Western Sahara 2021

This post will mean little to most readers….but it does to me and since this is my blog I will write on…..

I have written about the plight of the people of Western Sahara….https://lobotero.com/2018/04/30/western-sahara-update/

map of Western Sahara

My interests in Western Sahara is personal…..I was there in 1980s and fell in love with the desert and its people…..and ever since I have been watching the international tap-dance being done by the West to prevent the people from having their country back from Morocco.

According to a report from Axios, the Biden administration told Morroco that it would not reverse the Trump administration’s move to recognize Morrocan sovereignty over Western Sahara, which was Rabat’s reward for normalizing relations with Israel.

Sources told Axios that Secretary of State Antony Blinken conveyed the message to Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in a phone call on Friday. A State Department readout of the call did not mention Western Sahara but did say Blinken discussed Morroco’s relationship with Israel.

“The Secretary welcomed Morocco’s steps to improve relations with Israel and noted the Morocco-Israel relationship will bring long-term benefits for both countries,” the readout said.

The Trump administration recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in December 2020, making the US the first country to do so.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara after the Spanish withdrew from the region in 1975. Rabat then fought a war with the Polisario Front, a group that represents the indigenous Sahrawi people, to control the territory until a ceasefire was reached in 1991. Now there are fears that a new war is brewing. Last month, the Polisario Front said its police chief was killed in what could have been a Morrocan drone strike.

In 1976, the Polisario Front formed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a de facto state in Western Sahara. The SADR is a member of the African Union and maintains diplomatic relations with about 40 UN member states. Currently, the SADR controls about 20 percent of Western Sahara, and Morocco controls the rest.

President Biden is following through on other Trump-era favors for Arab countries that took steps to normalize with Israel. Biden is going ahead with a massive $23 billion weapons package to the UAE that includes F-35 fighter jets, reaper drones, and missiles.


Many of us writers are calling for a re-engagement internationally on the Western Sahara question and the plight of the people.

The long-dormant conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over the disputed Western Sahara territory is showing troubling signs of life. A Polisario blockade of a key artery in the UN-monitored buffer zone triggered a Moroccan military response, after which the Front called off a ceasefire and resumed attacks.


The last guy as president made a crappy deal on Western Sahara and Biden will leave the deal in place.

Who should control Western Sahara? | The Economist

In the last move the Polisario of Western Sahara is demanded a seat in the UN….

The Polisario Western Sahara separatist group on Monday demanded a United Nations seat for the disputed territory and accused France and Spain of impeding a referendum on self-determination.

The status of Western Sahara, which the United Nations classifies as a “non-self-governing territory”, has for decades pitted Morocco against the separatist Polisario Front.

“The Sahrawi state claims its seat at the UN,” said Polisario foreign minister Ould Salek, on behalf the republic declared by the Polisario in 1976.

The republic, as a founding member of the African Union, “demands its rightful place” among world nations, he told a news conference in Algiers, allies of the Polisario.


It takes a special kind of hypocrite and spineless cowards to deny a people the right to self-determination.

The US is a prime kind of cowardice for it preaches democracy and never stands by the demands it makes….the right to self-determination is just a slogan that falls from American mouths.

New leadership is needed…and NOW!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Western Sahara Update

I write about a country that few have ever heard of, Western Sahara, I do so because I visited there years ago when I was working in the region and fell in love with the people and the land….one of my posts from the past…..


I am posting again because more news is coming out of the refugee camps in Algeria……

Set deep in the desert outside Tindouf, Algeria, the Sahrawi refugee camps are a remote yet lively political hub. The camps are home to 173,000 refugees of a forgotten conflict: an older generation who remember the war against Morocco from 1975 to 1991, and a younger generation born in the camps since the latter year’s ceasefire agreement. All are active in the struggle for a return to the disputed territory of Western Sahara, a 100,000-square-mile coastal stretch of desert now mostly controlled by Morocco. The camps resemble other Saharan settlements, with trucks threading through low sand-clad structures and herds of camels, goats and sheep grazing the desert bush. But their politics are unique: the Polisario Front, a military and political movement formed in the early 1970s to fight for independence for Western Sahara, controls them.


