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"United Arab Emirates
Honor 2006"

Saharawi Arab Republic (SAR)
Map Geography People Economy Military

Africa's Longest-Running Territorial Dispute
Recognized by Dozens of States and Occupied by Arab Morocco
Morocco built 2000-km separation wall to keep out Saharawi guerilla
Saharawi Arabs Languish for Decades in World's Worst Refugee Camps

The Saharawi Arab Republic, formerly the Spanish colony West Sahara, has been occupied by Arab Morroco for decades - its territory the size of the United Kingdom, 13 times bigger than Israel and 45 times as big as the West Bank.

The Saharawi Arabs have lived in refugee camps for twenty years in the most inhospitable desert, and are most probably the poorest people on earth. In comparison to the average West Sahara Arabs, the poorest of the West Bank Arabs live like kings. Apparently since the Moroccans are Muslim Arabs, and not Jews, the Arab League, the United Nations, Human Rights Organizations, the media etc. are not bothered too much by the fact that Arab West Sahara is occupied and that for decades most Saharawis have been living in squalor and poverty in the world's worst refugee camps.

Saharawi refugee camps (Western Sahara Online): "The temperature in the refugee camps reaches IN SHADE a scorching 135 F (57.2 Celsius) in summer and plunges below freezing in winter. Sandstorms, called siroccos, rip through the refugee camps without warning. Flash floods wipe out entire tent neighborhoods, destroying everything in their path. In the southwest corner of Algeria, nearly 200,000 refugees are struggling to survive in this inhospitable part of the great Sahara Desert." ... "The International Court of Justice in The Hague issued a ruling in 1975 that neither [Arab] Morocco nor [Arab] Mauritania has any claim to the territory of Western Sahara. Mauritania could not militarily, politically or economically sustain fighting against the POLISARIO troops and signed a peace agreement in 1979. They acknowledged the sovereignty of the Western Saharan nation in exile, the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) which was founded in 1976. On the other hand, Morocco refuses to this day to relinquish any claims to Western Sahara." More ...

PROCLAMATION OF THE SAHARAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (February 27, 1976): "We want to draw the attention of the United Nations Organisation, the Organisation of African Unity and the Arab League to their historical responsibility towards a peaceful people, victims of an attempt at extermination, a veritable genocide."

States which recognized the SAR (Western Sahara Online)

MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara): "Following the agreement between the Government of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO, MINURSO was deployed in September 1991 to monitor the ceasefire and to organize and conduct a referendum which would allow the people of Western Sahara to decide the Territory's future status."

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Western Sahara - 2001 (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of U.S. Department of State)

CIA World Factbook (Morocco)

CIA World Factbook (Mauritania)

CIA World Factbook (Western Sahara): "Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara in 1976, and the rest of the territory in 1979. Part of the people of Western Sahara live as refugees for decades. A referendum on final status has been repeatedly postponed. The territory is contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR); territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an OAU member in 1984; guerrilla activities continued sporadically, until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented 6 September 1991". Representatives from the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front have met four times since June 2007 to negotiate the status of Western Sahara, but talks have stalled since the UN envoy to the territory stated in April 2008 that independence is unrealistic.

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