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 Legal status of Western Sahara

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kosovohp
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PostSubject: Legal status of Western Sahara   Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:54 am

Because of the conflict over Western Sahara, the status of both regions of "Saguia el-Hamra" and "Río de Oro" is disputed. The United Nations views Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory, and as a case of unfinished decolonization. Morocco's rule in the territory is not internationally recognized, nor is the independent republic proposed by Polisario, a Saharawi group which fought against the Spanish colonial rule and then for Western Sahara's independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (today headquartered in Algeria). There is a ceasefire in effect since 1991, and a UN mission (MINURSO) is tasked with organizing a referendum on whether the territory should become independent or recognized as a part of Morocco. At the time, both parties signed an agreement to this effect, but they not agreed on persons entitled to vote.

The territory is mostly administered as the Southern Provinces by Morocco since Spain handed over the territory to Morocco and Mauritania after the Madrid Accords in 1975-76. Part of the territory, the Free Zone, is an unhabited area controlled by the Polisario Front as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic with Headquarters at Tindouf in Algeria. A UN-administered cease-fire has been in effect since September, 1991.

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