Western Sahara: dueling proposals on territory’s future

Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement have both turned proposals for the future status of Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara over to the UN. The Moroccan proposal calls for regional autonomy for the territory under Morocco’s sovereignty. The Polisario proposal calls for a referendum with three options: local autonomy, complete integration with Morocco, or independence. Polisario’s plan does offer a “special relationship” with Morocco, maintaining close economic and political ties, even in the case of independence.

The Moroccan plan “aims to allow all Saharawis to democratically manage their affairs, while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the kingdom,” Morocco’s ambassador, El Mostafa Sahel, said in a statement. (AP, April 11)

Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, said his organization’s proposal is “a flexible and constructive project” that guarantees the national rights of the Saharawi people, as demanded by UN General Assembly resolutions respecting the Saharawis’ “right to self-determination through a…referendum.” (Sahara Press Service, April 11)

See our last post on Western Sahara.