Friday, November 02, 2012
An Independent Western Sahara State is the Solution
An Independent Western Sahara State is the Solution Capitalism Nature Socialism Volume 23, Issue 4, 2012 Malainin Lakhal* pages 40-51 Version of record first published: 02 Nov 2012 On December 14, 1960, nations of the world adopted a historical resolution to end an era of colonization. The “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,” or Resolution 1514 (XV) (UNHCR 1960), passed by the General Assembly that year was, in fact, heralded as the Magna Carta of the decolonization process in the world and the second most important step adopted by the international community after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The next year, the UN constituted the Special Committee on the Situation of Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, known as the Committee of the 24. The whole process enabled the emergence of new independent countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America after decades of bitter sacrifices and struggles against their oppressors and plunderers. Fifty-two years later, the job of this Committee remains unfinished, since the UN still registers sixteen territories as Non-Self-Governing territories and colonies, including Western Sahara, “the last colony in Africa” (UN 2012). From the very first day of the adoption of the Declaration, big powers and multinationals decided to find ways to overturn the will of the people and their struggle for freedom. They have done this by tying up emerging countries with economic and political constraints and starting what can rightly be described as a re-colonization (or neo-colonialism) process. Nevertheless, the strong winds of liberation and anti-colonialist feelings have pushed more and more adoptions of texts that confirm the people's innate rights to fight for their freedom. On December 20, 1965 for example, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2105 (XX), stating it: Recognizes the legitimacy of the struggle by the peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination and independence and invites all States to provide material and moral assistance to the national liberation movements in colonial Territories (UN 1965, no. 10). That same year, Western Sahara, then commonly known as “Spanish Sahara,” was registered in the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Spain, the colonizing power at the time, adopted all possible delaying tactics, including trying to annex the territory by creating fake representations of the Saharawi people and proposing an autonomy to the country that the people of Western Sahara never accepted, exactly as Morocco is trying to do today. Map of Western Sahara The Saharawi people today are under violent and brutal repression by Morocco, which encloses those remaining in Saharawi territory in designated areas surrounded by military barriers and millions of landmines. The Saharawi struggle began in 1884, the first year that Spain claimed their country as a colony. Saharawi warriors first attacked the invaders in Dakhla. Between 1884 and 1958, freedom fighters fought many battles not only against the Spanish army but also the French, who were colonizing Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. To the Saharawi resistance, Spain and France were just two faces of the same coin. In 1958 these two colonial powers organized a huge military operation, called Ecouvillon, with the support of the army of Morocco, which had gained its independence just two years before. The goal was to destroy both all Saharawi armed resistance and the Moroccan liberation army that was still fighting the French colonial presence in their own country. Ecouvillon succeeded, and soon after it ended, Spain rewarded Morocco for its assistance. In an agreement between the two countries signed by Moroccan King Mohamed V, Madrid gave him the province of Tarfaya, which was part of Spanish Sahara until that time. The resistance, however, never stopped. In 1967, a young Saharawi teacher and journalist, Sidi-Brahim Basiri, organized the first Saharawi political organization, the Vanguard Movement of the Liberation of the Sahara, whose first open action was a vast peaceful popular uprising in 1970 (Zemla Intifada) in the occupied capital of Western Sahara, El Aaiun. Despite the nonviolent nature of the protest, the Spanish response was brutal. Many Saharawis were killed or injured by the Spanish army, and others were arrested, including the leader of the movement, Basiri. Despite strong suggestions that he was killed by the army shortly after he was arrested and tortured, to this date Basiri remains officially missing, because the Spanish government refuses to reveal the truth about his fate. The violence against the Saharawis peaceful national liberation movement triggered the birth of another liberation movement, which adopted armed struggle. The Frente Por la Liberacion del Sahara Occidental y Rio de Oro (POLISARIO, also known as Frente Polisario and the Polisario Front) was formed on May 10, 1973 by young Saharawi students, older veterans of the fifties, and members of the dismantled peaceful Movement. This new organization was led by