International conference on multilateralism and international law,
with Western Sahara as a case study

4 and 5 December 2008
Pretoria, South Africa

Prof. Dr. Smail Debeche
Faculty of Political Sciences and Information, University of Algiers

The International Legality of Western Sahara issue:
the objective and inalienable solution of referendum


The word referendum is too small to its content and value because it means that peoples express freely and fairly their own convictions and choose their own choices and priorities. It is a just and democratic process as well as a civic behaviour and action for the simple reason that it gives the right to people to decide their own faith and way of life.

A conception and process which created modern states and nations as well as formed an international reference for the peoples under colonialism, giving them the right to, democratically, decide the option they prefer through referendum for self-determination.

The presentation contains three points: the international legality of Western Sahara issue; Morocco’s position towards the issue of and actions in Western Sahara; influencing powers in the region and Western Sahara issue.

I. The international legality of Western Sahara issue:

Western Sahara as a colony, since the Berlin Conference (1884) which divided the rest of Africa between European colonial powers, can’t be settled out of its status as such. That means giving the right to the Western Sahara people to decide their destiny through referendum. Based on the international legality and foundations all colonies (with the exception of a few that are still yet to reach such an objective) achieved their independence including the recent ones such as East Timor, Western Sahara, as the last colony in Africa, can’t be an exception.

Otherwise, the world will be facing a dangerous situation in reconsidering what has been achieved through the principle of inherited frontiers by and from colonialism. Claims and actions justified by historical ties have already provoked serious conflicts and wars between many independent countries and damaged security and stability in many regions in the world, Eritrean and Kuwaiti cases were obvious examples. Concerns with such a danger situation and  its serious consequences expressed by the International Court of Justice(ICJ)  stating that frontiers inherited by colonisation must be preserved in order ‘to prevent the independence and stability of new states being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administrating power’(1).    Morocco’s plan of self-autonomy is against the international legality, impractical vis-à-vis previous projects and attempts before and after decolonisation. Acceptance of Morocco’s self-autonomy plan would mean that “for the first time since the founding of the UN and the ratification of the UN Charter more the 60 years ago, the international community would be endorsing the expansion of a country’s territory by military force, thereby establishing a very dangerous and destabilizing precedent”(2).

However, in the case of Western Sahara the historical claims put forward by Morocco are not founded as confirmed by the International Court of Justice (16 October 1975). The latter stressed that justifications and materials presented by Morocco do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity. And there is not any obstacle to put into effect the principle of referendum to self-determination for Western Sahara people in conformity with UN Resolution 1514 in 1960 (3 ).

Time must not be wasted for trying to find out whether Morocco had or had not historical ties with Western Sahara before Spanish colonialism. Respect of inherited frontiers from colonialism is vital for all. Considering Moroccan historical invented claims is a provocation and an excuse for independent countries’ claims to modify their colonial frontiers. Africa is seriously vulnerable to borers’ dispute.

Western Sahara has been, since 1963, registered in the UN as a decolonisation case. That gives the Sahrawi people the right for referendum to self-determination (Resolution 1514). Within such a content of and commitment to the international legality all UN members including Morocco should follow suit. Any other procedures and orientations will be illegal and the country concerned will be out of the international legality as in the case of Morocco .Morocco stood for the position and the principle of referendum for self-determination of Western Sahara people until 1975 when it violated the international legality by becoming a colonial country itself along with Mauritania, the latter was forced to retreat (1979) from its occupied part after resistance by Frente Popular de Liberation de Saguia el Hamra and Rio de oro (POLISARIO established in 1973, gothering Sahrawi independence movements). Mauritanian withdrawal should have marked an end to the Madrid Agreement as it was an undividable  pact by the three interactive parties concerned (Mauritania, Morocco and Spain) .It should also has led Morocco to fellow suite as its joint excuses for and presence in Western Sahara along with Mauritania on longer exist.