The biggest problem is the US has a major love fest with Morocco and their claim to the land of Western Sahara….they have stopped all chances for an independent Western Sahara and they are at it again….

The United States postponed a vote scheduled on Wednesday at the UN Security Council on preparing talks on Western Sahara to allow for more time for negotiations, diplomats said.

A draft resolution presented by the United States last week would press Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front to set their sights on a return to the negotiating table to seek a settlement to the decades-old conflict.

Diplomats said Russia and Ethiopia had proposed amendments to the text after complaining that it lacked balance, indicating that Morocco’s stance was given more prominence.


The US will always do what Morocco wants…..they should stop trying to convince the world that they are the champions of freedom, liberty and democracy…it is a lie.

This situation is far from over and I would like to hope that the people of Western Sahara will have their independence.

This Is How We Build A House

Saturday in the garden……snacks of cheese, fruit and nuts and a really nice Riesling…..

Before I post my regular stuff I need to report that ZBig has died…….

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

A very intelligent man especially in international relations….I did not agree with him on much but I could still appreciate his approaches…..

May he Rest In Peace

Now for today’s gem of knowledge……..

You know there is always a story or a report about all the plastic build-up around the world….we have had stories about a massive island of the stuff floating in the Pacific and there has been reports of the amount of the stuff left behind on Mt. Everest……even a story about millions of piece of plastic found on some Pacific island…..in other words solid waste is becoming a major problem.

Let’s turn our attention to Western Sahara…a region that I know well for I worked there for months in the late 70’s…..but first a little history via youtube…..

The conflict had made a refugee crisis that most of the world knows nothing of…..or even really cares….

I recent read a story about this guy in Western Sahara that has a new approach to building adequate housing…low cost housing…..for refugees.

Sahrawi engineer Tateh Lehbib has designed houses for Sahrawi refugee camps that are resistant to desert heat, sandstorms and torrential rain

With temperatures soaring beyond 50 degrees Celsius and sand storms wrecking havoc on the Sahrawi refugees inhabiting the adobe houses and tents of the refugee camps around Tindouf, western Algeria, the region has been aptly named, the Devil’s Garden.

Young Sahrawi engineer, Tateh Lehbib, 28, found an answer to their woes: all they needed to rebuild a home in this arid land was 6,000 plastic bottles.

Source: Meet the Sahrawi refugee building homes from plastic bottles in the desert | Middle East Eye

A completed round house made of plastic bottles in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf, Algeria (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

I always like a good recycling story and this one is a great one……plus it provides a home for some family that does not have one……

My day is done….posting is a chore on weekends that is why you only get one per day……time for that snack and a glass of wine…….

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have some laughs….chuq

What Is Morocco Up To?

Today is President’s Day…..where we Americans celebrate all those men that served as leader over the years….

After I graduated from university I went to Tunisia and applied for a job with the UN as an analyst…..did not get the gig some dude with lots more letters after his name got the call.

Not the end of the story I was then approached by a Spanish newspaper to be a researcher/analyst and so began my 4 years of work in the Middle East and North Africa.

I was assigned to Rabat Morocco and was researching a story on the annexation of Western Sahara…I was granted an interview with one of the leaders of the opposition, the Polarsio and spent 2 weeks among the people of Western Sahara….great people.

Since those days I have been watching and writing about the struggles of Western Sahara…..

Source: Where Is Western Sahara? – In Saner Thought

Source: Meanwhile Back In Western Sahara – In Saner Thought

Source: Armed Conflict Could Return To Western Sahara – In Saner Thought

Just a little background for Morocco is making news these days…..they have rejoined the African Union (AU) after a 33 year absence….and some are asking….why now?

