Western Sahara's much-touted phosphate reserves are relatively unimportant, representing less than two percent of proven phosphate reserves in Morocco. 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. Open letter to President Ramaphosa, AU Chair African Union Summit ‘Silencing the Guns’ Member states and activists have used the summit to call on the AU to put more pressure on Morocco and the United Nations to revive the peace process and organise an independence referendum in Western Sahara. Families were broken up by the dispute. Morocco has been repeatedly criticized for its actions in Western Sahara by international human rights organizations including: The POLISARIO has received criticism from the French organization France Libertes on its treatment of Moroccan prisoners of war,[72] and on its general behaviour in the Tindouf refugee camps in reports by the Belgian commercial counseling society ESISC. 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 Arab tribes and formed a culture unique to Morocco and Mauritania. Sayad's graffiti depicts aspects of Sahrawi culture and includes actual Sahrawi people as his subjects. UN Security Council, "Deadly Clashes as Morocco Breaks Up Western Sahara Camp", "New expulsions of Spanish citizens from Western Sahara", "Deadly Clashes Stall Western Sahara-Morocco Peace Talks", "Morocco Suffers Legal Setback As EU Official Declares Western Sahara 'Not Part of Morocco, "UN Document Says Morocco Violated Western Sahara Cease-Fire", "Norwegian Refugee Council Report: Western Sahara, Occupied country, displaced people, 2008", "First foreign diplomatic post opens in Western Sahara", "Sahara: Gambia Opens Consulate in Dakhla, Dealing another Hard Blow to Polisario", "Sahara: Guinea Opens Consulate in Dakhla, Another Diplomatic Setback for Polisario", "Gabon Opens Consulate General in Laayoune", "Violent aggression against the Saharawi political prisoners in Salé", "A Brush With Morocco's Secret Police in Laayoune, Moroccan-Occupied Western Sahara (PHOTOS)", Maroc/Algérie. 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. [81][84] 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 combatants being demobilized due to the cease-fire. The African Union however has not issued any formal statement about the border separating the sovereign territories of Morocco and the SADR in Western Sahara, until their conflict is resolved. [citation needed]. [17][18] The Beni Hassan then were at constant war with the Lamtuna nomadic Berbers of the Sahara. 43 (April 2012), p.22", "Representing Sahrawi Refugees' 'Educational Displacement' to Cuba: Self-Sufficient Agents of Manipulated Victims of Conflict? 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. For example, all 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. 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). Annual demonstrations against the Moroccan Wall are staged in the region by Sahrawis and international activists from Spain, Italy, and other mainly European countries. Elghalia Dijim et M. Duihi Hassan, "Détentions arbitraires – Poursuites judiciaires – Mauvais traitements", Nouvelle condamnation d'un militant sahraoui, "Après l'interdiction de trois hebdomadaires au Maroc, RSF et la FIDH dénoncent une décision inique et inacceptable", "EU ignores violations of human rights in Morocco", "Occupied Country, Displaced People [Updated]", "The Conditions of Detentions of the Moroccan POWs Detained in Tindouf (Algeria)", "The Polisario Front and the IRA – Two approaches to the process of negotiation", a Brussels-based commercial firm in the domain of counselling, Western Sahara and the United States' geographical imaginings, "Quatrème Commission: Le Maroc rest attaché au plan de règlement et a la tenue d'un référendum transparent au Sahara Occidental", "Report: Clan wars and unavoidable scission in Tindouf, defectors", "CIA: The World Factbook: 2006. [77], 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.[78][79]. [6] In 1975, Spain relinquished the administrative control of the territory to a joint administration by Morocco (which had formally claimed the territory since 1957)[7] and Mauritania. Western Sahara was partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring the northern two-thirds of the territory. 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. [5] One year later, a new resolution was passed by the General Assembly requesting that a referendum be held by Spain on self-determination. 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. The SADR government whose troops also patrol the area have proclaimed a village in the area, Bir Lehlou and Tifariti, as SADR's former and actual temporary factual capitals. [114] 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. [92] 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). In the 11th century, the Maqil Arabs (fewer than 200 individuals) settled in Morocco (mainly in the Draa River valley, between the Moulouya River, Tafilalt and Taourirt). [30] His resignation followed several months of failed attempts to get Morocco to enter into formal negotiations on the plan, but he met with rejection. [33], In October 2010 Gadaym Izik camp was set up near Laayoune as a protest by displaced Sahrawi people about their living conditions. 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. During the war years (1975–1991), both sides accused each other of targeting civilians. ", Mohamed Elyazghi au Matin du Sahara: Solution politique au Sahara et refondation de nos relations avec Alger, "Amnesty International | Working to Protect Human Rights", "Western Sahara – Sahara Occidental – Akhbar Es-Sahra 2", Morocco's Memorandum to UN unveils Algiers' responsibility in Sahara conflict, political parties, "Morocco/Western Sahara: Broken Promises: The Equity and Reconciliation Commission and its Follow-up", "Morocco/Western Sahara: No more half measures: Addressing enforced disappearances in Morocco and Western Sahara", "Morocco/ Western Sahara: Further Information on UA 16/08 – Fear of unfair imprisonment/ Prisoners of conscience/ Health concern", "Morocco/ Western Sahara: Three years' imprisonment for putting a profile of Prince Moulay Rachid on Facebook", "Morocco/Western Sahara: New arrests and allegations of torture of Sahrawi human rights defenders", "Morocco/Western Sahara: Justice must begin with torture inquiries", "Morocco/Western Sahara: Torture of detainees must end", "Morocco/Western Sahara: Torture in the "anti-terrorism" campaign – the case of Témara detention centre", "Morocco/Western Sahara: Briefing to the Committee against torture (November 2003)", "Morocco/Western Sahara: reports of secret detention and torture on the rise", "Morocco and Western Sahara Human Rights", "Morocco/Western Sahara: Activists Need Fair Trial", "Western Sahara: Keeping It Secret – The United Nations Operation in the Western Sahara", "Swedish photographer expelled from Western Sahara a day after his arrest", "Journalist assaulted in the name of Moroccan control of Western Sahara", "Journalists working in Western Sahara face assaults, arrests and harassment", "Western Sahara, government corruption and palace life are all off-limits for the press", "Two Norwegian journalists threatened with expulsion", "Morocco puts US censorship busting site Anonymizer.com on its black list", "Appeal court upholds exorbitant damages award against Journal Hebdomadaire", "Report of the OHCHR to Western Sahara & the refugee camps in Tindouf 2006", "Human rights in Morocco & Western Sahara", "Morocco: Protect And Preserve Mass Grave Sites", "Western Sahara: UPDATE – Human rights defenders on hunger strike in protest at continued arbitrary detention", "Western Sahara: Severe beating of human rights defender, Mr Mohammed al-Tahleel by security forces", "Western Sahara: Torture and solitary confinement of human rights defender Mr Yahya Mohamed el Hafed Aaza", "Western Sahara: Systematic repression of human rights defenders", Harcelement a l'encontre de Mme. According Isidoros "lies appear to play some peculiar importance in this report". Traditionally, women have played pivotal roles in Sahrawi culture, as well as in efforts to resist colonialism and foreign interference in their territory. This again brought the process to a halt. 