Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
|Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
|Motto: حرية ديمقراطية وحدة
"Libertad, Democracia, Unidad" (Spanish)
"Liberty, Democracy, Unity"
|Anthem: Yā Banīy As-Saharā
¡O hijos del Sáhara! (Spanish)
Oh Sons of the Sahara
Areas controlled by the SADR in dark green, claimed areas in light green
|Largest city||Laayoune (claimed)|
|•||Prime Minister||Abdelkader Taleb Oumar|
|Legislature||Sahrawi National Council|
|Sovereignty disputed with Morocco|
|•||Western Sahara relinquished by Spain||
November 14, 1975
|•||Republic declared||February 27, 1976|
|•||Territory controlled||20% to 25%d|
|•||Total||266,000b km2 (83rd)
102,703 sq mi
|•||September 2010 estimate||100,000 or 502,585c (182nd)|
|Time zone||UTC (UTC+0)|
|a.||Article 4 of the Sahrawi constitution. The SADR government is based in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria. They control the area east of the Moroccan Wall in Western Sahara which they label the "Free Zone". Former and actual temporary factual capitals Tifariti and Bir Lehlou are within this area.|
|b.||Area of the whole territory of Western Sahara claimed by SADR.|
|c.||500,000 is the estimate given for the population of Western Sahara based on comparative study of population growth since 1975, the date when the last census took place in Western Sahara. 100,000 is the estimated number of people living in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria where the SADR is headquartered.|
|d.||75% to 80% of the claimed territory is de facto under Moroccan administration.|
|e.||Associated with Western Sahara but not yet granted to any claimant.|
|Part of a series on the|
|Western Sahara conflict|
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR; Arabic: الجمهورية العربية الصحراوية الديمقراطية al-Jumhūrīyah al-‘Arabīyah aṣ-Ṣaḥrāwīyah ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah, Spanish: República Árabe Saharaui Democrática) is a partially recognized state that controls a thin strip of area in the Western Sahara region and claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. SADR was proclaimed by the Polisario Front on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlou, Western Sahara. The SADR government controls about 20–25% of the territory it claims. It calls the territories under its control the Liberated Territories or the Free Zone. Morocco controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory and calls these lands its Southern Provinces. The SADR government considers the Moroccan-held territory to be occupied territory, while Morocco considers the much smaller SADR-held territory to be a buffer zone. The claimed capital of the SADR is Laayoune, while the temporary capital has been moved from Bir Lehlou to Tifariti.
Following the Spanish evacuation of Spanish Sahara, Spain, Morocco, and Mauritania signed the Madrid Accords on November 14, 1975, leading to both Morocco and Mauritania moving in to annex the territory of Western Sahara (this has not been recognized by the United Nations, therefore Spain remains the administering power of Western Sahara). Neither state gained international recognition and war ensued with the independence-seeking Polisario Front, claiming to represent the Sahrawi people. The creation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was announced in Bir Lehlou in Western Sahara on February 27, 1976, as the Polisario declared the need for a new entity to fill what they considered a political void left by the departing Spanish colonisers. Bir Lehlou remained in Polisario-held territory under the 1991 cease-fire (see Settlement Plan) and remained the government-in-exile's temporary capital until 2011. The Polisario continues to claim the Moroccan-controlled city of Laayoune as its actual capital. Day-to-day business, however, was conducted in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria, which house most of the Sahrawi exile community.
A new 1999 Constitution of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic took a form similar to the parliamentary constitutions of many European states, but with some paragraphs suspended until the achievement of "full independence". Among key points, the head of state is constitutionally the Secretary General of the Polisario Front during what is referred to as the "pre-independence phase," with provision in the constitution that on independence, Polisario is supposed to be dismantled or separated completely from the government structure. Provisions are detailed for a transitory phase beginning with independence, in which the present SADR is supposed to act as Western Sahara's government, ending with a constitutional reform and eventual establishment of a state along the lines specified in the constitution.
The broad guidelines laid down for an eventual Western Saharan state in the constitution include eventual multi-party democracy with a market economy. The constitution also defines Sahrawis as a Muslim, African and Arab people. The Constitution also declares a commitment to the principles of human rights and to the concept of a Greater Maghreb, as a regional variant of Pan-Arabism.
