Friday, July 27, 2007

New Stephen Zunes article on Western Sahara: "Out of my way, I'm a famous historian!"

This dashing fourth fifth Gibbs brother is Stephen Zunes, Western Sahara scholar and co-author with Jacob Mundy of Western Sahara: Nationalist and Conflict Irresolution in Northwest Africa. Why is he smiling? Because he has an excellent new article out about the United States's support of the Moroccan autonomy plan!

In the article, Zunes argues that American support for the autonomy plan isn't about a "third way" or a compromise, but a shameless sell-out to Moroccan aggression. He says no country has been allowed to expand by war since World War II and had that expansion recognized by the international community, a standard he fears autonomy would undermine.

Zunes also mentions a depressingly bipartisan list of autonomy supporters. It includes Senate Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Minority Leader John Boehner and Georgetown's own Madeline Albright. So much for the Democratic takeover meaning more respect for self-determination.

It's not all gloom, though. Zunes recalls the international movement to free East Timor as hope for Western Sahara:
In the comparable case of East Timor, only after human rights organizations, church groups, and other activists forced the U.S. government to end its support for Indonesia’s occupation did the Jakarta regime finally offer a referendum that gave the East Timorese their right to self-determination. It may take similar grassroots campaigns to ensure that the United States lives up to its international legal obligations and pressures Morocco to allow the people of Western Sahara to determine their own destiny.
Human rights organizations, church groups, and "other activists"? We've got all three. Now it's just a matter of doing the work.

Western Sahara Info has more.


  1. Will,

    Nitpick: There already are four Brothers Gibb: Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, and Barry Gibb (a.k.a. the Bee Gees) and Andy (who has passed.)

    Otherwise, excellent as always.


  2. Agh! Serves me right for playing on the legislated nostalgia. Thanks for keeping me honest.

  3. Anonymous5:32 AM

    breaking news

    Written Executive Committee "of the Popular Front for the Liberation of red legs and Rio de Oro line martyr" statement to announce a boycott of the 12th General Conference of the Frente POLISARIO and invites all of the nominated as "loyal patriots" to boycott it. .Justify current "line of martyr" his account of this conference "illegitimate" that the Polisario leadership decided to postpone the conference two months after the previously postponed for a whole year, "increasing the formation of a preparatory committee involving only footnote protectors, in the orbit" • Thus, the statement adds martyr, This conference will be only the theatrical new plays single party ... "and adds that in the event that the current leadership's insistence on violating the domestic law postponing the conference" m after last October is the leadership illegitimate and therefore is not authorized to negotiate or speak on behalf of the Saharawi people "says Shahid line in his reached Gazette copy.

  4. Popular Front for the Liberation of red legs and Rio de Oro

    Be honest now, did you use a Google Translator?

  5. punchman8:40 AM

    i think this one it not google translator

    Cape Verde freezes recognition of so-called SADR
    Praia, July 27 - Cape Verde on Friday announced that it has frozen recognition of the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in order to be "more in line with the process evolution and the spirit of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1754."
    "Despite the fact that the government had recognized the SADR in 1979, in a historical specific context, the current situation requires the adoption of a stance that is more in line with the evolution of the process and the spirit of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1754," Cape Verde's Foreign minister Victor Borges told the press.

    This decision, the diplomat said, is ascribed to Cape Verde's resolve to seek coherence vis-à-vis the ongoing negotiation process under the aegis of the UN, and is a sign for the parties that the solution to this regional conflict depends primarily on good will, concessions and the commitment of the parties directly involved.

    He also added that his country's government "heartens the parties to tackle negotiations with a constructive spirit."

    The island country of the Atlantic Ocean has addressed letters to its diplomatic representations abroad and to the African Union to inform them of this decision.

    The decision of Cap Verde comes a month after Kenya decided, on June 26, to freeze recognition of the so-called SADR, that was proclaimed by the Algeria-backed "Polisario" in the mid-seventies to shore up its claim of separating the Moroccan southern provinces, known as the Sahara, from the motherland.

    The UN-led talks, held on June 18-19 in Manhasset (outskirt of New York), came in implementation of the Security Council resolution 1754 (of April 30), calling on the parties to enter negotiations "in good faith" and "without preconditions

  6. Cape Verde's breaking my heart. Oh well. CV for Italy seems like a fair trade.

    What's going on with that Polisario thing? I'm all in favor of non-violent, secular opposition movements in the Front.

  7. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Hi will

    To punchman

    This is till now only MAP news. Not confirmed by any independent news agency. We have to wait for the official C.V. statement.
    May Cape Verde freeze recognition of SADR but this NOT mean that they will recognize the Moroccan Sovereignty on Western Sahara.
    No country in the globe recognize the sovereignty of Morocco on WS. be sure of that

    You mentioned about Cape Verde. But you forget that only in this week other African country Tchad – most larger than CV – have established a diplomatic relationship with SADR. Nicaragua also did the same.
    other big European country like Italy urged their i government to recognize WS.

    Better if You will read the both side of the problem not only one


  8. tangerino2:26 PM

    hi punchman
    some commenter don't like this kind of news you should take it easy on them
    is it true that Kenya froze it recognition of Sadr if so then polisario must be doing something wrong and what about martyr line who are they never heard of them before they sounds like they are angry with polisario
    {to alle} is this the best you can do google translator??
    {to anon} Chad doesnt recognise sadr anymore you must got your information from (al shorouk algerian newspaper} you should recheck and you'll find that was just a lie

  9. anonymous # 1 -- I've tried to locate the original Khat Achahid statement, but can't find it on their (new) website. Do you have a link to or copy of the original, whatever language it may be in? If so, please post it in comments.

    tangerino -- Quiet, people talking.