Obama Ignores Morocco's Illegal Occupation and Human Rights Abuses | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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The most critical issue facing northwestern Africa involves Western Sahara, a sparsely populated country on the Atlantic coast that has been under Moroccan occupation since the kingdom invaded the former Spanish colony in 1975, just prior to its scheduled independence. Defying a series of UN Security Councilresolutions, a landmark World Court decision, and international mediation efforts, the Moroccans have continued to deny the people of the territory their right of self-determination through a UN-sponsored referendum. No country recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the territory, and more than 80 nations, as well as the African Union, have formally recognized Western Sahara as an independent state.

When the nationalist Polisario Front, which had been fighting for the occupied nation's independence, agreed to end its armed struggle in 1991 in return for a referendum, the UN brought in a peacekeeping force known as MINURSO to enforce the ceasefire and oversee the scheduled plebiscite, which never came. The United States and France, both of which hold veto power in the UN Security Council, blocked the United Nations from enforcing a series of resolutions demanding that Morocco provide the Western Saharan people an opportunity to exercise their right of self-determination....