How the US and Morocco seized the Spanish Sahara

January 2006

Last November marked the 30th anniversary of the Sahara crisis, triggered when Morocco successfully pressured Madrid out of its desert colony in autumn 1975. Despite the United States’ denials, declassified records reveal that King Hassan’s success was made possible through US intervention.



“Seized of the Matter”: The UN and the Western Sahara Dispute

June 2004

Since 1988, the United Nations has been actively involved in the Western Sahara dispute between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Western Saharan liberation movement known as the Frente POLISARIO. Over fifteen years later, there seems to be no end in sight for this seemingly intractable conflict. For the UN, the Western Sahara file is beginning to look less like East Timor and a lot more like Cyprus.

in Mediterranean Quarterly 15.3 (2004), pp.130-148.



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.



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

February 1988

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