The Third Way in Western Sahara: Realpolitik vs. International Legality

Yahia H. Zoubir

[Publicado en castellano en Nacion Arabe, Vol. 15, No. 45, Septembre 2001, pp. 73-84]


In order to understand the current situation in Western Sahara, it is critical to go back to the late 1980s when a peace process was set in motion. Indeed, in August 1988, the UN arranged for a peace plan the purpose of which was the holding of a referendum on self-determination, along with the implementation of a ceasefire. This became the joint UN-OAU (Organization of African Unity) Peace Plan in 1991; the two protagonists, Morocco and POLISARIO, accepted the plan. With the exception of a meeting between King Hassan and POLISARIO leaders in January 1989, Morocco refused until summer 1997 to hold further direct talks with Sahrawis despite UN and OAU calls for such negotiations and used delaying tactics to prevent the holding of a referendum.

From 1992 to 1997, the situation remained stalemated. Morocco refused to withdraw its military and administrative forces to allow a referendum without constraints. King Hassan II rejected the holding of a genuinely free referendum because of the uncertainty of the result but also because of Algeria's unstable domestic situation in the 1990s. Both outside powers and the UN failed to press the king to end the conflict. One can state in all objectivity that Morocco reneged on the conditions of the peace plan by adding tens of thousands of individuals to the list of voters initially agreed upon and created numerous hurdles for the UN in its attempt to organize a "free and fair" referendum as subscribed to by the United Nations.[1] Other causes of the deadlock were the failure of Morocco and POLISARIO to agree on the criteria for eligibility of voters and the striking partiality of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in favor of the Moroccan position. The POLISARIO Front accepted most modifications introduced in the process of identification of voters, the basis of which was the 1974 Spanish Census of all Sahrawi population. By 1996 the resumption of the war loomed over the region. However, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's choice in March 1997 of James Baker as Special UN Representative for Western Sahara offered some optimism for a peaceful settlement. The stature of the former US Secretary of State and his credibility made it difficult for Morocco to refuse direct negotiations. Thus, Morocco and POLISARIO held several rounds of negotiations in London, Lisbon, and Houston. The final round in Houston in September 1997 produced an agreement on many salient issues, including the criteria for identification, the confinement of troops during the vote, and the role of the UN during the transition period. It also produced a Code of Conduct to guarantee a transparent electoral process.[2] The long-awaited referendum was set for 7 December 1998, but as had become customary since 1992, it never took place due mostly to Moroccan demands for MINURSO to include additional voters. Although the identification process was completed, Morocco introduced yet new demands. The UN set July 2000 as again another date for the referendum.

Important events took place in 1999. First of all, the voter identification process was officially completed in December 1999, the results of which the UN officially announced in January 2000. From the list of 86,436 voters compiled over the 9 previous years by international UN teams on the basis of the criteria accepted by both parties, one could logically deduce that the result of the referendum would be in favor of independence because the number of voters corresponded closely to the Spanish census. This explains precisely why Morocco immediately used and abused the appeals procedure set by the UN Peace Plan and the Houston Accords to introduce 130,000 appeals, 95% of which were devoid of any legal or practical basis. Morocco's aim has since been to turn the appeals procedure into a second identification process, therefore gaining time, and creating a fait accompli situation. The main objective of the delaying tactics has been to maintain Morocco's presence in the occupied territories of Western Sahara through settlers colonization and economic development projects, in addition to an imposing military presence.[3]

Secondly, the election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria and his determination to improve relations with the western neighbor, as well as King Hassan's willingness to cooperate with Bouteflika opened some new perspectives that same year. The seeming revival of the dormant Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) created the hope for a concerted regional solution for this endless conflict. However, the sudden death in July of King Hassan complicated matters because, no matter how radical his position, only Hassan was able to take a bold initiative on Western Sahara. Even though he never earnestly considered the "third way", i.e., autonomy for the Sahrawis, Hassan enjoyed excessive power and could, if necessary, allow the holding of a referendum without endangering the monarchy. His successor, Mohammed VI, did not have that kind of authority. The balance of power between the monarchy and the military has shifted since the passing away of Hassan. Therefore, Mohamed VI could ill-afford to take any bold steps on Western Sahara.

The contention in this article is that the notion of "third way" emerged in this particular context and that France and US support for such option gave the third way its raison d'être. In order to help the new king to consolidate his power, both France and the United States were willing to forsake international law and UN resolutions altogether. Whatever one's opinion concerning the issue, the "third way" is a denial of justice and a blatant violation of international law and UN resolutions.

