Morocco’s deputy FM 5 Feb said Morocco would “never recognise” Western Sahara’s independence. Armed independence movement Polisario Front’s UN representative Ahmed Boukhari 14 Feb said Morocco must recognise Western Sahara’s independence or face sanctions or requests to leave AU, which Morocco rejoined in Jan and which recognises Saharawi people’s right to self-determination. Morocco 26 Feb unilaterally withdrew troops from Guerguerat region near Mauritania border after months-long standoff; Polisario troops remained.
The Western Sahara conflict is both one of the world’s oldest and one of its most neglected.
The combination of Morocco’s recent proposal of a “Sahara autonomous region”, the Polisario Front’s counter-proposal of independence with guarantees for Moroccan interests and the UN Security Council’s 30 April resolution calling for direct negotiations between the parties – due to begin on 18 June – has been hailed as a promising breakthrough in the protracted Western Sahara dispute.
Originally published in Al Hayat
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal Europe