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Special Political and Decolonization Western Sahara - IDIA

Special Political and Decolonization Western Sahara - IDIA

Rutgers Model United

Rutgers Model United Nations 7 27 February 1976- Proclamation of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Founded in 1973 as a “unique expression of the masses, opting for revolutionary violence and the armed struggle,” 23 the POLISARIO, upon the exit of the Spanish in 1976, declared Western Sahara an independent state. The POLISARIO, which through the Galtah Zammur declaration would be identified as the legitimate voice of the Sahrawi people, declared the independent yet occupied state of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). The General Congress, held between 26 August- 30 August 1976, of the newly proclaimed state approved the first constitution of the territory. The stipulation of the constitution provided for a twenty-one member political bureau, which included a nine-member executive committee. 24 13 October 1981- The Battle of Galtah Zammur During the Battle of Galtah Zammur, one of the largest confrontations between Morocco and the POLISARIO, POLISARIO attacked Morocco from multiple directions, which resulted in the loss of 5 Moroccan aircrafts. Given the size of the Moroccan air force at the time, this was a significant loss. What is most notable about this battle is that the attack on Morocco’s air force galvanized Western support for Morocco. 25 Following the Battle of Galtah Zammur, numerous high-level U.S officials visited the Moroccan military. 26 The Reagan administration, which supported Morocco against the POLISARIO, sent specialized military hardware to Morocco. Testifying before the U.S Congress in 1982, a Moroccan official acknowledged that the U.S was providing Morocco with “technical assistance regarding POLISARIO movements and bases in the Western Sahara. 27 Not only limited to providing arms and military hardware to the 23 Zunes, Stephen & Mundy, Jacob, Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution (2010). Print 24 Zunes and Mundy,116 25 Zunes and Mundy, 17 26 Zunes and Mundy, 18 27 Zunes and Mundy, 19

Rutgers Model United Nations 8 Moroccan forces, the United States was spending about one million dollars annually training Moroccan military officers. 28 29 April 1991- MINURSO With the passing of Security Council Resolution 690, the United Nations established a mission for a referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with the goal of implementing the agreed upon position that all Western Saharans counted in the 1974 census, currently within the territory or residing as refugees, would be eligible to vote. 29 Furthermore, the mandate of MINURSO charged it with organizing and ensuring a free and fair referendum, in accordance with the Settlement Plan, and proclaim the results. 30 The Settlement Plan was an agreement between the Polisario Front and Morocco regarding the status of Western Sahara. The Settlement Plan outlined the organization of a referendum, which would constitute an expression of self-determination by the Sahrawi people. The referendum, which would give the Sahrawi population a choice between integration with Morocco or independence, was supposed to occur in 1992. Since the establishment of MINURSO, Morocco and the POLISARIO have differed over how to identify voters for the referendum. In August 1991, Morocco argued that at the time of the Spanish census tribes normally resident in the territory were unaccounted for and identified an additional 120,000 potential voters. The establishment of MINURSO and the approaching referendum introduced an additional complexity regarding the granting of self-determination to the Sahrawi people. As illustrated by the failure to hold the referendum in 1992, the quest for self-determination is further muddled by the disagreement between the POLISARIO and the Moroccan government over voter eligibility. 28 Hodges, 269 29 MINURSO 30 MINURSO

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