Going under the radar in Western Sahara

Published in London, Routledge, 2015

Recommended citation: Wilson, A. (2015). " Going under the radar in Western Sahara. " In Zoubir, Y. and White, G. (eds) North African politics: change and continuity (London, Routledge), pp. 128-142. . https://www.routledge.com/North-African-Politics-Change-and-continuity/Zoubir-White/p/book/9781138922969

The case for decolonization in Western Sahara hinges upon the right of the people of the territory to self-determination. Yet during four decades of Morocco and Western Sahara’s liberation movement vying for sovereignty over the territory, and two decades of UN attempts at conflict resolution, a political stalemate has taken hold which has left the people of Western Sahara all too often overlooked in their own conflict. This chapter examines how, despite the formal stalemate, under the radar of formal politics there have been significant changes on the ground in recent years. The people of Western Sahara in exile in Algeria, in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, and in the Sahrawi diaspora, are mobilizing in new ways. If these shifts have yet to shake the stalemate, the increasing mobilization of Sahrawi populations suggests that attempts to resolve the conflict must engage with, rather than overlook, Sahrawi populations and their desires.