Western Sahara: the secret negotiations

The French-language Moroccan magazine Tel Quel -- a great read on a country little covered elsewhere on the web -- has a cover story on the history of underground negotiations between the Moroccan political class and the Sahraoui independence movement since the 1970s. Timely reading in context of South Africa's recent controversial decision to recognize the Sahraoui Republic as a state, something that most Western states continue to refuse to do. It really seems that there is a missed opportunity to solve the problem once and for all, notably because official negotiations have come to a dead end (witness James Baker's resignation as the UN's negotiator in the matter and the postponement of a referendum), the players directly involved (Morocco, Algeria, the Polisario) seem reluctant to revive them and other governments that could influence them (the US, France, Spain) are distracted by the war on terror and other matters.

Maroc/Polisario: Les négociations secrètes
1 Comment

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.