Western Sahara is currently in a state of political unrest. From the abrupt ending of the 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and Western Sahara, to U.S. President Trump’s announced support of Morocco, a lot of things are changing quickly.
As of November 13th, the Saharawi declared war against Morocco after Moroccan soldiers entered the United Nations buffer zone between the two territories. This put an end to a nearly three-decade-long ceasefire between Western Sahara and Morocco. According to Euronews, there have been several “shooting incidents” from both sides since war was declared. What the Saharawi desire more than anything is to have their homeland back, and after years of little to no progress, they are eager to see change take place. Thousands of Saharawi volunteers are ready and willing to fight for their home country.
Many countries have formally recognized Western Sahara as independent, while some of the world’s major powers like the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union have not officially taken sides. The United States recently chose to back Morocco, but this decision doesn’t seem to agree with the rest of the world. With Joe Biden entering office as the next U.S. President shortly, U.S. support of Morocco could likely be overturned, according to U.S. Senator James Inhofe and the New York Times.
Although the outcome of all of this is quite unpredictable, the Saharawi people have been mentioned in the global news significantly more than usual. Their situation is, to some extent, being told to the world. If anything positive can come from this unfortunate series of events, it would be the fact that the Saharawi have a gateway to be heard. If this situation is what gains them recognition in the world and even possibly a step closer to living at peace in Western Sahara, it would certainly be worth the fight.
Sources Used: Euronews, New York Times, New York Times
Post By: Lauren Gilmeister, January 14, 2021