29 Jun 2007

What will it take to resolve the dispute in Western Sahara?

Hakim Darbouche

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After 16 years of war, 12 years of failed diplomacy and 4 years of deadlock, the conflict in the Western Sahara is back to square one. Resumed direct negotiations, under UN auspices, between Morocco and the Polisario Front on the basis of the former’s recent proposal are doomed. Besides impeding meaningful cooperation and integration in the Maghreb – to the loss of the nations of the region and even the EU – this ‘forgotten’ conflict, with its 165,000 refugees in desert camps, can take a violent turn at any juncture, with far-reaching implications. In light of the recent developments, CEPS Associate Fellow Hakim Darbouche asks in this CEPS Policy Brief what it will take to resolve the Western Sahara dispute.