a dynamic 22-year-old student, El Wali Mustapha Sayed. Ten days later, on May 20, 1973, POLISARIO succeeded in its first military operation against a small Spanish military post in Al Khanga, declaring the start of a new stage of resistance. Disturbed by the continuous unrest in Western Sahara, the UN, which continued to pressure Spain to decolonize its colony, sent a fact-finding mission to the territory in October 1975. At that time, neighboring Morocco and Mauritania were calling for a ruling from the International Court of Justice to challenge Spain's declared “willingness” to allow a self-determination referendum for the Saharawis by 1975. The UN fact-finding mission found and clearly stated that POLISARIO was the main political actor in the territory, and it recognized that POLISARIO represented the Saharawi majority, which refused any kind of annexation of their homeland by Spain, Morocco, or Mauritania. The International Court of Justice, meanwhile, studied the issue of sovereignty over Western Sahara for a month with the presence of representatives from the three countries who were holding claims in Western Sahara. Although Saharawis were excluded from the debate, on October 16, 1975, the ICJ found that: The materials and information presented to it [by Spain, Morocco and Mauritania] do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity. Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 in the decolonization of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the people of the Territory. (ICJ 1975) Decolonization Unfinished, Re-colonization Begins Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future Despite this clear ruling and a Spanish promise to implement the UN's resolutions calling for the organization of a self-determination referendum for the people of Western Sahara, Spain, succumbing to pressure from France and the U.S., signed a tripartite agreement with Morocco and Mauritania. Under this agreement, known as the Madrid Agreement, Spain abandoned its North African colony to a brutal double military invasion from both the north and south. Following the “deal,” Morocco and Mauritania moved to annex the territory, dividing it in two “portions.” In return for withdrawing, Spain was guaranteed privileged access to Saharawi natural resources, especially fisheries and phosphate. U.S. documents first published in 2006, reveal that in the 1970s, Henry Kissinger and the American government had given Moroccan King Hassan II the green light to invade.1 Hassan immediately put his plans into action by announcing what he called a “Green March,” which would take place on November 6, 1975. Generously covered by the Western and Arab media as a major “peaceful” event of liberation, the march included more than 350,000 Moroccan civilians. But behind the scenes far from the cameras, as early as October 31 (six days before the “civilian” march), the Moroccan army had started the invasion in coordination with the Spanish authorities. They attacked the northeastern territories of Western Sahara, killing large numbers of the Saharawi population. Aside from having to face both the Moroccan and the Mauritanian armies, The Polisario Front now had to protect civilians from genocide after the Moroccan air forces started bombarding them with napalm, cluster bombs, and white phosphorous bombs. The Saharawi movement also had to develop a diplomatic and political struggle to force the international community to assume its responsibility. American and French support along with the Arab countries’ money was crucial to the success of the Moroccan invasion, which faced fierce armed resistance by the Saharawi guerillas that cost the Moroccan army thousands of casualties and significant amounts of military equipment. American, French, and Arab backing hindered any kind of intervention by the UN, despite the fact that Morocco was committing a clear military aggression and annexing another territory by force. Under normal circumstances, Chapter VII in the UN Charter, titled “Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression,” would have been invoked to deal with the situation. But Morocco's influential allies never allowed this to happen. A Military Aggression Treated Under Chapter VI Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future Jacob Mundy, an American scholar who has extensively studied the Western Sahara issue, written many articles about it, and recently co-authored a book with Stephen Zunes (Zunes, et al. 2010), summed up the situation this way: Morocco's forceful attempt to annex Western Sahara constitutes one of the most egregious violations of the international order codified in the wake of World War Two. The United Nations was founded to prevent the aggressive expansion of territory by force. Yet in Western Sahara, the Security Council has turned a blind eye to Morocco's blatant contravention of the UN Charter (Mundy 2007). Instead of treating the case of Western Sahara under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, Morocco's powerful allies pressured the Security Council to handle it under Chapter VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) (UN Charter, Chapter VI). As a consequence, the