n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Western Sahara's 'Arab Spring' - : North Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 07
  • ISSN :


Following years of a diplomatic stalemate, the attention of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has returned to Western Sahara. Resolution 2099, which reaffirmed the Sahrawis' right to self-determination, was passed on 25 April 2013. However, the news was immediately followed by large demonstrations in Layounne, Western Sahara. The protestors came to the streets to denounce the UNSC's decision to not expand the role of the United Nations' (UN) peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara - Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) - to include human rights monitoring in the area. As the 'Arab Spring' progresses in its third year, there may be reason to believe that the winds of change will next reach Western Sahara. Yet, international geopolitical dynamics, primarily Morocco's special relationship with the United States (US) and France, will ultimately undermine the Sahrawis' hopes for overcoming this conflict's .

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