Issue Polisario - Morocco
Pay attention!! No opinions or political views!
On this page, as a travel organization, I try to provide a neutral (and very brief) factual representation of the issue. Spare me your opinion or comment. There is enough space on the internet for that. Not here.
Pelting each other with opinions polarizes, traveling brings people together.
A long history in short
Spain colonizes a region known as Western Sahara.
The area becomes a Spanish province.
Sahrawi nationalism is developing.
The United Nations is pushing for decolonization.
The Polisario Front, Frente Polisario or POLISARIO, a Saharan armed movement takes up arms against Spain (and later Morocco). Some 100,000 refugees still live in POLISARIO's camps in Algeria.
Morocco asks the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to speak out on Morocco's claims to sovereignty over the Spanish Sahara, after which Mauritania joins in the claim.
Start of an armed conflict between the POLISARIO and the Moroccan army.
The ICJ concludes that "the material and information presented to the court does not establish a link of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity". The Saharoui are affirmed in their claim to the right to self-determination.
On November 6, right after the statement of the ICJ, the "Green March" (known to Sahrawi as "the Black March") began when King Hassan II of Morocco called on 300,000 civilians to walk to the Spanish Sahara and into the area and claim it as theirs. Spain that could not bear conflict transferred the disputed Spanish province of Sahara to Morocco.
Following the Spanish evacuation of the Spanish Sahara, Spain, Morocco and Mauritania signed the Madrid Accords on November 14, which resulted in both Morocco and Mauritania taking possession of the territory now known as Western Sahara or Moroccan Sahara, depending on the perspective.
Spain withdraws on February 27. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is proclaimed. Tens of thousands of Sahrawis seek refuge in Tindouf, located in the southwestern part of the Algerian desert. They and their descendants remain there to this day.
Mauritania gives up all claims to the area and withdraws from the war because of successful POLISARIO shelling of a railway to transport ore from the inland to the coast (this affects 80% of the weak Mauritanian economy). Shortly afterwards, Morocco takes over that sector and has continued to build control over the territory ever since.
1981 - 1987
Morocco is building a 'wall' (the 'Berm' of now 2,720 km) that separates the SADR areas from the Moroccan part. It is the world's largest and perhaps most modern defense structure.
1975 - 1991
War between POLISARIO and the Moroccan army. By 1982 POLISARIO had liberated almost 85% of their land. Around 1991 it was the other way around (75% defacto Moroccan). The war and mass relocations have separated families and families, and the traditional nomadic lifestyle of the Sahrawi has largely disappeared.
The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the UN mission for the referendum in Western Sahara, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, is established.
Purpose: to promote a ceasefire and a referendum on self-determination in early 1992.
1991 - 2020
Many attempts to reach a referendum fail. Morocco secures the territory it controls and brings it to economic development. Libya's support ceases after the Arab Spring. The POLISARIO is weakening.
Morocco proposes to grant autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty to the territory they call Southern provinces. POLISARIO and SADR maintain their demand for control of the entire area.
End of 2020
The conflict flares up again. The SADR declares war on Morocco and POLISARIO carries out some attacks. The situation is unclear. There is little coverage of the current state of affairs.
Our planned trip through Western Sahara / the Southern provinces
As long as there are still Corona measures and the armed conflict de facto continues, our journey through this area is unfortunately canceled.
We keep a close eye on developments. Our trip to Morocco and the Western / Moroccan Sahara is therefore planned, but will only take place if the covid situation permits and peace and safety have returned.
The rest of Morocco
If the corona measures are ended, we will again organize trips in the rest of Morocco. Merhaban, Welcome!