Morocco is ready to raise its global stature, flexing its muscle before the world by joining the African Union (AU) and making clear what it can offer — or withhold — in the areas of finance and security.

The country’s investments, security and migration control will remain its power points with which to bargain for political support from the West, which in turn wants a greater presence in Africa.

Morocco wants to put to bed international friction over its decadeslong battle with the Polisario Front independence movement over disputed Western Sahara territory recognized by some countries as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). In fact, Morocco left the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984 to protest the group’s admission of SADR.

But now Morocco is back.

Some are questioning this move by Morocco…..is it more about trying to salvage their claim to Western Sahara than anything else?

King Mohammed VI’s new African policy reflects the Moroccan monarch’s pragmatism and realism. While in the past, Morocco had adopted a disastrous “empty chair” policy, the new policy is proactive and positive for the outlook of Morocco’s territorial integrity and the controversy it is facing over the Western Sahara.

Owing to Morocco’s absence from the African Union (AU) over the past 33 years, Morocco’s rivals, mainly Algeria and South Africa, have been using the pan-African body to push their self-serving political and ideological agendas.

The two countries have seemingly dominated the organisation and attempted to use it as a tool to weaken Morocco’s position with regard to the Western Sahara.

Source: Moroccan pragmatism: A new chapter for Western Sahara | Morocco | Al Jazeera

This situation will be an interesting one for us IR geeks….what will be the future of Western Sahara?  Who holds the keys?

Will The Future Be Conflict?

The truth is that I am about as sick of politics as I can get…..foreign policy is also at a basic stand still until after the election…..I am sooooooo Borrrrrrrrred!

And then I read an article about a region that I know from past experiences….Western Sahara…..

Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania’s withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco’s sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (favored by the Polisario Front) or integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never took place due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. The 2,700 km- (1,700 mi-) long defensive sand berm, built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and running the length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. Local demonstrations criticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodic ethnic tensions between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants. Morocco maintains a heavy security presence in the territory

My interest comes from having been in the country back when I was working overseas and I fell in love with the region and the people.

I have written many posts about the country but there a a few that go better with the happenings these days……

Source: Western Sahara–Will Violence Return? – In Saner Thought

And a little later……

Source: Western Sahara: A New Direction – In Saner Thought

After reading those posts you will see that the people are seeing NO other option than armed conflict….the world especially the US has turned their backs on the old stand-by “The Right Of Self-Determination”…….

There is an old saying…..”Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

“The seed of revolution is repression.”
The people of Western Sahara are beginning to see that they have no other choice but a rebellion……

After evaluating 25 years of peace, Sahrawi officials and some civil society players agree that armed struggle is the only option they can depend on to reach their goal of independence.

Sept. 6 marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations-sponsored cease-fire agreement in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi independence movement. The peace accord was supposed to be followed by a referendum in which the Sahrawis would choose their system of governance from three options: integration with Morocco, autonomy or independence. But the planned vote was canceled after Morocco refused to allow any process that would include independence as a choice. The dispute is still ongoing, with continued tension.
It is only a matter of time before the world will have to face the situation in Western Sahara…..the simple solution is for the US to step the Hell up and demand Independence for Western Sahara…if they would do that then the rest of the world would follow suit….Morocco would be pissed but they will be alright once the swelling goes down.
(My apologies for missing the anniversary of the accord)

Western Sahara: A New Direction

The world did no stop because the GOP has their convention…I know that may be hard to believe….but it is true.

I have written several posts about the situation in Western Sahara…..my interests come from having worked in the country in my youth….

Western Sahara……A former Spanish colony, it was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then it has been the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front.

A 16-year-long insurgency ended with a UN-brokered truce in 1991 and the promise of a referendum on independence which has yet to take place.

Although under the de facto administrative control of Morocco, the status and sovereignty of Western Sahara remain unresolved and numerous direct talks have failed to break the political deadlock.

The Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), declared by the Polisario Front in 1976, is now recognized by many governments and is a full member of the African Union.

The Polisario Front is where I pick up on this post…….the leader of this movement has recently died and the movement was sent into a spiral of intrigue and speculation…..all that has been brought to a halt…….

The Sahrawi people have a new chief and a persistent determination to establish recognition from Morocco, one way or the other.

The newly elected president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Brahim Ghali, is calling for a peaceful settlement of its decades-long quest for independence.

He made it known, however, that Sahrawis are ready to fight for their freedom.

In a July 9 election in a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria, the indigenous people of the Moroccan-occupied territory in disputed Western Sahara chose Ghali as their president and secretary-general of their liberation movement, the Polisario Front. Ghali replaces longtime leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, who died May 31.

Ghali was one of the front’s founding members. He led the movement’s first military operation against Spain in 1973. In 1991, he began a new career as a diplomat, holding different posts, from Polisario’s representative in Spain to its ambassador in Algeria.

Source: Western Sahara’s Polisario Front elects leader

Image result for western sahara images

The country elected a familiar face for leadership…..the world at large has the power to make this a peaceful time by negotiating peaceful settlement of the fate of the country….freedom and independence are the only right answers.


What’s Next For Western Sahara?

My regulars know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Western Sahara…..years ago when I was working in North Africa and the Middle East I had the opportunity to visit and work in Western Sahara…I was doing research and analysis for a Spanish newspaper……..I fell in love with the region and the people……

Since those days I have been watching and writing about the area’s struggle for independence from Morocco…..it is not as complicated as the news media and the Moroccan government would have one believe…..

The death of the leader of the Polisario, a group fighting for the independence of Western Sahara, has the whole movement in a quandary…..

Late Polisario Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz kept the dispute over Western Sahara peaceful, but a fruitless, 25-year-long cease-fire with Morocco has young Sahrawis impatient.

Source: What’s next in Western Sahara dispute after death of Polisario leader?

A leader of the independence movement in Western Sahara died Tuesday. Mohamed Abdelaziz was the leader and co-founder of the Sahrawi people’s Polisario Front movement, which has demanded independence ever since Morocco took over most of Western Sahara in 1975. He was 68. A 16-year-long insurgency led by the indigenous Polisario Front ended with a U.N.-brokered truce in 1991. The resolution promised a referendum on independence, which has yet to take place. Morocco is only willing to grant limited autonomy to the disputed region. Eighty-four countries as well as the African Union recognize Western Sahara as an independent nation. In March, Morocco expelled U.N. staffers from Western Sahara after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to Morocco’s rule over the region as “occupation” during a visit to refugee camps in the Algerian town of Tindouf, located in southwestern Algeria. The expulsion of the 84 U.N. staffers has put at risk the ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario Front.

It is only a matter of time before this situation explodes again…….the US will naturally come down on the side of Morocco because of some misguided loyalty from the past.

The UN will do whatever the US tells them to do……especially if it falls into the Security Council where the US can use all its power to keep a people oppressed.

What can we expect from the beacon of freedom and liberty?

Armed Conflict Could Return To Western Sahara

Monday morning and back to work…..my weekend was lovely….lovely people, lovely weather and lovely food……time to get back to the insanity we call reality.

I would like to thank my friends at Ace News Room for they know of my interest  in the plight of Western Sahara and have helped me pass on the story of these brave people in search of independence.

