Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. TERM PAPER

Federal University ofAgriculture,          Abeokuta.     TERMPAPER TITLE:          WesternSahara/SADR has almost all the features of a state but not a state……elucidate.

 COURSE CODE:   GNS 202 WRITTEN BY:        Group 5, Chemistry department. DATE:15-07-2015 Group 5 StudentlistSalaudeenSodiq Olawale                                        132357SamuelJoshua Shadrack                                          132358SobunkolaOlamilekan                                               132359SomoyeOladipupo Adeluola                                   132360UkpeEruvwu Beauty                                                  132361WilliamsAdeyemi Samson                                         132362ZakariyahuIbrahim Babatunde                                132363BankoleAderonke Precious                              112336AdemolaAbimbola G.                                               130199AbayomiOluwakemi Imoleayo                                141428AdeboyeBlessing Motunrayo                                   141435AdediranTemitope Roseline                                      141437AjayiBlessing Kemi                                                     141448AjayiOlayinka Ololade                                             141450BankoleOmotayo Ajoke                                           141467ElebuteGaniyat Oluwaseyi                                       141474JesseToluwani Phoebe                                              141478OkulaMeshach Olabode                                          141489OlowookereElizabeth O.                                           141493OyeniyiOluwakemi Elizabeth                                    141501AzeezTolani Habeeb                                                 141464 WesternSahara/SADR has almost all the features of a state but not a state……elucidate WesternSahara is a mostly low, flat desert territory located in northern Africa, andbounded by the Atlantic, Algeria to the east, Morocco to the north andMauritania to the south. It has some small mountains to the south andnortheast. It occupies a total area of 102,703 square miles, and as at 2013,its population was estimated at 554,795. Its largest city is El Aaiun, itsmonetary unit is the Tala, and languages spoken include standard Arabic(national), Hassaniya, Arabic, and Moroccan Arabic.

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As at 2007, its GDP wasestimated at $906.5 million. Major industries are Phosphate mining andHandicrafts.

  It has 6 airports, andports and harbours at Ad Dakhla, Cabo Bojador, and Laayoune. Despite havingthese statistics and other features of a state as shall be examined, the SADRcannot be referred to as a state in the true sense of the word. Why? Threedecades after the Green March, the Western Sahara dossier remains open in theUnited Nations. It is in fact the only decolonization file still open inAfrica. The poisoned territorial dispute over the former Spanish colonycontinues to represent one of the main, if not the main, threat to thestability of the North African region, obstructing dangerously the relationsbetween Morocco, Algeria and Spain. In addition, the stagnation of the current peaceprocess represents a blow to the already damaged credibility of the United Nations,which after 14 years of unsuccessful negotiations and several millions of dollarsinvested, seems unable to find or impose a definitive solution to the dispute.In many respects, it is not exaggerated to say that the political future of thearea (from the regional hegemony to the very survival of the current MoroccanMonarchy) depends on the resolution of this low-intensity but persistentconflict.

 WhenSpain withdrew hastily from the Territory in 1976, few analysts could predictthe resistance of the Saharawi nationalist movement, led by the Frente Polisario,also known as the Polisario Front, against the much more powerful forces ofRabat and Nouakchott in Morocco. Then, the Polisario was only a group of a fewhundred badly armed and trained guerrillas, overwhelmed by the number ofrefugees leaving the cities and seeking their guidance and protection. When inFebruary 1976 the Polisario proclaimed the birth of the Saharawi ArabDemocratic Republic (SADR), the infrastructure of the state was limited to onedoctor, a few primary teachers, and few thousand exhausted refugees completely dependenton external aid. Decades later, it has been able to gather minimal recognitionfrom other countries. Sovereignty:the government of the SADR shares sovereignty with Morocco. According to”Understanding Politics” by Chris Ojukwu, “sovereignty relates to attributes ofsupreme authority of a state over the territory and people under itsjurisdiction. The state exercises absolute and unrestricted power in that itstands above all other in a society”. This is not true of the SADR, as theterritory they occupy is disputed.

