Keyword : Western Sahara/Morocco


UN Betrayal of Western Sahara Appears Imminent
1 June 2001

When a country violates fundamental principles of international law and when the UN Security Council demands that it cease its illegal behavior, one might expect that the world body would impose sanctions or other measures to foster compliance. This has been the case with Iraq, Libya, and other international outlaws in recent years. One would not expect for the United Nations to respond to such violations by passing a series of new and weaker resolutions that essentially allow for the transgressions to stand. However, this is exactly what appears to be taking place in the case of Morocco and its 25-year occupation of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), better known as Western Sahara. Soon after the International Court of Justice ruled against Morocco’s claims to the territory and the right of the Sahrawis for self-determination, Morocco invaded Western Sahara in November 1975. At that time the UN passed UN Security Council Resolution 380 calling for Morocco to withdraw immediately from the territory. The U.S. and France not only blocked the UN from imposing sanctions and otherwise enforcing its resolution, but they also sent military advisers and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms in subsequent years to support Morocco’s conquest. As a result, the majority of the country’s population was forced into exile in neighboring Algeria.


Morocco and Western Sahara
1 December 1998

Key Points:

Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975 in violation of resolutions by the UN Security Council and a decision by the International Court of Justice.

The United States has provided military, economic, and diplomatic support for Morocco’s war effort.

A cease-fire and proposed referendum bring promise for peace in the territory, but U.S. leadership is needed to insure its implementation.