Before we get to my post on the situation I would like to pass on the words of Sahara Watch , a pro-Morocco site…..in defense of keeping Western Sahara under the thumb of the King of Morocco……

It is never a good idea to make broad generalizations about Africa. For every long-term dictatorship, there is another nation that has embraced democracy. For every country that is struggling economically, such as Sierra Leone, ranked nearly last in the world in economic growth, there are two more African nations that are thriving, like Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire, each with growth rates over eight percent.
There is one generalization, however, that holds true much of the time: Creating new nations doesn’t solve problems so much as create new ones. The past quarter century has seen two new nations born in Africa — Eritrea and South Sudan. Neither has thrived. Since its founding in 1993, Eritrea has launched wars against all of its neighbors — including Yemen, which is separated from Eritrea by the Red Sea. Since its creation in 2011, South Sudan has headed straight into civil war and humanitarian catastrophe. (This is not to say that new sovereign nations shouldn’t be considered when they can bring stability out of chaos, as with the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, or the case of Somaliland).
So the somewhat-remote possibility of a new nation in the Sahara should be seen as a cause for concern. That possibility exists in Western Sahara, a little-known but large swath of land on the Atlantic side of the desert. Long part of Morocco, Western Sahara was reclaimed by Morocco in the 1970s as the Spanish ended their colonial rule there. Unfortunately, local rebels teamed up with Algeria, Cuba, and other Soviet-era comrades to launch a war against the Moroccans. In 1991, the sides reached a ceasefire, with Morocco controlling nearly all of its former territory.
The rebel forces, known as the Polisario, retreated to camps in the Algerian portion of the Sahara. The United Nations began to plan for a referendum on the future of Western Sahara, but after a decade of international efforts, no consensus emerged on who, exactly, would vote. At the urging of several nations, including the United States, Morocco has put forward a plan for an autonomous region in Western Sahara, but under the ultimate sovereignty of Morocco. The Polisario has refused to consider the plan, and has threatened a return to violence.
This issue received attention recently, when U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki moon, during a trip in the region, made reference to Western Sahara being “occupied” by Moroccan forces. The remark prompted a massive demonstration in Morocco, with as many as three million people marching in the streets.
This minor controversy has provided an opportunity for the international community to take the sensible step of communicating to the Polisario and Algeria that independence for Western Sahara is not a viable option, and that it should accept Morocco’s offer of autonomy. This outcome —  limited independence for the people of Western Sahara — is a reasonable compromise that accounts for most of the interests of all parties. To be blunt, an independent Western Sahara would be a disaster, much like Eritrea and South Sudan have become.
Looking east from Morocco, the map of the Horn of Africa is filled with turmoil, much of it caused by the two new nations, and some of it spilling over to the Arabian Peninsula, where the United States has vast strategic interests. Eritrea, which once supported Houthi rebels in Yemen, is now on the side of the coalition seeking to thwart them. In South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, one that would not exist but for American diplomacy, tens of thousands have been killed in a brutal civil war and two million people have been driven from their homes. It is Syria on the Nile — the world’s latest failed state.
There is no reason to visit this chaos on Morocco or the Sahara region. Morocco, which was the first nation to recognize the United States in 1777, is one of our oldest and closest friends. It was a staunch ally of the United States in the Cold War, and is now a key Arab nation in the fight against terror and radical extremism.
Both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush noted, regarding Western Sahara, that “[g]enuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty [is] the only feasible solution.” The Obama administration should use the current controversy to make this solution a reality.

(Sahara Watch Orgaization)

This group main purpose is to keep Morocco in control of Western Sahara which is the US stance.  It is a tacky stance!

IST readers know that I have a soft spot in my heart for the people of Western Sahara……my concern comes from many years ago when I was employed as a researcher/analyst and was sent to t…

Source: Armed Conflict Could Return To Western Sahara

Western Sahara And The Sahrawi

I have written many times about the situation of the country of Western Sahara….

I write about this situation because when I was working in North Africa and the Middle East I was fortunate enough to draw an assignment in Western Sahara….while there I was introduced to the people and culture of the region…..my assignment was to get in touch with the group that was fighting Morocco which was claiming the area known as Western Sahara….Located in northern Africa on the Atlantic Ocean, Western Sahara is surrounded by Algeria to the east, Morocco to the north, and Mauritania to the south. About the size of Colorado, it is mostly low, flat desert with some small mountains in the south and northeast.


