frontlinedefenders.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  53. ^ "Western Sahara: Systematic repression of human rights defenders". Frontlinedefenders.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  54. ^ (French) Arrestation de M. Duihi Hassan
  55. ^ (French) Harcelement a l'encontre de Mme. Elghalia Dijim et M. Duihi Hassan
  56. ^ "Détentions arbitraires – Poursuites judiciaires – Mauvais traitements". Fidh.org. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  57. ^ (French) Nouvelle condamnation d'un militant sahraoui (French)
  58. ^ Après l'interdiction de trois hebdomadaires au Maroc, RSF et la FIDH dénoncent une décision inique et inacceptable
  59. ^ Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker – Society for Threatened Peoples. "EU ignores violations of human rights in Morocco". Gfbv.de. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  60. ^ Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker – Society for Threatened Peoples. "Almost 700 arrested in the year 2006". Gfbv.de. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  61. ^ OXX Publisher™ (28 March 2008). "Occupied Country, Displaced People". Nrc.no. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  62. ^ "The Conditions of Detentions of the Moroccan POWs Detained in Tindouf (Algeria)". Web.archive.org. 11 December 2005. Archived from the original on 11 December 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  63. ^ "THE POLISARIO FRONT AND THE IRA Two approaches to the process of negotiation". Esisc.net. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  64. ^ ESISC is a Brussels-based commercial firm in the domain of counselling, including among its clients the Moroccan embassy in Belgium
  65. ^ "Quatrème Commission: Le Maroc rest attaché au plan de règlement et a la tenue d'un référendum transparent au Sahara Occidental". United Nations. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  66. ^ "Report: Clan wars and unavoidable scission in Tindouf, defectors". Arabicnews.com. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  67. ^ a b "CIA: The World Factbook: 2006. 'Western Sahara', 266". Cia.gov. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  68. ^ a b c Chris Brazier (December 1998). "Up Against the Wall". New Internationalist Magazine (297). Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  69. ^ “Explosive Ordnance Disposal and technical survey in Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara,” Project proposal, February 2006, pp. 2–4, quoted in Land Mine Report, Western Sahara, footnote 15 and 17.
  70. ^ "MINURSO homepage – mandate". United Nations. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  71. ^ a b Bhatia, Michael (2001). "Western Sahara under Polisario Control: Summary Report of Field Mission to the Sahrawi Refugee Camps (near Tindouf, Algeria)". Arso.org. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  72. ^ Rory Carroll in Tifarity (7 February 2001). "Saharan rebels stranded in camps". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  73. ^ "MINURSO complaint to the UN Security Council (Spanish)" (PDF). Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  74. ^ [2][dead link] Commemoration of the Saharawi Republic’s 30th anniversary in the liberated territories of Western Sahara Sahara Press Service, 27 February 2006[unreliable source?]
  75. ^ United Nations Security Council Document S-2006-249 on 19 April 2006 (retrieved 10 August 2007)
  76. ^ "Secretary General's report to Security Council on Western Sahara, 19 April 2006 (pdf file)". United Nations. 9 September 2002. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  77. ^ T. Riley, Thomas. "WESTERN SAHARA: ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS". US Embassy in Rabat cable. Wikileaks. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  78. ^ a b c d e f g h T. Riley, Thomas. "WESTERN SAHARA: ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS". US Embassy in Rabat cable. Wikileaks. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  79. ^ T. Riley, Thomas. "WESTERN SAHARA: ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS". US Embassy in Rabat cable. Wikileaks. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  80. ^ "Rep. Pitts lauds protection of Sahrawis in Morocco trade pact". House.gov. 22 July 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2011. [dead link]
  81. ^ "Western Sahara excluded from EFTA-Morocco free trade agreement". SPS. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010. [dead link]
  82. ^ "Western Sahara "not part of EFTA-Morocco free trade"". Afrol news. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  83. ^ a b c d United Nations Security Council Document S-2002-161 on 12 February 2002 (retrieved 10 August 2007)
  84. ^ "Upstream Online: Total turns its back on Dakhla block, 2004". Western Sahara Resource Watch. 3 December 2004. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  85. ^ "Last oil company withdraws from Western Sahara". Afrol News. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  86. ^ "European Parliament's lawyers declare EU fishing illegal". wsrw.org. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  87. ^ Chick, Kristen (2013-01-24). "In remote Western Sahara, prized phosphate drives controversial investments". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  88. ^ L'Actuel Maroc, no. 43 (April 2012), p.22
  89. ^ a b San Martin, Pablo (2005). "Nationalism, identity and citizenship in the Western Sahara". The Journal of North African Studies (Taylor & Francis) 10 (3-4): 565–592. 
  90. ^ Mundy, Jacob (2010). Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution. Syracuse UP. 
  91. ^ Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena (July 14, 2009). "Representing Sahrawi Refugees' 'Educational Displacement' to Cuba: Self-Sufficient Agents of Manipulated Victims of Conflict?". Journal of Refugee Studies (Oxford Journals) 22 (3): 323–350. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  92. ^ a b Fiddian, Elena; Chatty, Dawn; Crivello, Gina (December 2005). "Sahrawi Refugee Children in a Spanish Host Program". Forced Migration Online (University of Oxford, Department of International Development). Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  93. ^ Juliano, Dolores (1998). La causa Saharaui y las mujeres: "siempre hemos sido muy libres". Icaria Editorial. 
  94. ^ a b c Lippert, Anne (Spring 1992). "Sahrawi Women in the Liberation Struggle of the Sahrawi People". Journal of Women in Culture and Society (The University of Chicago Press) 17 (3): 636–651. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  95. ^ Mohsen, Safia (Fall 1967). Legal Status of Women among the Awad'Ali' 40 (3). Institute for Ethnographic Research. pp. 153–66. 
  96. ^ de Chassey, Francis (1977). L'etrier, la houe et le livre, societés traditionnelles au Sahara et au Sahel Occidental. Editions Anthropos. 
  97. ^ a b c Mendia Azkue, Irantzu (December 2009). "Local Human Development in contexts of permanent crisis: Women's experiences in the Western Sahara". Journal of Disaster Risk Studies (JAMBA) 2 (3): 159–76. 
  98. ^ Isaacson, Andy (July 28, 2009). "A Desert Film Festival Complete with Camels". The New York Times (Dakhla Refugee Camp, Algeria). Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  99. ^ "FiSahara Film Festival". FiSahara International Film Festival. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  100. ^ "FiSahara Film Festival". FiSahara International Film Festival. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  101. ^ "About ARTifariti". Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  102. ^ a b c Abba, Agaila (February 17, 2014). "These artists are transforming the dreary environment of the Saharawi refugee camps". Retrieved March 16, 2014. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
Sources and further reading
  • Hodges, Tony (1983). Western Sahara: The Roots of a Desert War. Lawrence Hill Books. ISBN 0-88208-152-7. 
  • Jensen, Erik (2005). Western Sahara: Anatomy of a Stalemate. International Peace Studies. ISBN 1-58826-305-3. 
  • Pazzanita, Anthony G.; Hodges, Tony (1994). Historical Dictionary of Western Sahara. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-2661-5. 
  • Shelley, Toby (2004). Endgame in the Western Sahara: What Future for Africa's Last Colony?. Zed Books. ISBN 1-84277-341-0. 
  • Janos, Besenyo (2009). Western Sahara. Pécs: Publikon Publishers. ISBN 978-963-88332-0-4. 

External links[edit]

General information
United Nations
Human rights
Other links