Jun 17, 2022
It's time to upgrade your UPSC Preparation with our Daily Dose of Current Affairs. Read about The western Sahara Dispute in our today's edition and find its relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus.
For Prelims: Current Events of National and International Importance.
For Mains: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Click here to read yesterday's edition of Current Affairs in case you missed it.
Recently, the Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced suspension of its 20-year-old treaty of “friendship, good neighbourliness, and co-operation" with Spain.
Image Source: The Hindu
India and Africa have been historically connected during different eras through culture, economics, and politics. Comment
Image Source: The Hindu
|Polisario Front: |
The Polisario Front is a politico-military group founded in 1973 with the help of Libya and Algeria, which have had historic ties with the indigenous population of Western Sahara.
It called for self-determination and enjoy the backing of Algeria.
The Polisario Front— also called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro— waged a successful guerrilla war against the Spanish colonialists, and Spain withdrew from the region in 1975.
On February 27, 1976, a day before Spain formally exited the province, the Polisario Front declared the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Western Sahara. While SADR does not have Western recognition, it has been recognised by 70 countries and is a member of the African Union.
Later, Both Morocco and Mauritania moved troops to Western Sahara to assert their claims.
Mauritania signed a peace treaty with Polisario in 1979, consequently withdrawing from the region.
A Brief Timeline: The Western Dispute
1884- Spain colonised Western Sahara, an area formerly populated by Berber tribes.
1934 - Becomes a Spanish province known as Spanish Sahara.
1957 - Newly-independent Morocco lays centuries-old claim to Western Sahara.
1965 - The UN calls for the decolonisation of Western Sahara.1973 - Polisario Front, the indigenous Saharawi independence movement, is founded.
1975 - Morocco's King Hassan defies a Hague ruling in favour of Saharawi rights to self-determination and stages the "Green March" of 350,000 Moroccans into Western Sahara. Spain withdraws.
1975-91 - Polisario Front fights a 16-year-long guerrilla war against Moroccan forces, which ends with UN-brokered cease-fire.
1991-2000s - UN brokered cease-fire ends war but Morocco has yet to hold an agreed referendum on independence. Numerous UN-sponsored talks have failed to yield a breakthrough.
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|About Western Sahara Region|
Western Sahara is a vast, sparsely populated desert region in Northwest Africa, stretching across 2.5 lakh sq. km.
It is bordered by Morocco in the North, Algeria in a small north-eastern patch, and Mauritania in the East and South.
It also has a long coast with the Atlantic Ocean in the West and Northwest.
It is a region rich in phosphates and other minerals and has a lucrative fishing industry on its Atlantic coast.
News Source: The Hindu
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