UN is unable to impose the implementation of any resolution it adopts on any parties to the conflict, including the aggressor because Chapter VI calls for “negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, [and] resort[ing] to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice” (UN Charter, Chapter VI, Article 33). In this case, more than 100 resolutions have been adopted in vain by the Security Council and the General Assembly because Morocco consistently refuses to implement them. This state of affairs has prevented the exercise of self-determination for Western Sahara and allowed Morocco and its allies to violate the human rights of its people and plunder their natural resources with total impunity. The political dynamics of the situation remain entrenched; under continuing pressure from France and the U.S. along with Spain's failure to assume its legal responsibility to decolonize the territory, the UN is now trying to resolve the conflict in a way that would favor Morocco's illegal annexation of the last colony in Africa. Testimonies and studies by different UN officials and researchers reveal that the UN's brokered settlement plan of 1991 and subsequent peace plans were all designed to force increasing concessions from the Saharawis instead of forcing Morocco to respect international law, which recognizes the Saharawi people's rights to self-determination, independence, and sovereignty over their territory (Zunes, et al. 2010). Furthermore, UN officials, especially former UN Secretary General, Perez De Cuellar, systematically and purposefully deceived the Saharawi liberation movement, including giving it false information and documents, to convince it to adhere to the peace plan (Zunes, et al. 2010). Now the UN is little by little pushing the weakest party in the conflict, the oppressed Saharawi people, to give up their right, cease fighting, and accept autonomy within Morocco. However, these “efforts” have not succeeded because the Saharawi resistance never stopped championing the right to independence. After accepting the UN's involvement and respecting a cease-fire in 1991, the Saharawi population adopted new tactics of struggle. Peaceful resistance began as early as 1992, a few months after the deployment of the UN Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). In 1999 and 2005, different Saharawi occupied cities were sites of massive peaceful popular uprisings that transcended the recognized geographic borders of Western Sahara to reach the southern region of Morocco, which was historically Saharawi. Nevertheless, the UN continues to: [c]all upon the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect. (UNSC 2010). That is to say, that the UN is waiting for the oppressor, Morocco, to abandon its expansionist plans and give Saharawis their land back. Because Morocco refuses to allow the Saharawis to vote democratically in any referendum that includes independence as one of the three obligatory choices for self-determination (independence, autonomy or integration), the solution remains out of reach. Meanwhile, the Moroccan occupation forces continue to oppress any Saharawi demonstration or uprising that champions independence or demands Saharawi people's rights, while the UN mission continues its role as a passive witness to human rights violations committed by Moroccan authorities and primarily documented by international human rights organizations. MINURSO is not only failing to implement its main mandate, organizing a referendum, it is also the only UN peacekeeping mission in the world that is not officially mandated to monitor and protect human rights. Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights Violations: The French Connection Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future In 2006, the UN dispatched a mission from the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner to Western Sahara and the Saharawi Refugee Camps in southwest Algeria. In May and June 2006, mission representatives met with victims of violations and human rights defenders on both sides and concluded that: 1. As has been stated in various UN fora, the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara must be ensured and implemented without any further delay. As underlined above, the delegation concludes that almost all human rights violations and concerns with regard to the people of Western Sahara, whether under the de facto authority of the Government of Morocco or of the Frente Polisario, stem from the non-implementation of this fundamental human right. 