How U.S. policy towards Western Sahara was shaped, and how the conflict must be resolved:
Forty years ago on November 6, 1975, 350,000 Moroccans, led by King Hassan II, peaceably walked into the Spanish-occupied Western Sahara, in defiance of thousands of Spanish soldiers, waving the Moroccan flag and the Koran, to reclaim their traditional sovereignty over the region as General Franco faded from power.
It was a different era, and the Cold War raged in unexpected places – including the Sahara. The Polisario Front, a Marxist independence movement largely sponsored at the time by the Soviet Union, Algeria, Cuba, and Libya, engaged Morocco in a war that ended in 1991 in a UN-brokered ceasefire. The UN has been trying to resolve this issue since – first through a referendum and now through a negotiated political solution.
On the fortieth anniversary of the Green March last Friday, King Mohammed VI spoke with firm determination from the Sahara to remind the world that Morocco was legitimately in its own lands and would never be moved from its duty to the nation to reclaim all that was rightfully Morocco’s before colonial Europe’s usurpation of its sovereignty a century earlier…[FULL STORY]