Western Sahara: the beginning of a long-lasting solution?

In Africa, there is only one territory that remains politically uncontrolled and under no clear rule, if you put apart countries torn apart by civil war like Libya. This territory, Western Sahara, may find a solution, or at least a beginning of solution in the next couple of weeks if what happened recently is followed by concrete acts.

Two sites of the United Nations mission in Western Sahara (Minurso) were supplied thanks to a convoy between April 5 and 7. Such a convoy had not been seen in the region since 2020. The operation was enforced with the support of neighbor Morocco and Polisario Front in two places called Tifariti and Mehaires. The goal is to keep up the work in the region in order to find a political and long-term solution which can satisfy both parties in a place that is mainly controlled by Morocco. 

Moroccan authorities actually rule 80% of Western Sahara and are wishing to implement a self-government plan…under their rule. On the other hand, Polisario Front aims at respecting the 1991 decision which was supposed to establish an autonomy referendum managed by the UN. It has never been held so far.

Polisario Front, also called Frente Popular de Liberacion de Saguia el Hamra y Rio de Oro in Spanish, is an armed and political group that has been claiming Western Sahara since the seventies and the departure from the Spaniards who used to occupy the territory (1975). After the withdrawal from Spain and Mauritania, Polisario Front has been facing up to Morocco to decide who would control a land that is still considered as a disputed territory.

For the United Nations, Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory. Is the April mission going to make things move on politically speaking between both adversaries Morocco and Polisario Front (that is supported by Algeria)? The issue has been lasting for decades now.


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