The Genesis of the Third Way

Although talks about autonomy date back to the 1980s, the "third way" came to the prime light in early 2000. In March of that year, Annan announced that the referendum would not take place before 2002 at the earliest. In April, James Baker visited the Maghreb region to investigate the feasibility of implementing the Houston Accords and how to overcome specific problems obstructing the execution of the peace plan. Baker was pessimistic mainly because of the obstacles created by Morocco and its delaying tactics made possible by UN passivity and the hesitancy of France and the United States, fearful of destabilizing the fragile transition in Morocco. Surprisingly, the idea of a "third way" emerged not because it was seen as a possible political solution to what was described as an intricate problem, but because both France and the United States came to the conclusion that Morocco would never accept the results of a referendum, thus implicitly recognizing that a free and fair referendum would lead to Sahrawi independence. While neither the US nor France stated openly that the UN should abandon the referendum, they gave their support to Kofi Annan, who made no secret of his preference for the so called "third way." In his report to the Security Council in May 2000, Annan stated that: "Given the difficulties over the years in bridging their recurrent differences, and the fact that no enforcement mechanism was envisaged in the settlement plan, it would be essential that the parties [Morocco and POLISARIO] now offer specific and concrete solutions to the multiple problems relating to the implementation of the plan that can be agreed to or, alternatively, be prepared to consider other ways of achieving an early, durable and agreed resolution of their dispute over Western Sahara."[4] The UN Security Council approved Annan's report and hinted that the two parties should seek the so-called "third way". The Council stated that it "decides to extend the mandate of MINURSO until 31 July 2000, with the expectation that the parties will offer the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy specific and concrete proposals that can be agreed to in order to resolve the multiple problems relating to the implementation of the Settlement Plan and explore all ways and means to achieve an early, durable and agreed resolution to their dispute over Western Sahara." [5] Obviously, the last passage in the resolution is an implicit reference to the third way. The major problem with the resolution is that it shifted the focus from attempting to help the parties surmount the obstacles in order to implement the UN peace plan to suggesting an alternative that would do away with previous resolutions and agreements. The resolution also created a crisis within the UN because the majority of its members still support the peace plan.

The direct result of the resolution was a hardening of Morocco's position as witnessed on 28 June during the meeting with POLISARIO in London. Not surprisingly, Moroccans hinted that they would consider some form of autonomy and made no reference to the referendum.[6] Kofi Annan himself admitted in his report of 12 July 2000 that "instead of resolving problems, [the meeting] had in fact moved things backwards as it had deepened the differences between the parties."[7] A close reading of the report indicates quite clearly that both James Baker and Kofi Annan favored an option other than the referendum, which they saw as a "winner-take-all". Lacking in the report of course is any reference to the fact that the process of decolonization in the former colonial world, albeit through various arrangements, followed precisely the "winner-take-all" model, which led to independence.

Clearly, both Annan and Baker became skeptical about the eventuality of a referendum ever being held and thus encouraged both parties to seek a "political solution" because "arriving at a political solution is far more preferable than a breakdown of the process which might lead to a return to hostilities, something that must be avoided at all costs". Obviously, neither the United States nor France, whose bias in favor of Morocco has been unwavering, wished to see a resumption of hostilities.

Undoubtedly, without Algeria and POLISARIO consenting to the third way, imposing that option would result in destabilization not only of the region in general but would also have dire domestic consequences for both Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco. This probably explains why Washington dispatched to the region Deputy Under-Secretary of State for the Near East, Ronald Neumann in order to meet with POLISARIO officials to dissuade them from resuming hostilities. In fact, Sahrawi leaders used the opportunity to reiterate their determination to return to the battlefield in case the UN abandoned the peace plan in favor of autonomy however large that autonomy might be.[8] Algerian [9] and Sahrawi opposition to the third way, as well as UN member states' attachment to UN resolutions, compelled the Security Council to adopt a more balanced resolution. Though it welcomed Annan's report, the Security Council reiterated "full support for the continued efforts exerted by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to implement the Settlement Plan and agreements adopted by the parties to hold a free, fair and impartial referendum for the self-determination of the people of the Western Sahara."[10] The UN SC extended MINURSO's mandate until October 2000; however, the problem remained unchanged given that nothing no tangible actions were taken to move the peace plan forward. And, while Morocco began to contemplate the possibility of a "large autonomy" for the Sahrawis within Moroccan sovereignty, Sahrawis and Algerians maintained that only the agreed upon UN Peace Plan and referendum could put an end to the conflict. Noteworthy here is the fact that while the "third way" became a reference, Moroccans themselves had absolutely no interest in making concrete proposals for such option. Put bluntly, France concocted this concept and convinced the United States that it may be the best option to resolve the conflict.[11]