Maybe a little history will help with this…….

Little is known about Western Sahara before the 4th century B.C., when trade with Europe began. During the Middle Ages it was occupied first by Berbers and then by the Arabic-speaking Muslim Bedouins. In the 19th century the Spanish laid claim to the southern coastal region, called Rio de Oro, and later occupied the northern interior region, Saguia el Hamra, in 1934. The Spanish formally united the two regions, and it became known as Spanish Sahara in 1958. Both Morocco and Mauritania sought to control the territory, and when the Spanish departed in 1976, they divided the territory between them. In the meantime, the indigenous Saharawis began fighting for independence. In 1976, the insurgents, called the Polisario Front, declared a government-in-exile (the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) from their base in Algeria. Mauritania reached a peace agreement with the Polisario in 1979, but Morocco then seized the land given up by Mauritania and now exerts administrative control over the entire region. The Polisario Front fought Morocco to a stalemate and agreed in Sept. 1991 to a cease-fire, which was contingent on a referendum regarding independence. For more than a decade, however, the UN has failed to hold the referendum; disputes over voter eligibility have been the major stumbling block, as well as Morocco’s opposition to the referendum. In Aug. 2001, former secretary of state James A. Baker, special UN envoy to the Western Sahara, proposed that instead of a referendum on independence, Western Sahara consider becoming an autonomous region of Morocco. The Polisario rejected the new proposal, which it saw as a reversal of the UN’s decadelong promise to hold a referendum on self-determination. In 2002, King Mohammed VI of Morocco reasserted that he will not “renounce an inch of” the Western Sahara.


It is beautiful in the desert……the colors and the sounds are something that cannot be described accurately…

For forty years the people of Western Sahara have been fighting for their independence and the world looks the other way….it is not important enough for us to care…….especially in these uncertain times and the rise of terrorists groups….all eyes are on these groups and not looking at the suffering of those in refugee camps……

Source: 40 years of hurt: The never-ending scandal of the Western Sahara | African Arguments

Now the king of Morocco has come out about Western Sahara…..

Morocco’s king has renewed Rabat’s insistence that there will be no compromise on the kingdom’s claim to sovereignty over the Western Sahara, vowing that he will offer no more than autonomy to end the four-decade deadlock over the region.

“This initiative is the maximum Morocco can offer,” Morocco’s King Mohammed said late on Friday, referring to the autonomy plan for the region.

Source: Morocco’s king rules out compromise over Western Sahara – Al Jazeera English

The conflict will continue and the people of Western Sahara will still not have the one thing that all people deserves……Independence!

Sahrawis’ choice: subjugation or exile in Western Sahara | Middle East Eye

This is a subject that is dear to my heart…….when I was working in the region I got to visit Western Sahara and fell in love with the area….the people have been crapped on by the world but mostly by Morocco…….the US has done little to nothing to help these people get what they desire…..THEIR FREEDOM.

Now in old age I cannot travel the way I did in my youth……I try to do what I can to bring the plight of the Sahrawis to my readers…..


The shooting war between the Sahrawis and the Moroccan government is all but over, some isolated incidents here and there, and the people are trying to be a peaceful force for change………but none of this is helping their plight for the world looks the other way and seems to care less……..

Dakhla — Moroccan police patrols launched Saturday evening in the occupied city of Dakhla an arrest campaign, according to the Ministry of Occupied Territories and Community Abroad.

During this campaign, Moroccan police arrested young Sahrawis Ahmed Yacoub, Mohamed Limam, Fateh Ahmedzain, Ahmed Graimish, Adnan Bouila and Ahmedfal Brehma. They were arrested on the background of their participation in peaceful demonstration in the city demanding the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.

That happened last weekend…….

Please read this and learn of their plight and the abuse they must endure simply because they want their freedom…….


Sahrawis’ choice: subjugation or exile in Western Sahara | Middle East Eye.