The people of Seguia el Hamra and Rio de oro for centuries maintained their own identity (4) (including their Hassania specific Arabic language expressions) as one independent community in all fields and forms characterised by the Sahara nature: organisation in a political form (tribal chiefs led by one chief of all...), social communication, tradition, tolerance, patience, generosity, strong resistance to difficult nature conditions which reinforced their dignity and restless fight against invaders to their land.

POLISARIO has been striving for the independence of Western Sahara in conformity with the international legality and UN system(UN Charter, UN Security Council, UN Fourth Committee On Decolonisation and  legal regional organisations such as the Organisation of African Unity: OAU, later the African Union).

Recent POLISARIO initiative, presented to the UN General Secretary on 10 April 2007 prior to the Security Council Resolution (1754) of 30 April 2007, made it in a more favourable position towards the international legality. The initiative included, in addition to the option of independence, the Moroccan two options of integration and self autonomy in the referendum. Negotiations between Morocco and POLISARIO must be based on those three options and how to put them into effect. Even in the case of the choice of independence POLISARIO’s initiative contains economic guarantees, priorities and privileges to Morocco. The initiative, also, grants both the interests of the Moroccan population residing in Western Sahara and nationality to any Moroccan citizen legally established in the territory(5). In spite of POLISARIO international commitments, Western Sahara people are yet to be given their inalienable right to self-determination.

Moroccan use of force to occupy Western Sahara is illegal to both the UN Resolutions 1514 and 2625(6). The Resolution of 2625 affirmed that every state must refrain from the threat or use of force to violate the existing… boundaries, the act of force will never be recognised as legal’(7). What a contrast Moroccan militarily forces fought against Iraqi occupation of Kuwait (1990-1991) while it is doing the same in Western Sahara as Iraq did in Kuwait

The Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic (SADR), founded in 1976, is recognised by 80 countries.  It is a founding member of the African Union. It exercises its sovereignty over the Sahrawi liberated area including political, social economic and culture activities. The anniversaries of the foundation and congresses of POLISARIO and SADR as well as Sahrawi open parliament sessions have been taking place in Tifariti in the liberated area. The visitor to the liberated area and refugee camps will see a disciplinary organisation of a normal government and state institutions ready for a full independent, modern, democratic and sovereign state with cadres, militants and leading forces highly educated and formed in the West especially in Spain and convinced of Western liberal ideas and democratic institutions.

At the non-official level almost in all countries including those of North America(USA and Canada) and Europe there are forces within their parliaments and non-governmental organisations as well as their local governments (much more in the case of  Spain) recognise the SADR and support the liberation movement of POLISARIO (see point III below in this article). European Coordination Committees in Solidarity with Sahrawi  People (EUCOCO) is a great example. POLISARIO is an observer member of the socialist International. In Morocco itself there are human and political voices such as those of the party of the An-nahj ad-dimoqrati (La Voie Démocratique: the Democratic Way) challenging their government in opposing its human rights’ violation in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and seeking a just solution for the issue.

Non-governmental organisations and some members of parliaments in the world were able to force their governments to refrain from signing the European Union fisheries’ Agreement (June 2006) with Morocco in the occupied territory. Swedish government was an example. A country has no right to exploit natural resources of a non-self-governing territory before referendum is held and the people have decided their destiny of  self-determination(8).

II. Morocco’s position towards the issue of and actions in Western Sahara:
Moroccan is confused and confusing. It adopted policies, took actions and put forward proposals that contradict its claims and sovereignty, not to mention its violation of international legality. The royal system seems to be more interested in preserving the status qua in Western Sahara to serve domestic ends by exporting internal pressure and failures, a traditional behaviour by old fashion political regimes such as the royal regime of Morocco. The use of  the issue of Western  Sahara to escape from internal  problems is widely expressed in Morocco itself as examined by the university professor  the  author, Mohamed Atrokin, arguing that ’the royal institution used the Sahara problem for national mobilisation at the expense of political participation... postponing democracy…the national political parties have shifted the objectivity of political competitiveness in opposition to the royal system from democracy to the field of national unity.... (9) Moroccan confusing policies and contradictory actions vis-à-vis Western Sahara are many and various, here some of them can be examined:

