Peacebuilding and Reconciliation: An Introduction


Western Sahara Conflict

In 1975, Morocco approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Mauritania and its territorial claims in the Western Sahara. The ICJ advised that their historical ties to the territory did not give them sovereign control, but instead that the Sahrawi people had a right to self-determination. Nevertheless, once Spain withdrew control, Morocco launched the ?Green March? in which troops took the territory, along with Mauritania, in spite of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic?s (SADR) government in exile. During the next sixteen years, fighting between Morocco and the SADR?s POLISARIO Front continued. Despite efforts by the Organization of African Unity, a ceasefire was not agreed to until 1991 and this has been followed by the deployment of the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara.