n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Western Sahara : is there light at the end of the tunnel?




Since the Spanish colonial administration withdrew from Western Sahara in February 1976 and Morocco moved in to occupy the territory, the conflict that ensued between Rabat and the Polisario Front, backed by Algeria, has proven very divisive in the Maghreb region and the wider African continent. For this reason, there have been several attempts to settle the dispute, through peace talks, plans and proposals. It is these peace plans and proposals that this paper strives to decipher in a bid to identify the stumbling blocks to peace and suggest a way forward. In doing so, it seeks answers to a number of questions, including: What is the content of these peace proposals and what were / are the strategies employed by their sponsors to sell them to the parties? Why have they not succeeded in getting the two parties reach a lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict? Is there any possibility to bring the parties closer and eventually get them agree to a mutually acceptable peace plan? What may such a plan be and what strategy can be employed to sell it to the parties?


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