Sahara Negotiations: Redux or Moving Forward? — Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.)

Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.) February 7, 2018 Horst Kohler, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, recently announced his plan to hold talks with Morocco and the Algerian backed Polisario Front. Appointed August 16, 2017 by Secretary-General António Guterres, Mr. Kohler has invited the two parties to Berlin in the near future, and although this is a first time the talks are to be held there, it ...

Western Sahara: Who Should Vote, Part V – Bargaining Forward – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley January 31, 2018 In the first blog of this series, I raised the issue of whether the international community had been sufficiently inclusive in its original efforts to resolve the continuing dispute over the issue of sovereignty in Western Sahara, suggesting that tens of thousands of fully legitimate stakeholders, albeit non-Sahrawi, had not been allowed a rightful place in the process.  In the last installment, I suggested ...

A new President, a New Opportunity in the Western Sahara — Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.)

Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.) January 26, 2018 Once again, this April, the United States will go through the annual ritual at the UN Security Council of renewing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO). This is a yearly exercise to renew MINURSO’s mandate to oversee a dispute between the Algerian-backed Polisario Front and Morocco. How the US handles this issue has historically defined ...

Western Sahara, Who Should Vote – Part IV: With or Without – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley January 22, 2018 In the decade since Morocco offered its autonomy initiative for the Sahara, I have had innumerable conversations with both Saharwi and other Moroccans permanently resident in the region about this proposal.  A few things stand out. Even as late as last year I still found the majority of my many friends in the south enthusiastic in their approval of this idea as the best ...

Western Sahara: Who Should Vote Part III – It is Time for a Referendum – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley January 11, 2018 Yes, you read that title correctly. It is time for a Western Sahara referendum. The referendum that needs to happen now is one conducted inside the Polisario refugee camps in southern Algeria. For years the Polisario has claimed to be the sole legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people even though  the number of Sahrawis living in those camps is clearly substantially less than those ...
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