Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How much does Western Sahara cost Morocco?

The latest edition of Moroccan magazine Tel Quel says it has the answers:

  • 20 million dirhams on the military
  • 3.25 million dirhams on "exonerations, subventions, et prebendes". I don't know what that means.
  • 4.87 million dirhams on diplomacy
  • 3.25 million dirhams on "irrationnels" investments
  • 3.25 million dirhams on governance
  • 9.75 million dirhams on "synergies a degager du Maghreb"

That makes for a 44.5 million dirham total. That actually doesn't seem like that much compared to King Mohammed VI's salary (248 million dirhams), according to the same issue of Tel Quel.

The issue also compares how much goods cost in Morocco versus how much they cost in Western Sahara because of government subsides. A liter of cooking oil is 10.2 dirhams in Morocco, while it's less than half that (5 dirhams) in Western Sahara. A liter of diesel gasoline is 7.5 dirhams in Morocco, while it's only 5 dirhams in Western Sahara.


  1. Anonymous3:05 PM

    billions my dear

  2. Anonymous3:39 PM

    that's 3% of gdp growth per year, really huge, but we love our sahara, every sand of it, is just priceless


  3. Anonymous5:04 PM


    can any check this info if true or false.?
    250.000$ from Polisario to "fade" US intelligent officer to train Polisario leaders security staf.

    Sahel Inte. is known that he anti-polisario from

  4. Anonymous12:40 AM

    i think that's Blackwater mercenaries, the polisario propaganda want us to believe that"s cia, of course it's false like most of the news from polisario/algeria

  5. Anonymous5:33 AM

    ridiculous. first, sahel intelligence is a sister site of morocco's "polisario confidential". second, why would they hide the name of the american company if they have evidence? third, how come this anonymous american company writes its bills on a typewriter in 2009 and can't spell english words like "personnel"?

  6. Anonymous10:24 AM

    The Sahel Intelligence story is the usual delicious comedy. It's kind of the Moroccans to provide us English speakers with these chuckles - they must know how comical it is for us to see foreigners struggling with our language when they're trying to be all serious. I love the "CIA INSPIRED" phrase - brilliant. ROTFLMAO, as they say on the internet.

  7. Anonymous12:06 PM

    and by the way, Polisario never puts "Algeria" (in the letterhead as the location of Bir Lehlu, because it's not.
    Bir Lehlu is in Western Sahara and controlled by Polisario, despite the Moroccans.

  8. Anonymous1:33 PM

    The Potomac-SAIS report on North Africa: Paid Analysis, Partisan Fear Mongering, Bad Policy
    By Jacob Mundy | 14 April 2009

    Machiavelli by the Checkbook

    At the end of March, a relatively obscure Washington, D.C., think tank called the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies published a report — in conjunction with the conflict management program of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University — arguing largely in support of Morocco’s 2007 autonomy proposal to solve the Western Sahara dispute. Framed in terms of US policy towards North Africa (Why the Maghreb Matters (PDF)), the report is a thinly veiled effort to provide academic and political legitimacy to a one-sided view of the Western Sahara issue. It precipitated a detailed response from the Western Saharan Union of Writers and Journalists.

    The Potomac-SAIS ‘task force’ was likely an initiative organized by the Moroccan-American Center for Policy (MACP), a registered agent of the Kingdom of Morocco. Though MACP’s fingerprints are nowhere to be found in the report, it is an open secret in Washington that this project, culminating in the Potomac-SAIS report, has been in the works for several months. And little surprise, then, that the report’s recommendations attempt to equate US interests with those of the Moroccan Monarchy. Paying for policy is quite normal in Washington.

    The Potomac-SAIS report boasts that it is ‘the result of an independent task force on an issue of critical importance to US foreign policy, where it seems that a group diverse in backgrounds and perspectives may nonetheless be able to reach a meaningful consensus’. On the other hand, ‘Task force members are asked to join a consensus signifying that they endorse the general policy thrust and judgments reached by the group, though not necessarily every finding and recommendation’. So while they all apparently agree, we cannot necessarily hold each individual signatory responsible for the content of the report.