After Spain withdrew from its former colonyof Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Saharaand claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania’swithdrawal. A guerilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco’ssovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UNpeacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choiceto the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (which is what the PolisarioFront wants) and integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never tookplace due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. There is therefore nosuffrage, and residents in the territories controlled by morocco take part inMoroccan elections.  Local demonstrationscriticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodicethnic tensions between the native Saharawi population and Moroccan immigrants.

in February 1976, the Polisario Front formally proclaimed agovernment-in-exile, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) based out ofrefugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, and led by President Mohammed Abdelaziz.Nevertheless, Morocco still maintains a heavy security presence in theterritory.  Territory:80% of the territory of Western Sahara is de-facto under Moroccanadministration. SADR controls only about 20-25% of the territory it claims. Itcalls the territory under its control the Liberated Territories or the FreeZone. The capital of the SADR is El Aarun, while its temporary capital,(due tothe placing of its government), is Tifariti.

It is worthy of note that theLiberated Territories controlled by the Polisario has a very small populationof approximately 30,000 nomads, and the Moroccan government views it as ano-man’s land patrolled by UN troops. The portion under Moroccan control iscalled Southern Provinces.  A 2,700kmlong defensive sand berm built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and runningthe length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces. Thismakes a large portion of the territory uncontrollable by the indigenousgovernment.  It is indeed a peculiar sortof state that is unable to control a large percentage of its territory andstill call itself a state.

 InternationalRecognition: The SADR is not on the list of UN recognized states; rather it islisted on the UN list of non-self-governing territories. The Polisario front isconsidered by the UN as a conflict party. There is no country in the world thathas its government seated abroad.

The European Union supports the right ofself-determination of the Saharawi people, but does not recognize the PolisarioFront. Over practical issues such as fishing in the territorial waters of the regionthe EU deals with Morocco as the country currently exercising jurisdiction, butnot sovereignty, over the Western Sahara territory. In addition, members of theEFTA (European Free Trade Agreement) trade bloc have made statements excluding WesternSahara form the Moroccan-EFTA free trade agreement.  As of 2014, it has been recognized by 85states. Of these, 39 have since “frozen” or “withdrawn” recognition for anumber of reasons.

A total of 40 states currently maintain diplomatic relationswith the SADR, and Saharawi embassies exists in 18 states. Western Sahara isnot recognized as part of morocco by many states except for little that supportthe Moroccan autonomy plan. The Arab League and the Arab Maghreb Union includemorocco as a full member, and supports Morocco’s claim to the territory of WesternSahara. The SADR has no diplomatic representation to and from the United Statesof America. Several States that do not recognize the SADR recognize the PolisarioFront as the legitimate representative of the population of the Western Sahara,but not as the government in exile of a sovereign state. Economy:The Moroccan government administers Western Sahara’s economy and is a keysource of employment, infrastructure development and social spending in theterritory. Western Sahara’s unresolved legal status makes the exploitation ofits natural resources a contentious issue between morocco and the Polisario. Despitethe fact that the territory has a dejure currency in the Saharawi peseta, it isonly commemorative and not circulating, with the de-facto currency being theMoroccan Dirham in the morocco controlled zones and the Algerian Dinar in theSADR controlled zone.

Morocco and the EU in December 2013 finalized a four yearagreement allowing European vessels to fish off the coast of morocco, includingdisputed waters off the coast of Western Sahara. Oil has never been found inWestern Sahara in commercially significant quantities, but Morocco and the Polisariohave quarreled over who has the right to authorize and benefit from oilexploration in the territory. Western Sahara’s has so far been unable todevelop a more diverse set of industries capable of providing greateremployment and income to its territory.