1.    The division of Western Sahara between Mauritania and Morocco according to the Madrid Agreement (14 November 1975) is a recognition that not all Western Sahara territory is wanted by Morocco to be under its sovereignty. Mauritania withdrew from its part of occupation in 1979, Morocco should have done the same. Unfortunately it did not. POLISARIO continued its resistance to Moroccan occupation until a cease-fire held (1991) under the auspices of UN and OAU. The cease-fire included a plan for referendum for self determination by Sahrawi people choosing between integration or independence. A special UN Mission for Referendum (MINURSO) was charged to organise the referendum, a commitment by Morocco is yet to be realised.

2.    Moroccan construction of the wall of 2400 Km long(described by the Sahrawis  the wall of shame) dividing Western Sahara in two parties is another definite recognition of Morocco that not all Western Sahara territory is acquired under Moroccan  sovereignty. The wall is surrounded by more than three million land mines along   the wall.

3.    Morocco has already accepted, in the end, the reality of inherited frontiers from colonialism with the case of Mauritania in 1969, it should, also, do the same with Western Sahara. Moroccan behaviour of breaching countries’ borders took place in all neighbouring countries .In 1958  Morocco  negotiated with the French colonialism the  Algerian frontiers  with the aim of expanding its borders within Algeria while the latter was engaged in the most intensive period (1958-62) of  its war of liberation. A few years later, right after the Algerian independence (1962), Morocco launched (1963) a borders’ war against Algeria. The same situation faced Western Sahara when POLISARIO was fighting (1973-75) Spanish colonialism for freedom, Morocco negotiated with Spain (1975) the Madrid Agreement. In the end Morocco failed in Algeria and Mauritania and will fail in Western Sahara. Morocco royal expansionist thinking and behaviour are widely thought, seriously discussed and supported in and outside of Morocco. Towards such an objective various centres abroad are created and mobilised by elements loyal to royal expansionist thinking such as the American Moroccan Institute (AMI) in New York headed by the Moroccan royal loyalist Mokhtar Ghambo(10).

4.    Moroccan administrative exercises and behaviour in the occupied territory of Western Sahara are colonial in nature and character. They are not different from those of other ex-colonial powers including, exploitation, torturing, massive violations of human rights (detention of hundreds of Sahrawis facing unfair trials and worst conditions in prisons), military oppression exercised by 130.000 Moroccan soldiers (the occupied territory is under a military siege), international media and human rights observers are denied access to the occupied territory. Daily oppression to protests by the indigenous people seeking freedom and independence. The situation in the occupied territory, indeed, by its own confirms that the destiny of the Western Sahara colony can only be settled by the realisation of referendum of the Sahrawi people. In the field and practicality there is really no Moroccan normal presence of sovereignty over the occupied territory. Practically there is a military occupation rejected and resisted daily by the indigenous people since Moroccan occupation in 1975. The civil riots and peaceful movement led by POLISARIO activists have been widely spread out, not only in the occupied territory but also in southern Morocco and Moroccan universities especially since 2005, the year of the beginning of the intensive peaceful intifada (civil protests) across all the occupied territory. The highest stage of protests ending in the intifada since 2005, POLISARIO international activities and diplomatic recognition of the SADR coupled with international pressures by the UNO and the international human rights’ organisations drove Morocco to accelerate its campaign for self-autonomy.