    Apart from Dr. I William Zartman — Professor Emeritus at SAIS, whose pro-Moroccan views are well known — there is no other recognized expert on the task force who has an extensive scholarly publishing record on the Western Sahara conflict. The effects of Zartman’s partisan bias are quite clear in the report. Yet the arguments suffer from a debilitating series of misrepresentation, fallacies and contradictions. If translated into actual policy, they would prove counter productive at best, disastrous at worst.

    Two other names attached to the Potomac-SAIS report, however, suggest the real agenda behind it: General Wesley Clark and Madeline Albright, two leading figures in the Democratic Party. While Morocco’s autonomy initiate played very well with the previous Republican controlled White House, the Obama administration has yet to outline a clear policy towards the dispute. On the same day that the Potomac-SAIS report was published, Edward Kennedy urged his good friend Obama to uphold Western Sahara’s right to self-determination under international law, which Morocco staunchly opposes. With names like Clark and Albright, the Moroccan lobby is obviously seeking to make inroads into the Democratic establishment.


    Before examining the shortfalls of the Potomac-SAIS report, it is necessary to background some of the salient historical realities of Western Sahara. The conflict dates back to November 1975, when a Moroccan threat to invade what was then a Spanish colony drove out Madrid lest it face a ‘colonial war’. The native people of Western Sahara had already developed a nationalist conscience and, according to a 1975 UN report, rallied behind the pro-independence Polisario Front, founded in 1973. Since the early 1960s, the United Nations has called for Western Sahara’s self-determination, including independence, and the UN still considers the Western Sahara a Non-Self-Governing Territory — a colony. For this reason, no country in the world yet recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, a clear indication of the international census backing self-determination. And given the fact that Morocco refuses to hold a referendum on independence, it is easy enough to deduce the fact that most Western Saharans would likely opt for independence.

    Algeria has supported Western Sahara for ideological reasons (self-determination) and regional security interests (keeping Moroccan ambitions in check). Morocco, of course, denies the existence of an authentic Western Saharan nationalism and sees an independent Western Sahara only as an expansion of Algeria’s regional hegemony. France and the United States have traditionally supported Morocco because Morocco furthers Franco-American interests in the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East, and because a referendum on independence in Western Sahara could destabilize Morocco by de-legitimizing the Monarchy. Still, a UN mission arrived in 1991, putting an end to the Morocco-Polisario war so that a referendum on independence could finally be held. Morocco’s previous King, Hassan II, had committed to a referendum in 1981, but when he died in 1999, the new King, Mohamed VI, dropped that commitment. In 2007, Morocco proposed a final status solution based on autonomy for Western Sahara within Moroccan sovereignty while Polisario put forward a series of bridging proposals to allow for a referendum. Four rounds of negotiations in 2007 and 2008 produced zero progress towards a solution. In early 2009, a new UN envoy to Western Sahara, former US ambassador Christopher Ross, made his first tour of North Africa. He will report to the Security Council at the end of April.

    Sovereignty versus Self-Determination or Sovereignty and Self-Determination?

    The Potomac-SAIS report makes the case that the Obama administration should take more interest in North Africa. The primary reason is predictable: terrorism. The broader Northwest Africa region, especially the Sahara-Sahel, the report argues, faces significant security challenges. One of the best ways to achieve security in North Africa is to help create the conditions for regional cooperation. And so resolving the Western Sahara conflict, which prevents inter-regional cooperation, especially between Morocco and Algeria, is key.

    The Potomac-SAIS report supports a solution to the Western Sahara conflict based upon ‘autonomy within Moroccan sovereignty’, as proposed by Morocco in 2007. There are two positive reasons put forward for endorsing Morocco’s initiative. One, its alleged status as the ‘only current proposal for a compromise’ (a partisan dismissal of Polisario’s 2007 bridging proposals); two, if implemented, it would rid Morocco and Algeria of a major point of contention, paving the way for renewal of the Arab Maghrib Union (UMA) trading bloc. The latter point is addressed later.

    The Potomac-SAIS report also provides some cautionary reasons to support Morocco’s autonomy initiative. An independent Western Sahara ‘likely would remain a source of acrimony and tension between Morocco and Algeria as well as the other bordering states’. The report furthermore alleges that Western Sahara would not constitute a viable independent state on the grounds of its low population and limited natural resources. While the report’s authors are pessimistic for a near term solution given alleged Algerian and Russian obstruction, they claim that U.S. support for Morocco’s autonomy initiative will help build a new consensus for peace.

    As we can see, the best arguments in favor of Morocco’s autonomy proposal are, in fact, merely arguments against self-determination for Western Sahara. To say that autonomy is good because independence is bad is not only fallacious, it seeks to posit a false opposition between self-determination and power sharing that would preemptively bind the imagination of mediators. The three decades old impasse in Western Sahara demonstrates that mediators need to get beyond the old dichotomy of sovereignty versus self-determination.

    To suggest that an independent Western Sahara will become a failed state or a terrorist safe haven falls back on Bush-style fear mongering and does very little to get the parties to the table where this issue will eventually have to be sorted out. Demonizing and alienating one of the parties to the conflict (i.e., Polisario) is not a recipe for creating trust and mutual respect, it is a recipe for further stagnation. It is surprising that conflict resolution expert such as Chester Crocker would put his good name to these counter productive, highly biased proposals.

    Western fears of a failed state in Western Sahara can be easily allayed if the focus of the peace process turns away from highly speculative, distant outcomes. Instead, the focus needs to be on realistic, achievable processes in the here and now. Too much time has been wasted in Western Sahara developing final status solutions and not enough time developing a framework for negotiations that will (1) get the parties to the table and (2) produce substantive talks bridging both of their red-lines: sovereignty and self-determination. Choosing one side in this framework — Moroccan sovereignty — will not make the United States and honest broker; it will only further exacerbate the status quo the Potomac-SAIS report finds so intolerable. The report is as self-contradictory to its own aims as it is partisan.

    The current Security Council mandate for Western Sahara seeks ‘achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara’. A non-partisan approach would simply require that the parties commit to this mandate. Polisario would commit to negotiating a power sharing agreement with Morocco and Morocco would commit to putting any agreement to a referendum including the option of independence. Morocco’s autonomy proposal certainly constitutes a serious and credible starting point for negotiations towards a comprehensive power sharing agreement, but Polisario will never discuss it openly unless the Security Council secures Morocco’s commitment to a referendum.

    Algeria and Autonomy

    The Potomac-SAIS report describes the Western Sahara conflict as a dispute primarily pitting Moroccan and Algerian interests, rather than the UN description, which holds that the two parties to the dispute are Morocco, the de facto administering power, and the people of Western Sahara, represented by Polisario. The report attempts to place some doubt over Polisario’s credibility, not only as a partner for peace, but also as the legitimate representative of Western Sahara. Regarding the latter, one need only answer this question: If Polisario does not represent the interests of the Western Saharan people, then why is Morocco so afraid to hold a referendum on independence? Morocco claims widespread support among native Western Saharans for its forced annexation, yet Morocco is unwilling to put it to a vote. A referendum, not autonomy, would literally end the conflict tomorrow as far as the international community is concerned.

    The problem is that Morocco would not win the referendum, so it wants to have the Security Council impose autonomy at the maximum parameters for negotiations on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

    Rather than Polisario, the Potomac-SAIS report attempts to portray Algeria as the bad guy in the conflict, a view consistent with a Moroccan perspective and Zartman’s scholarship [1]. Yet Algeria did not even get seriously involved in the conflict until after Morocco invaded Spanish/Western Sahara in 1975. This was six years after the first Western Saharan independence movement came into being and nearly a decade after the UN first started calling for Western Sahara’s independence from Madrid. For Algeria, it was Morocco’s unilateral attempt to redraw the map of North Africa in 1975 by annexing Western Sahara — just as Morocco had attempted to annex parts of Algeria in 1963 — that precipitated Algerian support for Polisario. From Algeria’s point of view, its regional security interests dictate that Morocco’s demonstrated history of aggressive irredentism must be kept in check. To adopt a Moroccan reading of the conflict, as the Potomac-SAIS report does, produces poor analysis and impoverishes diplomatic objectivity.

    Even if we assume, as the Potomac-SAIS report does, that Algeria has a dog in the fight, how are Algeria’s interests served by an autonomous Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty? Algeria’s regional and geo-strategic interests are not addressed by Morocco’s autonomy proposal, nor does it provide any room for Algeria to save face given Algiers’ longstanding support for Western Sahara’s right to a vote on independence. Without first going through an internationally sanctioned act of self-determination, an autonomous Western Sahara would, logically, become just as much ‘a source of acrimony and tension between Morocco and Algeria’.

    The political and intellectual defenders of Morocco’s autonomy proposal continuously trumpet its virtues as a non-zero-sum or win-win solution. Because it is a compromise, they argue, it contains incentives to make peace. Yet from Algeria’s point of view (as described in the Potomac-SAIS report), autonomy is very much a zero-sum, win-lose outcome. If Algeria is so important to the Western Sahara deadlock, as suggested by the Potomac/SAIS report, why then support a solution that does not respect Algeria’s interests but rather boldly defies them? Zartman’s own ground breaking work in the fields of conflict resolution and game theory should tell him this, yet he defends a solution that his own theories would reject.

    It is also bizarre to claim that an independent Western Sahara is Algeria’s idea but then to claim that Algeria would allow an independent Western Sahara to become a failed state. Why would Algeria back Polisario’s cause for over thirty years, only to see Western Sahara become a ‘Somalia on the Atlantic coast of North Africa’? Let’s be clear: preventing a failed state in Western Sahara is everyone’s interests. Morocco and the United States do not monopolize this concern. If anyone has a vested interest in a viable Western Sahara, it is, first and foremost, the Western Saharans, followed by Algeria, who has championed their cause. Mauritania, sharing the longest border with Western Sahara and undergoing its own bouts with political instability, is likely a close third ahead of Morocco.

    To claim that Algeria is so cynically motivated as to see Western Sahara only as a means to destabilize Morocco — in its current form as a haphazard occupation or in a possible form as a failed state — is unjustified by the record. Not only does Algeria, sadly, have more direct experience with political instability and armed violence than Morocco, it has been intensively engaged in recent efforts to contain unrest in the northern areas of Niger and Mali on Algeria’s southern flank in the Sahara. Likewise, Algeria offered the United States significant cooperation during the early years after 11 September. Relations only cooled after the George W. Bush administration double-crossed Algeria on Western Sahara. In early 2003, the White House asked Algeria to pressure Polisario to accept the 2003 plan, devised by none other than James Baker. Bush also promised Algeria that Washington would press Morocco to accept it too. Though Algeria delivered Polisario, Washington refused to put pressure on Rabat to accept the plan. The Bush administration then went on to support Morocco’s autonomy initiative, which showed further disrespect to Algeria’s interests and dignity.

    Algeria and Polisario are well aware of Western fears of a failed state in an independent Western Sahara, one that could become a safe haven for trans-national terrorist groups. For that reason, Polisario put forward its own set of compromise proposals in April 2007, when Morocco also put its autonomy plan on the table. Polisario has offered Morocco significant economic, political and security guarantees should a referendum result in independence. These included the option of allowing Moroccan settlers to remain in Western Sahara. In 2003, Polisario made the significant concession of allowing Moroccan settlers to vote in a referendum on independence. Polisario is also willing to have Morocco’s 2007 autonomy proposal placed on any referendum ballot so long as it includes independence. Morocco and its supporters have never even attempted to explain why this democratic solution is not viable. Polisario’s leadership is acutely aware of the fact that broad regional cooperation with Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria will be a necessity for a sustainable peace, security and prosperity. Like the Potomac/SAIS report, they often speak of the day when the Arab Maghrib Union will dissolve all the old colonial boundaries and unite North Africa.

    Whether out of ignorance or deliberate deception, the Potomac-SAIS report also underestimates the economic viability of Western Sahara. As an independent state, Polisario is willing to maintain the Moroccan settler population, which will boost the population and create natural, social, economic, political and security ties with Morocco. Its main resources, phosphates and fish, are precious dwindling commodities world wide; last summer actually saw phosphate prices increase six-fold over its historic price. Additionally, since 2001, Morocco has engaged several companies to search for hydrocarbon and mineral resources in Western Sahara, suggesting other sources of revenue for an independent Western Sahara. In terms of security, Polisario has proven highly cooperative with the UN mission, foreign governments and, as a full member of the African Union, has participated in joint security exercises with other African states.

    What is the way forward?

    Contrary to what Morocco and its intellectual supporters say, there is no contradiction between the Security Council taking a strong stance in favor of both power sharing and self-determination. Instead of endorsing a particular final status, the Security Council should endorse a specific framework for negotiations based upon mutual respect for each side. Indeed, recent Security Council resolutions have said as much in their calls for a political solution that respects the right of Western Sahara to self-determination. But the Council needs to make this clearer to the parties. To Morocco, the Council needs to state firmly that its claim on Western Sahara will never be legitimated unless it first passes through a referendum. To Polisario, the Council needs to state clearly that it will never get its referendum unless it is willing to discuss power-sharing with Morocco. Substantive negotiations should be seen as the means to, not the result of, self-determination. This approach has the advantage of addressing the interests of Morocco, Polisario and Algeria without prejudice or favor. Peace in Western Sahara will never be achieved until the parties build the necessary confidence in each other and the Security Council. That trust and respect has to be built at the negotiating table, not through imposed solutions. The Obama administration should choose peace not partisanship.

    1. In a recent article, Zartman described the two ‘interested parties’ as Morocco and Algeria. See Zartman, I.W., 2007, Time for a Solution in the Western Sahara Conflict, Middle East Policy, 14, p.181

  9. Another excellent article by Jacob Mundy. One thing, though--it should be easy to find the MACP's links to this group, if they exist, by checking the foreign disclosure reports. My internet is not currently reliable, but I'll look into it when I can. If you would like to, just search something like "State Department fara", and that should bring up the database.

  10. Anonymous11:56 AM

    will why don't you correct the false things you write ?
    i's billions not millions...

  11. Anonymous12:15 PM

    mundy, defending algeria ?? he must be stupid corrupted or insane ?
    Algeria does'nt give freedom nor security to it own population and he said that it defends the rights of sahraoui ????
    in a country where the president scores 90% you talk about defending the democracy behind selfdetermination ????
    the conflict in w.s is just a conflict betwen two corrupted and retarted systems about who will be the leader in the maghreb, sadly there is some casualties the poor sahrawi that live in tindouf
    that makes all his words rubbish...

  12. Is it, second most recent anomyous? I had that copy of Tel Quel on me, and I was really sure it was millions. Seemed pretty small to me, you know? I had to throw that copy of Tel Quel away so I wouldn't get caught with it by Moroccan police, so any link would be appreciated.

    Most recent anonymous, no one thinks Algeria is awesome on human rights. In fact, they're often terrible. But they do support the Sahrawi cause, which is just no matter how corrupt members of the Algerian or Polisario governments become.

  13. Anonymous1:23 PM

    you are right.
    Saharawis have all the "legal papers" in their hands. W.Sahara is thier land not moroccan not even algerian.

    Morocco have an official embassy in Algiers. Algeria have bigger embassy in Rabat. let them self thier problems and let saharawis live in peace in thier land with thier camels!

    you can check Telquel archive ( in french) here:


  14. Anonymous7:06 AM

    here the article :

    milliards mean billions , your french must be poor...

    and about telquel, it's the most sold french magazine in morocco, you can buy it everywhere, stop with your presumptions...

    Sahrawi>you know that your dream won't realise because of the history and because you are too weak to exist on your own, either you'll be swalowed by morocco or algeria, i think chosing autonomy whith large powers is the best thing, but it always be your call...well i have never been in laayoune or dakhla, don't you have a peaceful life their ?


