This case is that which is perhaps the longest and also a disfigurement on the hearts of African political leaders and the UN in particular. Located in the North West of Africa, Western Sahara is bordered to the north with the Kingdom of Morocco, to the East with Algeria and in the south by Mauritania. It became a Spanish colony in 1884 and in 1934 its status was transformed into a province of the kingdom of Spain. And in 1973, a self-determination movement known as the ‘Polisario’ was created, meanwhile, on the side lines two African countries were laying claims on her.
The countries that were laying claims over Western Sahara are: the Islamic republic of Mauritania and the Kingdom of Morocco. But two years later, the International Court of justice rejected the African kingdom of Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara. This was because Morocco was the more vocal and assertive of the latter mentioned claimants. While stopping through a court injunction the expansionist tendencies of the Kingdom of Morocco, the UN court was in so doing also recognising the rights of the Saharouis (as the people of Western Sahara are called) for self determination.
However, the UN’s decision did not thwart the late despotic ruler of Morocco, late King Hassan II to order in the month of November 1975, his infamous Green march of 300 hundred thousand Moroccans to invade the territory under the nose of the International community and the Organisation of African Unity, the ancestor of the current African Union. What is not clear though is whether the dictator king was buoyed by the Madrid agreement signed on the 14th of November 1975, which divided the territory into two as the Spanish were leaving or it was his special relationship with the US at the time of the cold war, which made him to violate International accords audacious impunity.
Although under occupation, the people of Western Sahara in 1976 did declare the creation and independence of the Arab Democratic Republic of Western Sahara and its president since then, has been Mohamed Abdelaziz, who is living in exile in Algeria. Algeria for a long time and more recently the Republic of South Africa are perhaps the only African countries that has demonstrated a high level of solidarity to the Saharouis and also up hold the precept of the foundation of the continental body which enunciates the preservation of colonially inherited borders.
However in 1991, the Western Saharan dossier was finally dust off from where it was filed in New York and the UN decided to establish the United Nations Mission for a referendum in Western Sahara. But since then, nothing has changed; for the Moroccans are ignoring all UN injunctions, and up till now, millions is poured in to pay UN staffs who ride around Layoune the capital of Western Sahara, in air conditioned four wheel drives.
These UN bureaucrats who are treated like royal children and paid lump sum have achieved nothing in Western Sahara. What is bizarre here again is that, a similar situation happened in south East Asia, in this specific case, the Indonesians invaded East Timor a former Portuguese territory in 1976.
Nevertheless, the UN did push the Indonesians to vacate from East Timor via a referendum that took place in 1999. In Western Sahara, Moroccan authorities have repeatedly impeded the holding of any referendum and nobody in Africa or at International level seem worried. No sanctions have ever been asked against Morocco’s defiance of International law. Even the Islamic terrorists who are claiming that, their terror is justified because Israel is allegedly occupying a Moslem land called Palestine, have never criticised Morocco’s occupation of another Moslem country.
It is true that the ancestor of the African Union under Secretary Edem Kodjo did recognise Western Sahara which in turn made Morocco to leave the continental body in 1984, but the international community did not give any support to the great action of the Secretary General of the OAU at that time. The go-go European Union that is bankrolling the kingdom of Morocco for fear that all its citizens do not emigrate to Europe, does not care whether her protégés respects human rights or any International norms that some members of the loquacious political organisation seems to fancy.
Besides helping Morocco to defy international law by occupying Western Sahara, the European Union also uses the roguish Kingdom to humiliate the African Union which Morocco is no longer a member. One of the visible ruses used by the EU to humiliate the African Union is to organise African summits in Morocco instead of Addis Ababa or other legitimate members of the African Union that, the ambiguous and appalling European organisation claims to be a partner.
In this recent days China has invited secretly the President of RASD in Beijing for discussion. As we know China is for long time side to RASD but, did not recognize till now the government of Dakhla. For what reason???.. it seems interested in Oil and Gas in Western Sahara. A high level of Experts from CNPC (China National Petroleum Company) conducted recently a first round meeting with some British, South Korean, Russian, Spanish and US experts for a Geological study of the probable huge Oil and Gas field in the region and according to an Oil and Gas revue t"This will be the most important Oil field in World" on-shore and offshore. Why this ...and why at this moment..???. Probably we will know in few weeks or months the destiny of the Western Sahara...But China in this relation with R.A.S.D will remain firm and will recognize the Government of Dakhla sooner or later even Obama himself on his last statement said: "It is shame for us and for the world not to pay attention to the last colony in Africa..the Western Sahara". On my conclusion something is moving on right side to solve definitively this problem but not by African Union. or maybe the African Union will play a minimum role on this problem. But, need just wait till the Palestine problem is solved.