2. The efforts by the international community through the Security Council and the Secretary-General aiming at assisting the parties to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution consistent with the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara should be fully supported and upheld. (OHCHR 2006) This report was embargoed from 2006 because France pressured the Security Council to prevent its publication; however, it was recently leaked to the media and NGOs. It's particularly interesting that the same French government that openly declares support for the illegal Moroccan occupation of the territory also opposes any kind of enlargement of MINURSO's mandate to include the protection and monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara. French representatives also made it clear in the Security Council in 2010 and 2011 that France will veto any Security Council mandate for the UN Mission in Western Sahara to protect civilians against Moroccan violations—a position France neglected to adopt recently regarding Libya and Syria. In those cases Paris “vehemently” campaigned for the “protection of civilians” from the violence of the authorities in those two countries. Morocco's brutality in the invasion and occupation constitutes crimes against humanity and war crimes, especially during the first years of the invasion (Hanga, et al. 2010). Morocco continues to commit unspeakable human rights’ violations, such as the systematic practice of torture against peaceful demonstrators and prisoners, including children, forced disappearance, and arbitrary detention, in addition to plundering the natural resources of Western Sahara against the will of the population. Morocco also built and maintains the longest military wall ever constructed by a colonial power. This wall divides Saharawi families in two parts, making it impossible for them to reunite or even meet. The invasion also generated one of the longest political refugee situations in the world. Since 1976, approximately 200,000 Saharawi political refugees have been based in southwest Algeria living on basic international humanitarian aid. The camps are run by the refugees themselves under the administration of the Polisario Front and the Saharawi Republic, and thus provide a rare experience of refugees’ self-administration. Military Enclosure and the Demographic Invasion Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future Between 1980 and 1987, the Moroccan Royal Army built approximately 4,000 km of sand-walls in six stages. Today, 2,700 km remain in active use.2 This endeavor could not have succeeded without strong political support from Israel, France, and the U.S. along with money from Gulf Arab states to engineer and construct it. More than 120,000 Moroccan troops are stationed in posts and military bases every 2 to 3 km, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Beyond the wall, Morocco maintains live minefields and barbed-wire fences and other military devices and obstacles, making it impossible for people and animals to move around in the once-free desert. According to the most conservative estimate, Morocco deployed more than 5 million landmines it received from European countries, the U.S., and Israel, making Western Sahara one of the ten most landmine-laden countries in the world. Like Israel, Morocco continues to refuse to sign the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. The military sand-wall, or berm, and network of landmines make the occupied zones of Western Sahara the biggest open sky prison in the world, keeping the Saharawi population confined to their cities unable to move freely in their territory as they could before the invasion. Dozens of victims are maimed or killed by the landmines every year. The military wall also undermines the Saharawi traditional nomadic life, a campaign Morocco engaged in from the beginning of the invasion, when the Moroccan army began forcing all nomads to go to the cities. Survivors tell stories from the 1970s of extermination of complete families and groups of nomads, including groups who have been buried alive or bombed and killed with their livestock. Morocco has engaged in enormous efforts to change the demography in Western Sahara. In addition to the massacres, detention, intimidation, harassment, and forced impoverishment against Saharawis, all of which has pushed thousands to flee Western Sahara, Moroccan authorities, similar to Israel's policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, have encouraged Moroccan settlers to move to Western Sahara. The Moroccan government generously encourages settlement, providing housing, double salaries, subsidized food, and jobs. The governent also provides all the facilities and infrastructure that are needed to exploit the natural resources of the North African territory; though this is desert land, it is rich in resources. Natural Resources and European Greed Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future Western Sahara, which is around the size of the U.K., has one of the world's richest fisheries off of its coast, one of the largest high-quality phosphate reserves, possible deposits of oil and gas, iron, gold, diamonds, and other rare minerals. But most important is its richness in terms of renewable energy: 300 sunny days per year, strong winds, as well as additional potential with 1,200 km of Atlantic coastline.3 Besides this, the people of Western Sahara—in the occupied zones, in the camps, and in the Diaspora in Mauritania, Algeria, Spain and elsewhere—number less than one million, though most are well educated and politically active. Morocco started exploiting the phosphate and the fishing resources immediately after it took control of the western part of the territory; it built the military wall to protect this exploitation. Western Sahara brings Morocco