In fall 2000, Morocco, while paying lip service to UN resolutions and the 1997 Houston Agreements, insisted on no less than annexation of Western Sahara into the Kingdom of Morocco,[12] vague proposals for a large autonomy for the Sahrawis within "Morocco's sovereignty and territorial integrity",[13] notwithstanding. The Sahrawis, like Algeria, remained attached to the peace plan, whereas, according to Annan, Morocco "reaffirmed its readiness to explore every avenue&to work out a lasting and definitive solution that would take account of Morocco's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the specifics of the region, in compliance with the democratic and decentralization principles that Morocco wished to develop and apply, beginning with the Sahara region."[14]

Undoubtedly, the role of outside powers, such as France and the United States has strengthened Morocco's position on Western Sahara. France in particular has not only reinvigorated Morocco's opposition to the referendum, but it has also made serious efforts to weaken the Algerian regime. Therefore, in order to understand the developments that have taken place since spring 2001, it is important to review, though briefly, the roles that France and the United States have played in the conflict.

France, the United States, and the "Third Way"[15]


Despite US world hegemony, the role of France in the Maghreb remains preponderant. With respect to the conflict in Western Sahara, France's official neutrality is similar to US "neutrality" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In other words, France is as pro-Moroccan as the US is pro-Israeli. Neither conservatives nor socialists in France have ever been favorable to the establishment of a Sahrawi independent state. In the current geopolitical context, it is certain that France will continue to oppose the emergence of a new state in an area which France considers vital from an economic, strategic, and military point of view.

Regardless of the ups and downs in the past, French-Moroccan relations have been quite strong and stable. President Jacques Chirac's friendship with the Moroccan monarch is no secret. For their part, the socialists have supported Moroccan Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi since his appointment by King Hassan in 1998. Economic considerations are also important since France is Morocco's main economic partner. Because of its considerable economic, cultural, and political interests in Morocco, France has supported the Moroccan position on Western Sahara. In fact, it persuaded some African countries to withdraw their recognition of the SADR. France wishes Morocco's annexation of Western Sahara. There is no doubt that factors that tended to weaken the Algerian regime, especially the military,[16] served France's objective of supporting Morocco on Western Sahara without alienating Algeria since attacks on the Algerian regime came not always directly from the French Government but from French intellectuals, NGOs, and other politicians.[17]

In sum, one should expect France to continue supporting Morocco on the question of Western Sahara but will also assist it against its recovering neighbor, which supports the Sahrawis, especially at a time when the young monarch is confronted with serious domestic difficulties.

The United States

The United States is a traditional ally of Morocco. However, improvement of relations with Algeria has made all-out support for Morocco implausible. Furthermore, Congress, despite pro-Moroccan positions of the Israeli lobby, has not been as blatantly pro-Moroccan as the Administration. In fact, Sahrawis have steadfast support among some Democratic and Republican members of Congress. This explains why the Administration has sought to avoid resumption of hostilities because policymakers are aware that in such scenario, Congress would not endorse military support for Morocco. The Administration has also been careful not to alienate Algeria.[18]

Unlike France, which prefers bilateral relations and a "divide-and-rule policy", US policymakers have sought a resolution of the Sahrawi conflict "albeit preferably in Morocco's favor" in order to speed up the process of regional integration upon which the Eizenstat economic initiative rests. Americans hope that such integration would create the conditions for a market wide enough to attract US investments.

But, whatever their respective objectives, both France and the United States continue to push for the "third way" because they are convinced that Sahrawis would win a free and fair referendum and that Morocco would never accept such verdict. However, instead of nudging Morocco to pursue the legal route, they devised a way that would circumvent the referendum. In other words, unlike what happened in the Iraq-Kuwait situation, the colonizer would be rewarded for not complying with international law. It is within this perspective that one should analyze the attempt in May-June 2001 to substitute the "third way" for the referendum.

 The UN "Framework on the Status of Western Sahara": A Moroccan Plan

Although Morocco officially denied proposing any alternative to the peace plan, it did in fact submit to Sahrawis, through James Baker, an autonomy plan for Western Sahara. Before dealing with the plan, one should point out that in the year 2001 the UN made intense efforts to impose the so-called "third option". Subsequent to the crisis of the January 2001 Paris-Dakar Rallye, when POLISARIO suspended at the last minute resumption of military hostilities due to Algeria's crucial intervention (along with UN and US interventions), Kofi Annan, in his February 2001 report still mentioned the possibility to expedite the appeals procedures. At the same time, he set out to legitimize the mission of his personal envoy James Baker to find an alternative solution to the conflict that would be acceptable to both parties. The reference to the appeals procedure is crucial because the UN itself admitted in its own words that it COULD do something about the issue, what's more, quickly, thus opening the way again to the holding of the referendum of self-determination for the Sahrawi people. However, while doing so, Annan also sought to legitimize Baker's attempts to find an alternative solution to the 1991 UN Peace Plan. The momentum towards the legitimation of the abandonment of the Peace Plan accelerated in Annan's 24 April 2001 report [19] in which there is no longer any reference to possible efforts to expedite the appeals procedure. Instead, the conclusion stressed that the only progress registered was made in seeking a possible "3rd way" out of the conflict. The crisis triggered by the 20 June 2001 SG's report was therefore quite predictable and well prepared: despite the repeated and explicit rejection of any 3rd way expressed by the POLISARIO Front, despite the fact that a few months before the UN had recognized that it could deal rapidly with the problems of the appeals to the identification procedure"thus removing the last obstacle to the implementation of the referendum of self-determination"Annan now openly infringed upon international legality and fundamental principles of the UN Charter by attempting to impose as the only solution to the conflict in Western Sahara the "3rd way" now renamed "the framework accord.

"The plan [20] submitted to POLISARIO on 5 May 2001 would simply consecrate the integration of Western Sahara into Morocco. The leadership of POLISARIO regarded this Plan as a carbon copy of the Moroccan views. They believed that should the content of the plan be known, Baker's reputation as a negotiator would be damaged: POLISARIO immediately and totally rejected the plan, but agreed to keep silent about its embarrassing content. They sent one of their emissaries to New York with counter proposal from POLISARIO that they thought would overcome the stalemate while remaining within the framework of the 1991 UN Peace Plan. No doubt that Annan was decided to impose in his report to the Security Council the Baker Plan as the only solution to the conflict in Western. Details of the plan were leaked to the Spanish press. On 14 and 15 June 2001the Spanish daily EL PAIS commented that under Moroccan autonomy, as conceived in the Baker Plan, Sahrawis would enjoy a level of autonomy much smaller than the autonomous regions of Spain.This is how public opinion discovered even before the Annan's report was made public, that under the Baker Plan, Sahrawis would be offered some elusive executive and legislative powers. The legislative assembly would be elected by Sahrawis but also by Moroccan settlers! The most outrageous proposition is that anyone residing for more than a year would be eligible to vote for the assembly. In the proposed scheme, Morocco would retain full sovereignty over the Territory, including money, flag, custom, foreign affairs, national defense, justice, communications, interior affairs, and police. Objectively, one could hardly distinguish the proposed plan from French and British colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s. Even though the proposal does not totally reject the referendum, it would have to wait for a five-year interim period. Given that Moroccans control the interregnum, there is no doubt that Western Sahara would ultimately be simply integrated into the Kingdom of Morocco. In other words, Morocco would allow a referendum on self-determination under the condition that Western Sahara remain Moroccan!