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The highest office of the republic is the President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, presently Brahim Ghali, who appoints the Prime Minister, presently Abdelkader Taleb Oumar. The SADR's government structure consists of a Council of Ministers (a cabinet led by the Prime Minister), a judicial branch (with judges appointed by the President) and the parliamentary Sahrawi National Council (SNC, present speaker is Kathri Aduh). Since its inception in 1976, the various constitutional revisions has transformed the republic from an ad hoc managerial structure into something approaching an actual governing apparatus. From the late 1980s the parliament began to take steps to institute a division of powers and disentangle the republic's structures from those of the Polisario party, although without clear effect to date.
Its various ministries are responsible for a variety of services and functions. The judiciary, complete with trial courts, appeals courts and a supreme court, operates in the same areas. As a government-in-exile, many branches of government do not fully function, and has affected the constitutional roles of the institutions. Institutions parallel to government structures also have arisen within the Polisario Front, which is fused with the SADR's governing apparatus, and with operational competences overlapping between these party and governmental institutions and offices.
The SNC is weak in its legislative role, having been instituted as a mainly consultative and consensus-building institution, but it has strengthened its theoretical legislative and controlling powers during later constitutional revisions. Among other things, it has added a ban on the death penalty to the constitution, and brought down the government in 1999 through a vote of no-confidence.
The composition of the Sahrawi National Council is as follows:
|Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro||53|
The SADR acted as a government administration in the Sahrawi refugee camps located in the Tindouf Province of western Algeria. It is headquartered in Camp Rabouni, south of Tindouf, although some official events have taken place on Western Saharan territory in the provisional capital of Bir Lehlou, in the new capital Tifariti (which is home to government institutions since 2011) and other towns in the Free Zone Liberated Territories. The government of the SADR claims sovereignty over all of the Western Sahara territory, but has control only within the Free Zone. Several foreign aid agencies, including the UN High Commission for Refugees, and nongovernmental organizationss are continually active in the camps.
International recognition and membership
As of 2016, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has been recognized by 85 states. Of these, 37 have since "frozen" or "withdrawn" recognition for a number of reasons. A total of 40 states maintain diplomatic relations with the SADR. Sahrawi embassies exist in 18 states.
Although it is not recognised by the United Nations, the SADR has held full membership of the African Union (AU, formerly the Organisation of African Unity, OAU) since 1982. 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 participates as guest on meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement or the New Asian–African Strategic Partnership, over Moroccan objections to SADR participation. On the other hand, Morocco's claim to Western Sahara is supported by the Arab League.
The SADR also participated in a conference of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of the Latin American and the Caribbean (COPPPAL), 2006, the SADR ambassador to Nicaragua participated in the opening conference of the Central American Parliament, 2010, and SADR delegation participated in meeting of COPPPAL and International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Mexico City, 2012.
On 27 February 2011, the 35th anniversary of the proclamation of SADR was held in Tifariti, Western Sahara. Delegations, including parliamentarians, ambassadors, NGOs and activists from many countries participated in this event.
Proposed Western Sahara Authority
Under the Baker Plan created by James Baker, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's personal envoy to Western Sahara, the SADR would have been replaced with a five-year transitional Western Sahara Authority (WSA), a non-sovereign autonomous region supervised by Morocco, to be followed by a referendum on independence. It was endorsed by the UN in 2003. However, as Morocco has declined to participate, the plan appears dead.
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 United Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007. A stalemate over the Moroccan proposal led the UN in an April 2007 "Report of the UN Secretary-General" to ask the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political solution.
