Western Sahara: Who Should Be Watching? Why Not Us? – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley March 9, 2017 Where tensions are running high and opposing armed forces are facing off with one another, separated by only a couple of hundred meters, the risk of an accident with unpredictable and potentially terrible consequences also runs equally high. Such has been the case for the last several months in Western Sahara, where, until very recently, substantial deployments of the armed forces of Morocco and ...

News Brief: Polisario Fuels Standoff in the Sahara – Jordana Merran

By Jordana Merran March 8, 2017 Since last summer, Moroccan troops and Polisario fighters have stood “within 200 meters (yards) of each other in a narrow strip of land near the Mauritanian border.” On Sunday, February 26, days after a phone call between Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Morocco announced “‘a unilateral withdrawal from the zone’ in conformation with the UN Secretary General’s recommendations,” as ...

Western Sahara –Back to the Future, Again? – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley October 25, 2016 On a grey, chilly winter day in Washington in January 1999 after a long and thorough discussion, I left a typical upper floor State Department conference room very pleased that a group of interagency seniors had made a great decision to advise dumping a failed policy concerning the future of Western Sahara in favor of a new approach. I believed that decision would not ...

So What Next for Western Sahara? – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley June 20, 2016 After the recent passing of Mohamed Abdelaziz, leader of the Polisario for the last four decades, it is clear there will be a change in what poses as leadership in Rabouni, but will there be any change of heart? Confidential sources tell us that the real leadership of this movement in Algiers has already decided who will replace Abdelaziz. That announcement is expected soon ...

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Western Sahara – Back to the Future? – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley April 18, 2016 At this writing, the much anticipated report from Ban Ki Moon to the Security Council on the future of the Western Sahara peacekeeping mandate for MINURSO is still under discussion in New York. Not since former US Secretary of State and UN Personal Envoy James Baker tried way back in 2002 to get the Security Council to endorse his first proposed autonomy solution for ...
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