Western Sahara: The last African territory awaiting decolonization. Plus Algeria’s civil war & Libya
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In December outgoing president Donald trump pulled one more shocking foreign policy decision when he recognized Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara in exchange for Morocco normalizing relations with Israel.
Western Sahara has been disputed since the Spanish withdrew in 1975 and the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario front, an armed liberation movement, continued until the 1991 ceasefire.
Last year the Polisario Front, which is backed by neighboring Algeria, declared the ceasefire over. Most recently, the Moroccans expressed fury after the leader of the Polisario Front was given medical treatment in Spain, and the Moroccans retaliated by unleashing refugees into Spanish territory.
Jacob Mundy is an associate professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Colgate University.
He has recently published a report for the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he’s a visiting fellow, proposing creating new solutions to the decades old problem, entitled: “Free to choose: A new plan for peace in Western Sahara.”
He joined Rania Khalek’s program Dispatches to discuss this and other areas of his expertise, including Libya and Algeria.