5.    Moroccan proposal of self-autonomy in content means there is a land and a people, it lacks only the sovereignty. This is a Moroccan recognition that Western Sahara as a territory and its people are separated from Morocco. The world of colonialism had already experienced projects of self-autonomy and attempts by ex-colonial powers to preserve their colonies, including Spain for Western Sahara in 1974(it was rejected by the POLISARIO), but they all failed to do so. They were forced to pursue the legal method of self-determination through referendum. Morocco’s attempts to force the artificial project of the Royal Consultative Council for Sahrawi Affairs (CORCAS) has been a failure not only as an institution but also as members who are divided among themselves in relations to POLISARIO and the indigenous Sahrawi people in the occupied territory. A situation that is recognise by Morocco itself, the latter is even considering change of its structure and members including the president of CORCAS itself. A large number of CORCAS members see themselves as deceiving the Western Sahara people, the latter who see them as traitors.
Taking into consideration the above analysis coupled with the economic and strategic priorities of the great powers (see point III bellow), Moroccan gains in the long term in all aspects, forms, considerations can only be maintained through a fair and freedom referendum to the people of Western Sahara. Morocco’s economic interests and gains are more important than political fears (political responsibility and economic costs resulting from Morocco illegal occupation). There are more important Moroccan national and regional gains including economic and trade as well as security cooperation with countries in the region, that will promote a positive and  solid political-  economic image for  Morocco.

Morocco should take its responsibility and engagement in the negotiations out of any other regional considerations or mutual relations. Neighbouring countries as Algeria or Mauritania, for national security reasons, are certainly interested in the issue as it is along their borders, but not concerned. Escalation of the conflict will, of course, be at the expense of stability and security in the region. Mauritania is more sensitive to Morocco’s claims to Western Sahara because that will provoke and justify Morocco royal traditional expansionist policies. Despite its independence in 1960 Mauritania was not recognised by Morocco    until 1969.  In the case of Algeria, the latter which fought a liberation war for the fundamental cause of its own self-determination and independence, it can’t but support the same cause of Western Sahara and other decolonisation cases in the world.

III. Influential powers in the region and Western Sahara issue

Pragmatism and political realism acquire a behaviour out of wishful thinking and self interpretation. It necessitates to comply with the reality of great powers’ economic, political and strategic interests. Morocco is not as important for the West as it was during the Cold War. There are no socialist or capitalist blocs nor are there military pacts of Warsaw and NATO. Morocco then was seen as an allay for the West. Now almost all countries in the world are driven in the same direction of liberalism, economic market, capitalism, globalisation. Morocco is not a priority for powers which have more influence in the region, that is USA, France and Spain. Other African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Libya, and Algeria are better placed to serve their interests. That is not to mention the unacceptable nature of the political content and behaviour system of Morocco which contradicts the conception and structure of a modern state and the requirement of democratic state institutions.

USA, Morocco’s reliance on historical relations with USA or on different means of influence on US state member institutions can never change the position of a great power as USA. The latter is not Spain of General Franco when Morocco exploited the time of Franco’s illness to influence some Spanish elements who pushed the government of Spain to sign the Madrid Agreement. The latter which is regrettable not only by the Spanish people and Spanish state elected institutions but even by some Spanish authorities themselves when they are met individually.

When different representatives of US Secretary of State visited (2005-2006) countries of the region, repeatedly stressed for negotiations between the two parties concerned, Morocco and POLISRIO, on the basis of self determination for Western Sahara people in conformity with international legality. This position found a sharp criticism by Morocco government arguing that it ignores Moroccan right of Western Sahara. However two years later (April 2007) Morocco accepted UN Security Council Resolution to negotiate again with POLISARIO as the only party in the conflict(11).

The original attitude of USA derives from US notion of self-determination for peoples even within one nation such as what is happening in Iraq and other states in the world. It will be naive to believe that USA will press for the integration or annexation of another territory already independent within the content of its colonial status and the international legality. Political thinking of the decision makers in the USA two states serve better US interests.

 More economic, trade, political and strategic cooperation between USA and countries that have positive position in favour of referendum for Western Sahara  people may lead USA to taking seriously its pronounced commitment to the international legality. Indications to such considerations were included in the comments and statement of Condolezza Rice, US Secretary of State, during her visit to Morocco (7 September 2008)(12). US wide strategic view and position in favour of  a separate state for Western Sahara  can be read in the analysis of US distinguished ex-diplomat, John Bolton in his well known presentation to US Defence Forum Foundation  in Washington, D.C (1998) under the title ‘resolving the Western Sahara conflict’ arguing that it is in the interests of USA,UNO and the whole world to pursue the international legality through referendum for Western Sahara issue .failure to do so would be a great ‘defeat for the United Nations. It would.. be a harm to any other possible use of the UN in a related context almost anywhere else around the world’(13).