 Communication:The SADR has a sparse and limited telephone system. Its international countrycode -212 is tied into Morocco’s system by microwave radio relay, troposphericscatter, and satellite. Satellite earth stations -2 intelsat, (Atlantic Ocean)are linked to Rebat, Morocco. Morocco’s state owned broadcaster,Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM), operates a radio service from Laayoune andrelays TV service, and a Polisario-backed radio station also broadcasts. Humanrights: The western Sahara conflict has resulted in severe human rights abuses,most notably the displacement of tens of thousands of Saharawi civilians fromthe so called country, the expulsion of thousands of Moroccan civilians by theAlgerian government from Algeria (the Algerian government backs the Polisario),and numerous casualties of war and repression. During the war years(1975-1991), both sides accused each other of targeting civilians. Moroccanclaims of Polisario terrorism has generally little or no support from theinternational community. The Polisario leaders maintain that they areideologically opposed to terrorism, and insist that collective punishment andforced disappearances among Saharawi civilians should be considered stateterrorism on the part of Morocco.

Both Morocco and the Polisario additionallyaccuse each other of violating the human rights of the populations under theircontrol, in the Moroccan controlled parts of Western Sahara and the Tindoufrefugee camps in Algeria, respectively. Both Morocco and the Polisario havebeen repeatedly criticized for their actions in Western Sahara by internationalhuman rights organization such as amnesty international and the Frenchorganization France libertes. Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf camps depend onhumanitarian aid donated by several UN organizations and international NGOs. Itis widely believed that much of this humanitarian aid never reaches those it isintended to assist because it is sold on the black market in neighboringcountries by the Polisario, a claim which seems to be buttressed by the factthat till date the Polisario has not allowed either a census or independentoversight of its management of humanitarian assistance.

How then, can weproclaim the SADR a state when it is so grossly unable to uphold the rights ofits citizenry under its own very nose, even exploiting foreign aid sent to themfrom international communities?Cubaalso supports the Polisario Front and has been accused of kidnapping Sahrawiyouth from the refugee camps and sending them to Castro’s Island of Youth,where they are inundated with anti-western, Marxist-Leninist teachings. The Polisario’sobjective for the deportation of Sahrawi children is said to be to separatefamilies and to keep pressure on family members who remain in the camps to goalong with Polisario leadership so as not to endanger their children’s welfare. The SADR is therefore trying to demonstratethat it is a state like any other, with institutions, citizens, flags, nationalfestivities, bureaucrats and diplomats, and that if it is allowed to be a’normal’ state it can also be a source of stability in the region. At the sametime, this emphasis on asserting the institutional side of the Saharawi stateand its presence in the Territory, converges with the aim of the nationalistsin the areas under Moroccan control to show that the status quo, the defacto situation, is chaotic and that Rabat is veryfar from ‘normalizing’ its control over the disputed land.

The time of ‘neitherpeace nor war’ provided the Polisario with the opportunity to normalize andsediment a Saharawi nationalist identity and a sense of political citizenshipthat identified with the project of the Saharawi Republic. Despite thefrustration and despair at the uncertainty of the future, the camps havegenerated the conditions for the sedimentation of the Saharawi nationalistproject. The future of the conflict is uncertain.

But at present it seems clearthat Morocco has failed in its attempt to convince the international communitythat the only solution is to recognize the current status quo. The statusquo, as the Polisario has managed to show, is thatof dispute, conflict and contending projects. It is, in other words, that of anunfinished decolonization process.    BIBLIOGRAPHY Hodges,Tony (1983). Western Sahara: The Roots of a Desert War. Lawrence Hill Books.ISBN 0-88208-152-7.Janos,Besenyo (2009).

Western Sahara (PDF). Pécs: Publikon Publishers.ISBN 978-963-88332-0-4.Jensen,Erik (2005). Western Sahara: Anatomy Of A Stalemate, International PeaceAcademy Occasional Paper Series.

Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 1588263053 Pazzanita,Anthony G.; Hodges, Tony (1994).

Historical Dictionary of Western Sahara.Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-2661-5.”Regionsand Territories: Western Sahara”, BBC News, 9 December 2011. Shelley,Toby (2004).

Endgame in the Western Sahara: What Future for Africa’s LastColony?. Zed Books. ISBN 1-84277-341-0.UnitedNations Fourth Committee (2002). “Non-Self-Governing Territories listed byGA in 2002”.

United Nations. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahrawi_Arab_Democratic_Republichttp://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Western_Sahara#Economy http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2014/01/muqtada-sadr-interview-iraq-syria-sectarian-conflict.html 


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