|Date||Name||Original event / Notes|
|February 27||Independence Day||Proclamation of the SADR in Bir Lehlou, 1976|
|May 10||Foundation of the Polisario Front||Founded 1973|
|May 20||May 20 Revolution||Start of the armed struggle against Spain in 1973|
|June 5||Day of the Disappeared||Remembering missing Sahrawis|
|June 9||Day of the Martyrs||Day on which El-Ouali died in 1976|
|June 17||Zemla Intifada||Harakat Tahrir riots in El-Aaiun, 1970|
|October 12||Day of National Unity||Celebrating the Ain Ben Tili Conference, 1975|
|Dhul Hijja 10||Eid al-Adha||Sacrifice feast|
|Shawwal 1||Eid al-Fitr||End of Ramadan|
|Rabiul Awwal 12||Mawlid||Birth of Muhammad|
- Outline of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- Foreign relations of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- International recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- Moroccan Wall
- List of cities in Western Sahara
- Elections in Western Sahara
- Politics of Western Sahara
- Polisario Front
- Political status of Western Sahara
- "Como saharauis queremos conservar el español". Lavozdegalicia.es. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
- "EL ESPAñOL EN LOS CAMPAMENTOS DE REFUGIADOS SAHARAUIS (TINDUF, ARGELIA)" (PDF). Cvc.cervantes.es. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Until complete independence. Article 32 of the SADR constitution states: The Polisario is the sole political formation allowed for Sahrawis to exercise politics until complete independence SADR. "Constitution of the SADR". Archived from the original on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "Resources". ICANN.org. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "Cuadro de zonas de división del Sáhara Occidental" (PDF) (in Spanish). Suevia2008.googlepages.com. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Article 6 of the Sahrawi constitution. Article 2 prescribes that “Islam is the state religion and source of law”.
- "NAM reiterates support to right of Saharawi people to determination". Sahara Press Service. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "Algeria praises NAM’s continued support to struggle of Saharawi people for self-determination". Sahara Press Service. 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "South Africa". ARSO - Association de soutien à un référendum libre et régulier au Sahara Occidental. 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- South African Broadcasting Corporation (2006-09-01). "Asia-Afro partnership meeting kicked off today". South African Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-01.
- South African Broadcasting Corporation (2006-09-02). "Moroccan objections taint Asian-Africa meeting". South African Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-02.
- "Arab League supports Morocco's territorial integrity". Arabic News. 1999-01-08. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
- "Arab League withdraws inaccurate Moroccan maps". Arabic News. 1998-12-17. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
- Prensa Latina (2006-09-11). "LatAm, Caribbean Parties in Nicaragua". Prensa Latina. Retrieved 2006-09-11.
- "Saharawi Ambassador to Nicaragua participates in meetings of PARLACEN". SPS. 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2010-02-07.[dead link]
- "Saharawi Representation to Mexico attends COPPPAL-ICAPP meeting". Sahara Press Service. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "Western Sahara: 35 years of colonisation and exile is enough | Kenworthy News Media - development & socio-political issues". Stiffkitten.wordpress.com. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- [dead link]
- "Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara" (PDF). UN Security Council. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
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- Official SADR pages
- (Spanish) Polisario.es (Official website of the Sahrawi Delegation in Spain)
- (Arabic) (English) (French) (Spanish) Sahara Press Service (SPS) (official SADR press agency)
- (Arabic) (Spanish) RASD TV (official TV channel)
- (Arabic) (Spanish) SADR National Radio (official radio channel)
- SADR Oil & Gas 2005 (SADR oil and gas licensing offer)
- (Spanish) Sahara salud (dependency of the Health ministry of the SADR)
- (Arabic) (Spanish) Economic development ministry of the SADR
- (Spanish) Ministry of Culture of the SADR
- (Spanish) UJSARIO (Sahrawi Youth Union. Dakhla refugee camp section blog)
- (Spanish) UNMS (Association of Sahrawi Women in Spain)
- SADR pages
- (Spanish) Sahara Today (Independent Digital Journal Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic)
- (Arabic) (Spanish) Futuro Saharaui (Saharawi first independent magazine founded in 1999)
- (Spanish) FiSahara (Festival de cine del Sahara - Sahara Film Festival)
- (Spanish) El Bubisher (Bookmobile and permanent Libraries Project in the Saharawi refugee camps)
- (Spanish) EFA Abidin Kaid Saleh de la RASD (Audiovisual Education School Abidin Kaid Saleh of the SADR)
- (Spanish) ARTifariti (International Meetings of the Art in the Liberated Territories of SADR)
- Profile of Western Sahara on the CIA World Factbook website (including data and political information)
- Janos, Besenyo (2009). Western Sahara (PDF). Pécs: Publikon Publishers. ISBN 978-963-88332-0-4.