billions of dollars every year, but it also provides it with a vast territory for 120,000 troops and hundreds of thousands of Moroccan settlers. Moreover, it was recently proved that the Moroccan king is personally exploiting the potential of the territory around the southern city of Dakhla where he has a vast agricultural plantation dedicated to growing high-quality tomatoes, melons, bananas and other products specifically for export to European markets (WSRW 2012). But the Moroccan king's money isn't the only foreign plunderer. French multinational firms own big plantations in the same region and are developing a colonial agriculture that doesn't provide any profit to the region or its inhabitants. Even the seasonal workers are Moroccans who are brought in mainly from the north. According to a recent report by Western Sahara Resource Watch, an international NGO, in 2010, agricultural production totaled around 60,000 tons, 95 percent of which was sent to foreign markets. The Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture estimates the cultivable area of the southern parts of Western Sahara at about 1,000,000 hectares, and there are hundreds of thousands hectares in the north of the territory that can be exploited. A significant problem in this exploitation is the abuse of precious water resources by the Moroccan state and the multinationals. WSRW points to French plantation owner Tawarta, which has “two deep wells, both more than 500 meters deep, pumping up water reserves from non-renewable underground water basins at a speed of 13–14 liters per second” (WSRW, Conflict Tomatoes 2012). Although Western Sahara currently has huge underground water resources, in the larger context of escalating global water scarcity, these resources should be conserved, used responsibly, and not squandered to irrigate luxury products that go to European hotels and markets to enrich the Moroccan king and French multinationals. Even the Saharawi sand is plundered. All Spanish Canary Island and Madeira beaches are permanent clients. They import thousands of tons of pristine dune sand every year to attract more and more tourists. Despite all the richness of the Saharawi territory, the Saharawi population continues to suffer joblessness, poverty, and a variety of abuses. In October 2010, some 20,000 Saharawis of all ages and generations walked out of the capital of Western Sahara 12 km to build a tent protest camp, Gdeim Izik camp, and demand respect for their social, economic, cultural, and political rights. On November 8, 2010, the Moroccan army attacked the camp, arresting hundreds of people and turning the city into a theater of confrontation for days. Noam Chomsky declared in several interviews that this protest action and confrontation was the prelude to the Arab spring that followed a little more than a month later in mid-December (Chomsky 2011). Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future Although the Saharawi people have lived in refugee camps for the past 36 years, they refuse to be seen as poor and helpless victims. They have always been resistant, which is why they are still fighting the invaders as well as resisting the pressures of Morocco's powerful allies. Saharawis have had to fight against Spain's immoral treason4; they have had to deal with the U.S.'s “pragmatic policies,” which favored the interests of Morocco over respect for international law; they have had to face France's blatant support of the occupation and human rights abuses; they have had to confront the Arab denial of their right to be treated as equals, as an African-Arab-moderate Muslim nation that longs to live in peace with its neighbors and believes in an emancipated and unified Africa. In their quest to manifest their dream of independence, the Saharawis have had to fight a bitter sixteen-year war to earn international recognition of their rights. They also have had to build a state from scratch, because Spain didn't leave them a single national institution. So, the refugee camps were built to secure the lives of thousands of women and children, but also to empower them with education and skills to be the human pillars upon which a nation-state has been built, thus farm, in exile. While men were in the front confronting the Moroccan and Mauritanian armies, Saharawi women assumed the duty of building institutions, such as schools and hospitals. They had to build a life in harsh desert conditions and at the same time learn from the experience, because they were newly transitioning out of a nomadic life and a horrific war situation. Saharawi women currently hold 25 percent of the seats in the Saharawi Parliament. They have a strong political and social organization within POLISARIO devoted to protecting women's rights, and women make up 10 percent of POLISARIO's highest political leadership. Women account for around 14 percent of the government workforce, which includes three women ministers (of culture, education, and social care), and more than 60 percent of those working in health and education. They also have an important presence in the diplomatic corps and in other sectors. A Saharawi Vision for the Future Jump to section Decolonization Unfinished,... A