Polisario’s Isolation At International Level Increasingly Deepening – OpEd


In a joint press conference with the Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, the Zambian foreign minister Harry Kalaba announced the Zamian government official decision to withdraw its recognition of the so-called SADR and break off its diplomatic relations with this fake entity.

The Zambian Minister went on to say that the Government of the Republic of Zambia expresses its “strong support for the efforts of the United Nations under the auspices of the Security Council and the Secretary General (of the organization) to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara conflict, in line with Security Council.

Undoubtedly, the Polisario’s isolation at the international level is increasingly deepening.

Self-proclaimed in 1976, this entity has never been recognized by the UN, neither by any European states or by the US and Canada. Today, some African countries and others from South America, which had recognized it as a “Republic on paper” during the cold war era, have started reconsidering their decision. In the agitation of the 1960′s and 70s of the last century, Algeria and the toppled Kaddafi regime tried by all means to weaken Morocco, which they regarded as pro-Western and represented a political system that they diametrically abhorred.

By welcoming the separatist Polisario Front and providing it with arms and money, they have tried to impose a republic on the international community. After 40 years of the proclamation of the co-called RASD, increasingly more international stakeholders have come to the conclusion that it is not realistic to establish a state that does not the have the characteristics of becoming viable over the medium and long-term. More and more aware that the Western Sahara problem is in fact a regional conflict, and result of Cold War friction, the essentially African and Latin-American countries that had previously recognized the so-called republic have thus started withdrawing their recognition of an entity that does not exist in reality.

During the last decade, many countries have recanted their decision taken at times of upheaval. This hemorrhage of recognition weakens more the Polisario which is increasingly coming under the pressure of the international community, which seems determined to put an end to the Sahara conflict.

An increasing number of international observers and diplomats call on the United Nations to hasten its process of finding a long-lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the Sahara conflict and build on the Autonomy Plan presented by Morocco to Security Council in April 2007. The plan, which was described by members of the Security Council in several resolutions as “serious” and “credible” is considered as a middle ground solution that save face for both Morocco and the Polisario. The plans would enable the Saharawi population to run its affairs and elect an assembly, while remaining under Moroccan sovereignty. If the Sahrawis want to take up the autonomy challenge, they must “take their future in their own hands” and seize the opportunity of the different projects initiated and the tremendous efforts made by Morocco in its southern provinces.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

One thought on “Polisario’s Isolation At International Level Increasingly Deepening – OpEd

  • July 14, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    In response to some of the misrepresentations contained in this article, which only parrot uncritically Morocco’s official narrative, here are some well-established
    facts about the origin and history of the conflict in Western Sahara conflict
    between Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO, the sole and legitimate representative
    of the Sahrawi people:

    First, the origins of the conflict in Western Sahara go back to 1975 when Morocco and Mauritania jointly invaded and occupied by force the Territory following the departure of the colonial power, Spain. The root causes of the conflict, however, lie in the expansionist ideology of the so-called “Greater Morocco” and the territorial claims that Morocco subsequently laid on its neighbours. It was advanced in the late 1950s by the leader of the ultranationalist Istiqlal party, shortly after Morocco gained its independence in March 1956. This ideology was immediately embraced by the
    Moroccan ruling monarchy as a central element of its policy domestically and
    regionally. It asserted that the then Spanish Sahara, all of Mauritania, a
    large part of western Algeria and even St. Louis du Sénégal and a slice of
    northern Mali (including Timbuktu) all belonged historically to Morocco!

    It is an established fact that it took Morocco nine years to recognise Mauritania as an independent country; it also tried to occupy by force a part of the Algerian western desert in 1963. In political terms, however, the Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara was a premeditated manoeuvre by King Hassan II in order to divert the attention of his people from the growing crisis of legitimacy that the Alawite monarchy was facing at that time. It also aimed at building a national consensus in a period of internal instability and neutralising the threat of the army after two coup attempts against the King in July 1971 and August 1972. As a relatively poor country,
    which was having an increasing demographic growth, Morocco was also keenly
    interested in the abundant natural resources of the Territory, particularly
    phosphate and fish. The Cold War geostrategic considerations moreover had a
    significant bearing on Morocco’s move into Western Sahara. It is an open secret
    that, before and after the outbreak of the conflict, Morocco received huge
    political and military support from major Western powers, particularly the US
    and France, as an act of political expediency grounded in East–West political
    alliances. In sum, the monarchy’s dire need for an outlet for its legitimacy
    crises and growing domestic problems was the real reason behind Morocco’s move
    to invade and occupy Western Sahara.

    Second, consistent with its policy of not recognising as legal any territorial acquisition resulting from the use of force, the UN has never recognised the legality of Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara. Moreover, the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 1975 and the legal opinion of the UN Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs of 29 January 2002 affirm clearly that Morocco does not exercise any sovereignty or administration over Western Sahara. It is simply an occupying power of the Territory in line with General Assembly resolutions 34/37 of 21
    November 1979 and 35/19 of 11 November 1980. This explains the fact that today
    there is no single country, regional or international organisation in the world
    that recognises Morocco’s claims of sovereignty and occupation of Western
    Sahara. Meanwhile, the Sahrawi Republic (SADR), proclaimed by the Sahrawi people on 27 February 1976, is a full and founding member of the African Union and has been recognised by over 80 countries worldwide as a sovereign state of which a great part is under foreign occupation.


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