Monday, March 19, 2007

Jacob Mundy on the Western Sahara deadlock

Western Sahara popularizer Jacob Mundy is busy. Fresh from writing an article about Western Sahara for Le Monde Diplomatique, he's written an article for the Middle East Report Online about the growing discontent in Western Sahara as Morocco pushes the autonomy plan.

There's nothing earth-shattering in the article, but Mundy has cutting analysis that synthesizes the events of the last few years and months into an understandable whole. For example, he looks at Polisario's confusing reversals on compromises that come right after Moroccan backpedaling, and writes that the moves came "usually much to Morocco’s chagrin and the Security Council’s delight."

The rest of the article touches on the decade-long deadlock between Western Sahara and Morocco during United Nations interference. Mundy thinks Morocco will never allow a fair referendum, which seems about right. Unfortunately, that means the Sahrawis have to choose between fighting or giving in to Morocco. Mundy thinks they'll choose the former.

On a related note, the picture at left is on Mundy's grad student profile. Do you think that's really him, or did he just find a picture of a man in the desert? I hope it's him, because the picture gives the sense that he woke up in Western Sahara, confused and inappropriately dressed, and decide as long as he was there he might as well support self-determination.