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. Spain began rapidly to divest itself of most of its remaining colonial possessions. Among 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. [11] In both instances, recognitions have, over the past two decades, been extended and withdrawn back and forth, depending on the development of relations with Morocco. Represented by the president of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Najeem Yasin, Ayuba reiterated: “As long as Western Sahara is … Baker resigned his post at the United Nations in 2004; his term did not see the crisis resolved. [35] The protest coincided with a fresh round of negotiations at the UN. [17] During Marinid dynasty rule, the Beni Hassan rebelled but were defeated by the Sultan and escaped beyond the Saguia el-Hamra dry river. Western Sahara is located on the northwest coast in West Africa and on the cusp of North Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, Morocco proper to the north-northeast, Algeria to the east-northeast, and Mauritania to the east and south.[15]. 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. The Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which fought a war from 1975 to 1991, demands a … Trade developed further, and the territory may have been one of the routes for caravans, especially between Marrakesh and Tombouctou in Mali. Instead, the African Union participates with the United Nations mission, in order to maintain a ceasefire and reach a peace agreement between its two members. [49] 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 has repeatedly tried to get Algeria into bilateral negotiations, based on its view of Polisario as the cat's paw of the Algerian military. In 1997, the Houston Agreement attempted to revive the proposal for a referendum but likewise has hitherto not had success. Western Sahara, territory occupying an extensive desert Atlantic-coastal area of northwest Africa. 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. Demonstrations and riots by supporters of independence 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). The Western Sahara conflict has resulted in severe human-rights abuses, constantly reported by external reporters and HR activists,[46] 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,[47] and numerous casualties of war and repression. It has received vocal support from France and occasionally (and currently) from the United States. FIFA Rankings: Algeria keeps its 38th place worldwide, Belgium leading Sahrawi women could inherit property, and subsist independently from their fathers, brothers, husbands, and other male relatives. International press and other media coverage have been sparse, and reporting is complicated by the Moroccan government's policy of strictly controlling independent media coverage within the territory. Brahim Ghali, President of Western Sahara* Brahim Ghali (born 16 September 1948) is the current president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and former SADR Ambassador to Algeria. This second draft, commonly known as Baker II, was accepted by the Polisario as a "basis of negotiations" to the surprise of many. Since a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire agreement in 1991, two-thirds of the territory (including most of the Atlantic coastline—the only part of the coast outside the Moroccan Western Sahara Wall is the extreme south, including the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula) has been administered by the Moroccan government, with tacit support from France and the United States, and the remainder by the SADR, backed by Algeria. Ungoverned Areas, and Safe Havens: The Terrorization of the Western Sahara Peace Process // Fonkem Achankeng. Western Sahara (Arabic: الصحراء الغربية‎‎ aṣ-Ṣaḥrā' al-Gharbiyyah; Berber languages: Taneẓroft Tutrimt; Spanish: Sáhara Occidental) is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. 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. [94][95][96], 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. From the declaration of independence on February 27, 1976 to August 1982, the head of state of the SADR was known as the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council. By 1974–75 the government issued promises of a referendum on independence in Western Sahara. [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. The festival provides entertainment and educational opportunities for Sahrawi refugees alongside cultural celebrations for visitors and spectators. [107] 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. All trade and other economic activities are controlled by the Moroccan government (as its de facto southern province). There was a global trend towards complete decolonization. The UN and the Western Sahara Dispute", Fanack.com independent website that provides non-partisan facts and analysis of the MENA region, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Western_Sahara&oldid=992458681, Arabic-speaking countries and territories, Spanish-speaking countries and territories, Pages with non-numeric formatnum arguments, Articles lacking reliable references from October 2013, Articles with dead external links from January 2020, Articles with dead external links from August 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles lacking reliable references from May 2011, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Articles lacking reliable references from July 2007, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2017, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2010, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2010, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from September 2013, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2011, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from June 2018, Articles with failed verification from February 2007, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2013, Wikipedia external links cleanup from June 2017, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Irene Fernández-Molina and Matthew Porges. 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