Military Aggression Treated Under... Crimes Against Humanity and Human Rights... Military Enclosure and the Demographic... Natural Resources and European Greed Political Refugees: A Nation in Exile A Saharawi Vision for the Future For the majority of the Saharawis: “there is no other alternative to self-determination,” the common refrain at most demonstrations. The solution can only be a free and democratic vote that would allow the Saharawi people to decide the future of their land. This is what the UN Charter recognizes, this is the International Court of Justice ruling, and this is what all international covenants say. Any other “solution,” no matter how “mutually accepted” by the big powers, would never end the struggle of the Saharwi people, who cherish freedom more than their own lives and who time and again have proved their willingness to die for it. Yet, the Saharawi people know they cannot survive on their own. This is why they have struggled since the seventies to adhere to the dream of a truly self-governing African Union. Now the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, proclaimed since February 27, 1976, is a full-fledged member of the African Union, recognized by some 80 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Saharawis continue to hold the vision for their independent Republic, as evidenced by the slogan they adopted in the Congress of POLISARIO in December 2011: “The Independent Saharawi State is the Solution.” Notes 1For further reading on this, see Mundy 2006. 2 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Western_sahara_walls_moroccan_map-en.svg. This map represents the seven stages of building the Moroccan military wall. British archaeologist, Sal Garfi, who was interested in landscape and 20th century conflict, studied the Moroccan walls using satellite images. He concluded that the six major walls Morocco built from 1980 to 1987 are around 4,000 km long. The active part of the wall is now 2,700 km going from north to the south, as shown in the map. 3For more information on natural resources, visit Western Sahara Resource Watch at http://www.wsrw.org. 4The Saharawis consider the Spanish signature of the tripartite agreement with Morocco and Mauritania as treason because of the promises Spain gave to both the UN and the Saharawis to organize a referendum on Saharawi independence in 1975. The Saharawis were taken by surprise by the Moroccan invasion, because to the last moment, Spain was promising them decolonization. References 1. Chomsky , N. 2011 . The genie is out of the bottle: Assessing change in the Arab world . February 21 . http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/empire/2011/02/20112211027266463.html . 2. International Court of Justice . 1975 . Advisory opinion: Western Sahara . Oct 16 . http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&k=69&case=61&code=sa&p3=4 . 3. Hanga , S. , M. Klamberg , and Y.L. Lennartsson . 2010 . Crimes against humanity in Western Sahara: The case against Morocco . Jurisidisk Publikation http://www.juridiskpublikation.se/2b/library/files/113/S%C3%A1ntha,_Lennartsson_Hartmann_och_Klamberg.pdf . 4. Mundy , J. 2006 . How the U.S. seized Spanish Sahara . Le Monde Diplomatique . Jan . Online at: http://mondediplo.com/2006/01/12asahara . 5. Mundy , J. . 2007 . The legal status of Western Sahara and the laws of war and occupation . http://uswsf.org/images/Legal_status.pdf . 6. UNHCR . 1960 . Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and Peoples’ Resolution 1514 (XV) of 1960 . http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/independence.htm . 7. United Nations . 1965 . Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’ Resolution 2105 (XX) . http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/218/68/IMG/NR021868.pdf?OpenElement . 8. United Nations . 2012 . List of non-self-governing territories . http://www.un.org/en/events/nonselfgoverning/nonselfgoverning.shtml#2 . 9. UN Charter . 1945 . Chapter VI: Pacific settlements of disputes . http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter6.shtml . 10. UN Charter . 1945 . Chapter VII: Action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression . http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml . 11. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights . 2006 . Report of the OHCHR mission to Western Sahara and the refugee camps in Tindouf 15/23 May and 19 June . http://www.arso.org/OHCHRrep2006en.pdf . 12. UN Security Council . 2010 . Mandate of the UN mission for referendum in Western Sahara: Resolution 1920 . http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9917.doc.htm . 13. Western Sahara Resource Watch . 2012 . WSRW report reveals massive agri-industry in occupied Western Sahara . http://www.wsrw.org/a105x2246. Also see report, Conflict Tomato. WSRW. Feb. 14. 2012. http://www.scribd.com/doc/81553687/Conflict-Tomatoes-The-Moroccan-agriculture-industry-in-occupied-Western-Sahara-and-the-controversial-exports-to-the-EU-market . 14. Zunes , S. and J. Mundy . 2010 . Western Sahara: War, nationalism and conflict resolution (Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution) . Syracuse , NY : Syracuse Univ. Press .