The Moroccan proposal should not have come as a surprise; however, the most astounding fact is that both Baker and Annan championed it. In truth, Annan submitted the Moroccan proposal as a UN "Framework Agreement on the Status of Western Sahara".[21]In order to better convince the Sahrawis and other parties concerned in the conflict (Algeria, and Mauritania) to accept the UN/Moroccan proposal, Annan emphasized in his report to the Security Council that except for the ceasefire, the main provisions of the UN Settlement Plan have failed. Oddly enough, in paragraph 22, Annan adopts Javier Perez de Cuellar's view in his 19 December 1991 report concerning the difficulty of identifying Sahrawi voters, even though it is common knowledge that de Cuellar had made that observation as a concession to the Moroccans just a few days before leaving office.[22] Once again, Annan questioned the feasibility of the referendum because of its "winner-take-call", zero-sum game character. A close analysis of Annan's report demonstrates unmistakably his willingness to reject the UN peace plan because Moroccans would not accept defeat and because the UN allegedly "lack[s] an enforcement mechanism for the results of the referendum" In sum, from Annan and Baker's perspective, given that Morocco would not accept the almost certain loss in the referendum, the UN must do away with the possibility of Sahrawi independence and offer Sahrawis limited autonomy, or rather forced integration, under Moroccan sovereignty. Worse still, the Secretary-General argues that the proposed framework for the "population of Western Sahara""thus denying the existence and identity of Sahrawi people"offers what may be the last window of opportunity for years to come. Annan insisted that this opportunity ought to be seized by all parties concerned&as well as those of the countries in the region.[23]

Algeria rejected the Framework proposal and accused the UN of having violated its neutrality in the conflict and Annan of blatantly championing the Moroccan option.[24] Algeria was not alone in rejecting the Framework proposal. A number of US Senators, such as Edward Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, and John Kerry, expressed their concern that the UN would "abandon the referendum and support a solution that proposes integrating the Western Sahara into Morocco against the will of the Sahrawi people".[25]

Opposition from POLISARIO, Algeria, members of the US Congress, and many members of the United Nations, including Russia, forced the Security Congress to weigh carefully the implications of the Secretary-General's controversial and manifestly biased report and proposal. The report indubitably deviates from the agreed upon 1991 UN/OAU Peace Plan, aimed at decolonization of Western Sahara, and openly violates international legality. This explains why, despite France's unashamed push for the Moroccan position, American and British support for Baker's approach, and China's alignment with Morocco, a compromise resolution was voted unanimously at the Security Council. This compromise resulted from the resolute stance of countries such as Jamaica, Russia, and Ireland, among others. Apparently, though not part of the UN Security Council and despite its multifaceted interests in Morocco, Spain played a positive role and opposed the Framework Agreement. In UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1359/2001,[26] the Council simply states that it has considered the report of the Secretary-General but does add further comment about it let alone adopt it, as is customary. The Council renews MINURSO's mandate until 30 November 2001, "supports" direct or proximity talks between the parties in conflict, and "encourages" POLISARIO and Morocco to talk about the draft Framework Agreement. The resolution also negates the "third way" as the only other alternative to the referendum since it urges the parties to "discuss any proposal for a political solution, which may be put forward by the parties, to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement." Though not rejecting the draft Framework Agreement, the resolution "encourages" the parties to discuss it and "to negotiate any specific changes they would like to see in this proposal." Clearly, Annan's attempts to impose the Moroccan "solution" failed. Furthermore, the Council rebuffed him since the Council decided to examine the proposals that POLISARIO submitted to overcome the obstacles to the holding of the referendum, proposals that Annan had refused to consider. The resolution clearly maintains the referendum as an objective.


In addition to being a violation of internationally sanctioned agreements, the "third way" option in Western Sahara is a factor of instability in the Maghreb region. While normalization between Algeria and Morocco is necessary for regional integration, offering Western Sahara to Morocco on a silver platter would aggravate tensions between the two countries. Algerian policymakers would perceive such action as a reward for Moroccan irredentism and a threat to their national security and would prepare for yet another conflict with Morocco.

One can hypothesize that France is opposed to Maghrebi integration and thus encourages the rivalry between the two key regional actors in order to prevent the United States which has been calling for such integration from penetrating what could prove to be a lucrative market and constitute real competition for France in the region. A united Maghreb, representing a larger market would definitely be more attractive to US investors.

Whether one looks at the "third way" from a realpolitik perspective or from the standpoint of international law, it remains a dangerous proposition. Furthermore, whatever one's point of view, denying the Sahrawi people the right to self-determination is an injustice that will forever haunt world conscience.

*I would like to thank Laurence Mazure for her comments on an earlier version of this article.


[1] The best account on the duplicity between the UN and Morocco is that of Ambassador Frank Ruddy, Deputy Chair of the MINURSO voter- identification commission in 1994; see his speech delivered at the conservative political action conference (C-PAC), Mayflower Hotel, Washington D.C., 23 February 1996. See also his testimony in the US Congress. Congress of the United States. House of Representatives. Committee on Appropriations. Review of United Nations Operations and Peacekeeping, Washington, DC, January 25, l995 Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies.