It is hard to believe that USA and Britain, practically, have different positions toward Western Sahara issue. Britain is more committed to the international legality through referendum for the settlement of the issue as revealed by British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bill Rammel, during his visit to Algeria last month (24 November 2008). (14)

The proposals, plans and work of James Backer, US ex-foreign Secretary and ex-Personal Envoy of UN Secretary–General for Western Sahara could not be shaped out of US general world view and strategy especially Bakers’ last plan (2003) envisaged four to five period of self-governance for the territory at the end of which a referendum would be held. The plan included in the referendum not only the participation of the indigenous Sahrawi people, but also Moroccan residents in the occupied territory. Despite the complex of such a proposal POLISARIO accepted the plan but Morocco rejected it, arguing that the proposal contains the word of independence.

Again Morocco gives illogic argument which can not be realised. How the referendum can be organised without the option of independence as UN General Secretary stated in his report (06 October 2006)(15): “United-Nations could not sponsor a plan that excluded a referendum with independence as an option while cleaning to provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” or as argued by the Ex-Special Envoy James Backer ‘it was inconceivable for a referendum on self-determination organised by the UN not to include the option of independence’(16).

Morocco was afraid that its position may not win the referendum, not only from the indigenous Sahrawis but also from Morocco residents in the occupied territory of Western Sahara. As Mr. Backer said that “the closer we got, the more nervous I think the Moroccans got about whether they might not win the referendum”(17).

Ex-US President (1961-1663) John Kennedy’s commitment to national independence movements when he was a Senator (before 1961) is reflected within influencing US human rights foundations, prominent political and culture personalities, political parties especially in the Democratic Party. An image should influence Obam’s position towards Western Sahara issue. In Washington on 13 November 2008, the Sahrawi human rights defender and ex-prisoner (1987-1991) Mrs. Aminatou Haidar was received and honoured by Robert Kennedy Foundation and given the Price of Kennedy’s Human Rights Award after a choice of 120 candidates around the world. At the ceremony there were Congressmen, influencing figures in the Democratic party, representatives of human foundations. They all expressed their opposition to Moroccan violation of human rights in the occupied territory and stressed their support for Western Sahara people to be given the right to self-determination. Mrs. Aminatou Haidar was descried at the ceremony as’ the Sahrawi Gandhi’(18).

Spain is not only a major interested country in the problem of Western Sahara but also is a concerned ex-colonial power responsible for mishandling policy and actions with the colony. Spain had no right to give its colony to other colonial countries (Morocco and Mauritania) even for administration not annexation as it meant in the Madrid Accords (14 November 1975)(19).

Spain has a great role to play not only for the sake of the realisation of the international legality but also for the sake of the Spanish people themselves. Publically and officially the current Spanish government does not press for the realisation of referendum and international legality, mainly because of economic considerations  and political      views (trade and economic relations, Spanish occupation of Moroccan Mediterranean costal areas of Ceuta, Melila and Penon de veles de la Gomera). However Morocco has never conceded its claims over those areas disregarding to any mutual considerations with Spain. The visit of the King of Spain to Ceuta and Melila on 7 November 2007 met by sharp criticism from the King Mohamed IV and his government including provoking demonstrations and protests against the visit(20).

Spanish people, local and national parliaments and regional government, public opinion, non-governmental organisations, personalities… all stand for referendum of self-determination to Western Sahara people.In Spain there are regularly big demonstrations in the cities, public places and universities as well as debates in local governments and parliaments along with scientific analysis and arguments all against their government position towards Western Sahara issue, pressing for a change that meets the wishes of Spanish people. In Madrid on 15 November 2008, big demonstrations (organised yearly regularly on the occasion of the anniversary of the Madrid Agreement) in favour of Western Sahara people following the international solidarity conference in support of Western Sahara people held in Valencia (7-9 November 2008) in Spain.

