More harm than good

July 2007

Morocco’s proposed plan to grant Western Sahara autonomy is a poor solution to Africa’s forgotten conflict.

Western Sahara: The Other Occupation

February 2006

Imagine an Arab Muslim nation, most of whose people have lived in the squalor of refugee camps for decades in exile from their homeland. Most of the remaining population suffers under foreign military occupation, with a smaller number living as a minority within the legally-recognized territory of the occupier. The occupying power is in violation of a series of UN Security Council resolutions, has illegally brought in tens of thousands of settlers into the occupied territory, routinely violates international standards of human rights, has built a heavily-fortified separation barrier deep inside the occupied territory, and continues to defy a landmark decision of the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, and despite all this, the occupying power is considered to be a close ally of the United States and receives substantial American military, economic, and diplomatic support to maintain its occupation and colonization of the territory. This certainly describes the situation regarding Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including greater East Jerusalem) and Syria’s Golan region, as well as its quasi-occupation of the Gaza Strip. But it also describes the thirty-year occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom of Morocco.

Self Determination Struggle in the Western Sahara Continues to Challenge the UN

September 2003

After much wrangling from the French, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1495 right on the July 31st deadline for the rollover of the MINURSO peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara. In the best diplomatic tradition, the resolution affirmed the commitment to provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, even while it seriously compromised on it by supporting a peace plan that would allow the Moroccan settlers in the territory to vote on independence in five years. As with Israeli settlers on the West Bank, these Moroccan colonists are there in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits countries from transfering their civilian population onto territories seized by military force.

Indigestible Lands? Comparing the Fates of the Western Sahara and East Timor

January 2001

Book chapter in Rightsizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders edited by Brendan O’Leary, Ian Lustick and Thomas Callaghy (Oxford University Press 2001).

New Hope for Western Sahara

April 1998

Article in Peace Review, Vol. 10, No. 1 (April 1998).

The United States and the Western Sahara Peace Process

January 1998

Article in Middle East Policy, Vol. V, No. 4 (February 1998).

Western Sahara: Peace Derailed

May 1996

Article in Current History (May 1996).

The United States in the Sahara War: A Case of Low-Intensity Intervention

January 1993

Book chapter in International Dimensions of the Western Sahara Conflict edited by Daniel Volman and Yahia Zoubir (Greenwood Press 1993).

Participatory Democracy in the Western Sahara: A Study of Polisario Self-Governance

June 1988

Article in Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives Vol. 7; Nos. 2-3 (June-September 1988).

Nationalism and Non-Alignment: The Non-Ideology of the Polisario

February 1988

Article in Africa Today Vol. 34; No. 3 (February 10, 1988).