[2] Yahia H. Zoubir and Daniel Volman, "The United States and Conflict in the Maghreb," Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3 (winter 1997/8): 10-24.

[3] Yahia H. Zoubir, "Western Sahara: Political Economy of a Conflict," in Economic Crisis and Political

Change in North Africa, edited by Azzedine Layachi, Praeger Publishers, 1998, pp. 149-163.

[4] United Nations, Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation ConcerningWestern Sahara, S/2000/461, 22 May 2000.

[5] United Nations, Security Council,S/RES/1301 (2000), 31 May 2000.

[6] Interview with POLISRIO official who attended the meeting.

[7] United Nations, Security Council. >Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation ConcerningWestern Sahara. S/2000/683, 12 July 2000.

[8] See SADR's Ambassador to Algiers, Malainine Sedik's interview in Le Matin (Algiers), 23 July 2000.

[9] See Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's statement during his official visit to Paris in El Watan (Algiers), 17 June 2000. See also Bouteflika's reiteration of Algeria's position, Le Matin, 1 July 2000 and Algérie Presse Service, 17 July 2000.

[10] United Nations, Security Council, S/RES/ 1309, 25 July 2000.

[11] In discussion the author held with US officials, it was rather clear that the idea originated in Paris. In fact, some pro-Moroccan writers close to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs advanced such an idea as elaborated in the article by Rémy Leveau and Khadidja Mohsen-Finan, "L'Affaire du Sahara Occidental," Etudes, 392, 1 (3221), (January 2000): 11-22.

[12] See François Soudan, Maroc-Algérie"Embrassades et bruits de bottes," Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent, No. 2082 (5-11 December 2000): 37-39).

[13] Moroccan Foreign Minister Mohamed Benaissa as quoted in Arabicnews, 9 December 2000. Even though diplomats speak about Morocco's willingness to grant large autonomy to Sahrawis, Moroccans made no concrete moves to support such claims. Not until March-April 200, and quite reluctantly, did they advance some far-fetched proposals.

[14] United Nations, Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation ConcerningWestern Sahara. S/2000/1029, 25 October 2000.

[15] For a detailed analysis, see Yahia H. Zoubir, "Geopolitics of the Western Sahara Conflict," in Zoubir, Editor,North Africa in Transition: State, Society, and Economic Transformation in the 1990s, (Gainesville, FL: UniversityPress of Florida, 1999, pp. 195-211 and Yahia H. Zoubir and Stephen Zunes, "United States Policy in the Maghreb," inibid, pp. 227-243.

[16] One can cite the publication of two books that sought to implicate security forces in the massacres of the population or the events in the Kabylie region. Despite the questionable nature of the two books, the publicity that they enjoyed worldwide discredited the regime, which had just begun to recover from a decade-long battle against Islamist insurgents.

[17] Following the events in the Kabylie region, French officials, including Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine called on the Algerian to take bold measures to surmount the crisis. France played a key role in pushing the European Union to make a statement on Algeria which practically legitimized the revolt in the Kabylie. For a good analysis, see "Après les dernières declarations de Védrine," Le Quotidien d'Oran, 23 June 2001; 19 June 2001, and 7 July 2001.

[18] Interviews with high-ranking members at US Department of State, Washington, DC, May 2000.

[19] United Nations, Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation Concerning Western Sahara. S/2001/398, 24 April 2001.

[20] See, Representation for Europe of POLISARIO Front, Brussels, 20 June 2001 ( See also, United Nations, Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation Concerning Western Sahara. S/2001/613, 20 June 2001, p. 2.

[21] United Nations, Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation Concerning Western Sahara. S/2001/613, 20 June 2001.

[22] Yahia H. Zoubir and Daniel Volman, "The New World Order and the Case of the Western Sahara: US Foreign Policy in Transition," Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 2, spring 1993, pp. 108-120.

[23] United Nations, Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation Concerning Western Sahara. S/2001/613, 20 June 2001, p. 10.

[24] United Nations, Security Council. Letter dated 21 June 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council. S/2001/623, 22 June 2001.

[25] United States Senate, Letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, 22 June 2001. See also the letter that some US Congressmen Joseph Pitts and Donald Payne addressed to President George Bush on 19 June 2001 (

[26] United Nations Security Council, Resolution 1359 (2001) Adopted by the Security Council at its 4342nd meeting, on 29 June 2001. S/RES/1359 (20001), 29 June 2001.