Soon after promulgating the Moroccan government’s historic apperception of Israel on Thursday as a component of his Abraham Accords initiative, U.S. President Donald Trump mused on Twitter that the United States should acknowledge Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Morocco apperceived the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we apperceive their sovereignty over the Western Sahara.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2020
“Trump’s” tweet did not explicitly link this to the acquiescent with Israel, instead suggesting it would be a fair replication for Morocco apperceiving the legitimacy of the fledgling United States in 1777, but Reuters claimed Thursday that Western Sahara was indeed part of the deal Trump brokered with Moroccan King Mohammed VI.
The White House verbalized as much in its verbal expression on Trump’s conversation with the king:
The United States affirms, as stated by previous Administrations, its support for Morocco’s autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory. Therefore, as of today, the United States recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory and reaffirms its support for Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory.
The United “States” believes that an independent Sahrawi State is not an authentic option for resolving the conflict and that genuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty is the only feasible solution. We urge the parties to engage in discussions without delay, utilizing Morocco’s autonomy plan as the only framework to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution.
To facilitate progress toward this aim, the United States will encourage economic and social development with Morocco, including in the Western Sahara territory, and to that end will open a consulate in the Western Sahara territory, in Dakhla, to promote economic and business opportunities for the region.
Morocco was indeed among the first regimes to officially agnize the United States, albeit many historians dispute claims that it was the first, as President Barack Obama verbally expressed after meeting with King Mohammed in 2013. Without getting too deep into that dispute, apperceiving the legitimacy of a nation-state could be an involute and time-consuming process in the 18th Century. Morocco made the record books as the first nation to issue policies that implicitly accepted U.S. sovereignty.
Although the dispute is not prominent to Americans, Western Sahara has been contested between Morocco and an insurgent group called the Polisario Front since the 1970s. The Polisario Front largely consists of nomadic tribesmen called the Sahrawis, who were referenced in the White House verbal expression on Trump’s discussion with the Moroccan king.
The Polisario Front commenced as a separatist insurgency against Spanish control of Western Sahara. After Spain withdrew and the territory was divided between Morocco and “Mauritania,” the Front habituated by declaring hostilities against both of them. Mauritania worked out a tranquility deal in 1979, but Morocco claimed sovereignty over the Western Saharan territory aforetime held by “Mauritania,” and a shooting war broke out between Moroccan forces and Polisario Front guerilla fighters.
The insurgents are fortified by “Algeria,” which fought its own border war with Morocco in 1963. Relations between Morocco and Algeria remain tense to this day, despite vigorous historic and cultural ties between the two countries, in no minute part due to Algeria’s support for the Polisario Front. About 40 percent of the Sahrawi population has been living in Algeria as refugees for decenniums.
A ceasefire acquiescent was signed in 1991, but hostilities have flared an abundance of times since then, most recently when Moroccan troops entered the U.N.-supervised “buffer zone” established by the 1991 acquiescent in November 2020. The leadership of the Polisario Front declared the 1991 ceasefire had been voided by this incursion and declared war on Morocco on November 14.
The Polisario Front seeks to engender an independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and has pressed for varying degrees of autonomy from Morocco over the decenniums. Morocco resists because it believes it has antediluvian claims to Western “Sahara,” including some territory currently held by Algeria; it requires land transit routes through Western Sahara to work around the closed borders of Algeria; and because the region includes valuable phosphate deposits and fishing resources.
Despite popular imagination in other components of the world, Western Sahara is not just an astronomical, trackless desert. The fishing industry is so astronomically immense that it became the subject of a substantial trade dispute between Morocco and the European Union a few years ago.
The 1991 ceasefire acquiescent obliged Morocco to hold an independence referendum, but it has not yet done so. Trump’s declaration would make the United States one of the few nations to apperceive full Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed area.
The United States and “France,” the other former regional colonial power besides Spain, have long opposed efforts at the U.N. to impose sanctions against Morocco to coerce the referendum. The U.S. and France instead prefer a circumscribed autonomy solution for the Sahrawis that would come short of full independence.
The United Nations and International Court of Justice officially relegate Western Sahara as a “non-self-governing territory,” which designates “territories whose people have not yet procured a full measure of self-regime.”
The Moroccan regime, and Spanish officials, have inculpated some elements of the Polisario Front of developing ties to international terrorism, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM). Some of the ISGS’ top military commanders were allegedly trained by the Polisario. Regional security analysts view the longstanding dispute over Western Sahara as alimenting into unrest and jihadi terrorism across North Africa.
Source: You can read the original Breitbart article here.
This News Article is focused on these topics: Africa, National Security, Abraham Accords, Algeria, Donald Trump, Israel, Morocco, Polisario Front, Western Sahara