The Spanish people consider Madrid Agreement as unacceptable manner to Spain and to Spanish historical ties with Western Sahara people. Despite the colonial character and barriers between Spanish and Sahrawi peoples exercised by Spanish colonialism, there is a profound and well rooted relationship and communication between the Sahrawi and Spanish peoples related to the colonial era. A period which created culture and language common understanding as well as family ties between the two peoples. Almost every Sahrawi family has relatives working in Spain or has a revenue income rights given to those worked in Spain. Thousands of Sahrawis studying in Spain and thousands of Sahrawi children are received every year by Spanish families promoting and reinforcing Sahrawi-Spanish ties. The same is done by the Spanish in the refugee camps staying with Sahrawi families and participating with POLISARIO and SADR organised activities, demonstrations and protests against the occupation of Morocco. This strong Spanish public opinion in favour of self-determination for Western Sahara people coupled with Spain’s rising economic, trade and political priorities with other African countries that have positive attitude towards referendum and international legality in Western Sahara, in addition to the fragile relations between Morocco and Spain because of differences over Spanish colonialism to Moroccan territories of Ceuta, Melila and Penon de veles de la Gomera, should influence Spain to change its position in favour of referendum for the Western Sahara issue. Spain must understand that whatever the extent of its obligations with the European Union as a whole and France in particular Spanish long term interests and priorities are more important. This expected change has already taken place during the period (1996-2004) of Spanish prime minister José María Aznar who took (2001-03) a clear position in favour of self determination for Western Sahara people.

France is the other power with a direct impact on the issue of Western Sahara and on the region as a whole. Theoretically France with its revolution background of freedom and human rights coupled with its position as a great power founder of the UNO and a veto permanent member in the Security Council as well as its historical and political influence and various interest in North Africa, is supposed to be a leading force for the realisation of international legality based on referendum for self-determination of Western Sahara people.

Unfortunately this is not the case of France’s policy in action. Logically and objectively France should have a clear attitude towards  the content of negotiations between the two parties concerned, Morocco and POLISARIO guided by the normal exercises of democracy in which the word independence must be included in referendum. Referendum means open options for the people of Western Sahara (integration, self-autonomy and independence).

 As Spain, France should be more influenced by its national economic interests and priorities before any political-historical considerations in relations to Morocco. National interests have no political or diplomatic colourings or commitments. Qaddafi of Libya was for decades considered an enemy of the West but in December 2007 was highly welcomed in the Afro-European Summit in Portugal, and a few days later he was received with distinction in France. France will gradually shift from Morocco’s position and comply more with African countries that are more important for French interests.

French public opinion is positively developing in favour of the position of POLISARIO, especially French human rights organisations, some members of the parliament and prominent political personalities all of whom are active in France and in Europe as a whole (through EUCOCO) and participate in the activities of POLISARIO and SADR in the liberated area and refugee camps. In Paris on 19 June 2008, members in the French Parliament including prominent political personalities such as Mr. Jean-Paul LECOQ in cooperation with the French Friendship Association of Solidarity with Western Sahara people organised, within the Parliament itself, an international conference of support for the Sahrawi people. The conference was also attended by political forces, members of non-governmental human rights organisations and representatives from political parties including the Socialist Party, in addition to participants from different countries in the world. They all stressed their firm support of the just cause of Western Sahara people and strongly criticised Moroccan oppression and violation of human rights in the occupied territory urging the French government to distant its self from supporting Morocco’s claims and seeking positive and meaningful commitment to the international legality from the referendum.


