According to clothingexpress, Western Sahara is a territory in Africa located in the western extreme of the Sahara desert, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, included in the list of non-autonomous territories of the United Nations. The decolonization process was interrupted in 1976, when the old colonial power, Spain, abandoned the Western Sahara in the hands of Morocco and Mauritania (according to the Madrid agreements). The territory is currently almost entirely occupied by Morocco, a situation that is not recognized by the UN and is denied by the armed groupThe Polisario Front, which proclaimed the territory’s independence as the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1976. The armed group actually administers the area of Western Sahara not controlled by Morocco, officially called the Southern Provinces.
According to a legal declaration (document S/2002/161) led by the President of the United Nations Security Council, dated January 29, 2002, it is indicated in the sixth paragraph:
“In November 1975, Spain, Morocco and Mauritania issued a declaration of principles on Western Sahara (the “Madrid Agreement”), in which the powers and responsibilities of Spain, as the administering Power of the Territory, were transferred to a tripartite temporal administration. The Madrid Agreement did not transfer the sovereignty of the Territory, nor did it confer the condition of Administrative Power, to any party, a condition in which Spain, alone, could not transfer unilaterally. The transfer of administrative authority over the Territory of Morocco and Mauritania in 1975 did not affect the international status of Western Sahara as a non-autonomous territory.”
So, according to International Law, the legal sovereignty and administration of Western Sahara will continue in the hands of Spain, however since the signing of the “Madrid Agreement” Spain has not taken any action in this regard. The actual administrator in most of the territory is Morocco. The rest is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. SADR is recognized by the African Union and by 46 countries in the world, most of them African or Latin American. SADR is not recognized by the UN or the Arab League, by any European country, and by any permanent member of the Permanent Security Council. Morocco’s claims regarding “territorial integrity” (which could be interpreted as a support of the claim on Western Sahara) is supported by 25 states of the Arab League. However, no country formally recognizes the annexation, as the UN Secretary General’s Document on the relative situation in Western Sahara (April 19, 2006) admits:
“[…]this would imply the recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, which is out of the question, due to the fact that no Member State of the United Nations has recognized said sovereignty. “
Claimed as a territory by Spain in 1885 and effectively occupied in 1934. On 6 November 1975 the Green March crossed the international border recognized by Western Sahara. By virtue of the Madrid Accords of 1975, a tripartite temporal administration constituted by Spain, Morocco and Mauritania was established. On February 26, 1976, Spain abandoned the territory, after which the Polisario Front proclaimed the Arab Democratic Republic of Dharau (ASD) and began a war of liberation against the two countries (Morocco and Mauritania).
In 1979 Mauritania, defeated, signed peace with the Polisario Front, renouncing its territorial claims, at the same time Morocco materializes the occupation, with the financial and military support of the United States. In 1991 Morocco and the Polisario Front signed a cease-fire under the auspices of the UN that established the United Nations Mission for the Referendum of Western Sahara (MINURSO), which was to be held in 1992. The Polisario Front accuses Morocco of delaying the holding of the referendum because the new Moroccan settlers (majorities) to obtain the right to vote. Morocco denies the accusation.
To overcome the difficulties in the peace process, the United Nations appointed James Baker as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy for Western Sahara. The negotiations led to the signing of the Houston Agreement in 1997 by Morocco and the Polisario Front. In January 2000, the voter identification process for the self- determination referendum was completed. 120 thousand voters were presented, but they were not approved, according to the procedures agreed upon by the two conflicting parties, the UN Secretary General froze the process. To overcome the deadlock, the Secretary-General proposed a plan to divide Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, a solution that was accepted by the Polisario Front but rejected by Morocco. To overcome the new blockade James Baker proposed a new plan, called the Baker II planwhich in 2003 was unanimously approved by the Security Council (resolution 1495). Morocco, however, did not accept that plan, because according to Moroccan officials, the plan does not guarantee the participation of all residents in the self-determination referendum. Morocco proposed in lieu of the plan to give Western Sahara broad autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty (the terms have not yet been concretely stated) and the creation of CORCAS (Royal Council for the Problems of the Sahara) composed of members from distinct Saharawi clans and tribes appointed by the King of Morocco, but this solution was not accepted by the Polisario Front.
Currently, the territory of the Western Sahara is divided by a wall over 2,000 km long, which divides the Western Sahara from north to south. The area west of the wall is the territory occupied by Morocco, while the area east of the wall constitutes “liberated territory”, under the control of the Polisario Front.