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Polisario

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of Western Sahara The Polisario, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberacin de Sagua el Hamra y Ro de Oro ("People's Liberation Front of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro") is an army and political movement in the Western Sahara, principally comprised of the Sahrawi people. It has an estimated membership of about 10,000. Secretary-General is Mohamed Abdelaziz.

On February 27 1976, Polisario formally proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). It has a government in exile. Abdelaziz is president. The SADR is a member of the African Union, but not of the UN. It has been acknowledged as a state by 76 states, nearly all of them African or Latin American. Some countries have not recognised the SADR, but do recognise Polisario as representative of the Saharawi people. Still other countries do not recognise Polisario at all, but also do not recognise Morocco's unilateral annexation of the area. No state has formally recognized Morocco's annexation of Western Sahara.

Polisario is a successor of the Movement for the Liberation of the Sahara in the 1960s, lead by Bassiri. Spanish troops under Franco's regime crushed the uprising.

Polisario was formed on May 10, 1973 with the express intention of the removal of Spanish, Moroccan (and for a period of about 4 years Mauritanian) military administration of the Western Sahara. One of its founders was Mustapha Ouali, ex-member of the Communist Party of Morocco (who has since been estranged from the group). For the next two years, Polisario organized a number of hit-and-run attacks against occupation forces.

From 1975 Polisario has been stationed in Tindouf, western Algeria. In the same year United Nations mission recognized it and the World Court at The Hague ruled in favor of their self-determination.

Polisario signed a peace treaty with Mauritania August 5, 1979. Mauritania withdrew, but the area it had occupied was now additionally taken by Morocco.

Polisario still contests the Western Sahara with Morocco, though Morocco has largely managed to keep Polisario troops off by a sand wall (the Moroccan Wall or berm) and its larger army.

A cease-fire between Polisario and Morocco, monitored by MINURSO (UN) is effective since September 6, 1991.

Polisario controls the part of the Western Sahara on the east of the Moroccan Wall, which is almost uninhabited.

Near Tindouf it organizes the Saharawi refugee camps. Also it holds there 500 Moroccan POWs, some for more than 20 years. They are the longest-held prisoners of war in the world. Attempts by the Red Cross to repatriate the soldiers have been met with apathy and antipathy by the Moroccan government - some have been refused reentry and renewed citizenship.

Libya has unilaterally withdrawn support since the early 1980's, and support in Algeria has dwindled.

See also

External links

ca:Front Polisario de:POLISARIO es:Frente Polisario fr:Polisario it:Polisario ja:ポリサリオ戦線 nl:Polisario

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