UN Resolutions and actions for decolonisation on the one hand and the danger for world peace, stability and prosperity in reconsidering the principle of inherited frontiers from colonialism on the other, are enough to motivate the unalienable solution of referendum to Western Sahara. An end that reinforces the international legality and strengthens UN credibility. At the same time the settlement of the issue will promote more opportunities for peace and prosperity in the region and in Africa as a whole. African 53 countries and over 80 independents countries from colonialism must support the decolonisation case of Western Sahara not only for the principle of self-determination and international legality but also for the sake of their own national security. Almost all independent countries have borders’ conflict with their neighbouring countries. Morocco’s claims to the colony of Western Sahara are provoking a danger precedent situation for world stability and security. 

The world  should press for the realisation of the decolonisation of Western Sahara. Western great powers must stick to their created international obligations as they had to do with East Timor, after civil protests and activities in the West. It happened between ex-colonial powers and more than 80 of their colonies, and it should happen, sooner than later, between Morocco and Western Sahara.

World efforts should be devoted to preventing or fighting serious threats to peace, stability and welfare such as terrorism, disease and poverty. It is embarrassing that the world of the 21st century and of globalisation is still yet to bring an end to colonialism and human rights abuse. It is even more embarrassing when powers which were the founders of UN Charter and institutions stand against them. The age of selfishness and chauvinism is short, the nature and the reality always rises. Western Sahara people will see the light, but then those stood against their just cause will have no time to regret. The sooner the better for all.

  1.  See: A.S. Muller, The International Court of Justice: its Future after Fifty Years (London: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1996), p.76. See also Jacob Mundy, ‘The Question of Sovereignty in Western Sahara Conflict’, a Ph.D thesis (UK, Exeter, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, 2007).
  2. Quoting from Stephen Zunes, The Future of Western Sahara (Foreign Policy in Focus), site web of:  
  3. Ibid, see also A.S. Muller, op.cit, pp 76-78 and different articles by Yahia Zoubir. For more details see Sexena Suresh C. The Liberation War in Western Sahara (New Delhi, Vidya Publisher, 1981).
  4.  See for example Pablo San Martin, ‘Nationalism, Identity and Citizenship in the Western Sahara’, the Journal of North African Studies, Vol 10, issue 3 and 4 (2005) pp. 565-592.
  5. Proposal of the Frente POLISARIO for a Mutually Acceptable Political Solution that Provides for the Self-Determination of the People of Western Sahara presented to the UN on 10 April 2008 in the site web : 
  6. See UN Resolutions Adopted by The General Assembly, in the site web of:
  7. Ibid, 2625 (XXV).
  8. See A.S. Muller, op.cit, Stephen Zunes, op.cit and Jacob Mundy, op.cit. 
  9.  Mohamed Atrokin, ‘The political use for the issue of Western Sahara and the questions of the democratic process: the legality, the constitutional document’ (in Arabic), the Arabic Journal of Political Sciences (Lebanon, Beirut), No. 14 (2007) pp. 141-162. the address of the journal:
  10. See views, discussions and reports regularly by the American Moroccan Institute (USA, New York), site web: 
  11. See statements and comments by US official representatives such as David Welch assistant secretary of state during their visits to the region. See also Smail Debeche, ‘Negotiations between Morocco and Western Sahara’, Al-Ahrar, an Algerian newspaper (10 March 2008) pp. 9-10, site web: can also be consulted.
  12. See Amar Rafa, Tournée Maghrébine de Condolizza Rice, La Tribune (Algérie, lundi 8 septembre 2008).
  13. John Bolton, ‘Resolving the Western Sahara conflict’, congressional defense and foreign policy forum 1998 (USA, Washington, D.C., Defense Forum Foundation). 
  14. A.M, la visite en Algérie de Bill Ramel, Le Jeune Indépendant, (Mardi 25 novembre 2008).
  15. Memorandum by the Sahara Government: The Question of Western Sahara, represented to UN General Assembly (September 2008) by SADR Representative in New York. 
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Sahara Press Service (29 November 2008).
  19. See the text of the Madrid Accords, in site web:
  20. See views, arguments, media comment in Moroccan news papers during (6-11 November 2007) the King visit (7 November 2007) to Ceuta and Melila.

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