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Western Sahara

CrisisWatch Western Sahara

Unchanged Situation

Tensions persisted as Polisario Front independence movement contested Rabat’s economic and diplomatic moves on disputed territory. Polisario Front’s representative in Spain, Abdulah Arabi, 7 Aug protested airline Binter Canarias’ recent decision to resume flights to and from Morocco-controlled Western Sahara, arguing it constitutes “violation of international law” and reiterating “any economic activity in the territory requires the consent of the Sahrawi people”. Algeria 24 Aug cut diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing “hostile actions”; relationship between Algiers and Rabat has long been strained, notably over Western Sahara conflict (see Algeria). UN Sec-Gen Guterres 27 Aug appointed Russian diplomat Alexander Ivanko as head of UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO); search for UN Sec-Gen’s personal envoy for Western Sahara still ongoing. Sierra Leone 30 Aug opened consulate to Morocco in Dakhla city in Morocco-controlled Western Sahara.
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Reports & Briefings

Time for International Re-engagement in Western Sahara

Also available in العربية, Français
Western Sahara: The Cost of the Conflict

Western Sahara: The Cost of the Conflict

Also available in العربية, Español, Français and other languages
Western Sahara: Out of the Impasse

Western Sahara: Out of the Impasse

In The News

11 Dec 2020
[The US recognition of Rabat’s claim to Western Sahara] will make Sahrawi youths more angry, mobilised and committed to resolving the conflict through force. Financial Times

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa

Latest Updates

The Youth Movement in Sahrawi Refugee Camps

Refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, have long been run by the Polisario movement, which seeks an independent state in Western Sahara, also claimed by Morocco. But a new generation of Sahrawi refugees is growing fractious as aid dwindles and diplomatic efforts fail to deliver a settlement.

Western Sahara: The Cost of the Conflict

The Western Sahara conflict is both one of the world’s oldest and one of its most neglected.

Also available in العربية, Español, Français and other languages

Western Sahara: Out of the Impasse

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.