Abraham Accords’ betrayal of Sahrawi consolidated


Israel announced July 17 that it has formally recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The US in 2021 became the first nation to recognize Morocco’s claim to the territory—an open quid pro quo for Moroccan recognition of Israel as a part of the so-called Abraham Accords. Israeli recognition of Morocco’s claim was promised at that time. However, much of the territory is controlled by the Polisario Front, independence movement of the Sahrawi Arab people. Some 45 countries around the world recognize Polisario’s declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR); the US and Israel are alone in recognizing Rabat’s rule over the territory.

Nonetheless, Israeli reconition is but the most recent in a string of Moroccan diplomatic gains. Some 28 coutries have opened consulates in the Western Saharan cities of Dakhla or Laayoune, as Israel now says it will, in what Morocco boasts as tangible support for its rule of the territory. In March 2022, Spain officially expressed its support for Morocco’s “autonomy plan” for the territory, which is rejected by the SADR. (Al Jazeera, ToI, Al Monitor, France24, MWN, ISS)

On the other hand, last September, the African Court on Human & Peoples’ Rights delivered a judgment concluding that Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara is a violation of the right to self-determination and independence. The case was brought on behalf of the SADR in response to Morocco’s ascension to the African Union in 2017. (WSRW)

Image: Wikimedia Commons