  15. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Dear Moroccan....your Arabic must be poor if you can’t read what moroccan newspapers are writing

    “Morocco is large power” …this is really the last JOKE we can hear ..hahaha

    According to NGOs. :

    UNEMPLYMENT – Morocco have one of the High Unemployment rates in the World - the unemployment rate was 34% among workers with secondary diplomas and 32.2% among university graduates …

    CORRUPTION - Morocco plagued by corruption - one of the most corrupted country in the World - police corruption is nothing new in Morocco. It is one of the hassles of daily life that Moroccans have come to accept… 74% of moroccan judicial system is corrupted

    LITERACY: The proportion of the adult population with a low literacy level is over 50 percent About 56.6 percent of males are literate.

    POVERTY - 35 % of the 30 million inhabitants of Morocco still live below the absolute threshold of poverty.

    SEXUAL TOURISM / CHILD SEX TOURISM / on the rise in Morocco and continues to grow at an alarming rate

    CHILD EMPLOYMENT – Some 600,000 children work in Morocco, which represents 11% of the Kingdom's 5.5 million children,

    ILLIGAL IMMIGRATION ( young moroccans) : Young moroccans are ready to pay $x.xxxxxx a head just to get across ( to Europe) , and they'll take their chances on anything that floats. With no electricity, jobs, education, or running water, there is nothing to do but wait for someone to get them out ( of the Kingdom of poverty ) . "These people are so desperate they are ready to die,"

    DEMOCRACY IN MOROCCO : not available (n/a)

    MOROCCAN ECONOMY: 45% of economy owned by only 5% of the population are came from FES city !!!

    Dear “ Moroccan” and you want real proud saharawis to live in peace and prosperity in Kingdom…!!!

    FAR of morocco with the supports of HE allies can not defeat Polisario guerillas during 16 years of war and you want now to defeat “all Saharawis”

    Please don’t tell us about Algeria. We dont care


  16. Anonymous3:03 AM

    where are you living ? and what are you talking about ?
    i think you didn't understand a bit of what i said ?
    i said autonomy with large powers = large autonomy...
    i won't argue about how morocco is good or bad, because the problems of the country are our problems, we are morocco, it's not the country that give us a job or anything else we must create things and we are working to make it better...it's us

  17. This is a interesting phrase: "we are morocco". It is interesting because it's a translation from arabic to english from "we are all maghrib".
    Now "morocco" is not the same as "maghrib" .. a better translation would be "makhzen". People like to say "we are all maghrib" but people can't say 'we are all makhzen", ofcourse.

    The other great translation problem is in the billion to million from european to american language. But, in the end this is only about zero's .. adding nothing at all. :-)

  18. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Van kaas can you tell me your iq ? you are a GENUIS lol


  19. Anonymous2:37 AM

    well will what are you waiting to change your article ?
    or is the true purpose for this blog propaganda ?
    like everything related to the traitors of polisario

  20. Anonymous7:11 AM

    will are you in morocco ?,
    did you say to a moroccan about your support of the terrorist of polisario ?
    you will be cut in pieces mister propaganda

  21. Anonymous12:20 PM

    "I had to throw that copy of Tel Quel away so I wouldn't get caught with it by Moroccan police"

    Hahahaaaa, How James Bondish! I am sorry that was too funny. I know that Morocco has work to do in terms of freedom of speech but we're not that bad. Telquel is a very popular Moroccan newspaper and you might read it right in front of the royal palace nobody will care.


  22. Anonymous2:24 PM

    sahara will never be anything but moroccan !!!

  23. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Laayoune, Morocco :


  24. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Sahara Western is only for Saharawis not moroccan
    and will never be morrocan even if the moroccan occupation will take 1000 yrs more

    Will. dont care what people of Mekhzen saying here. the saharawis have the right papers never the occupation.

    down of moroccan occupation of WS

  25. Anonymous3:18 PM

    wake up, mister propaganda, sahara is for the sahrawi, the moroccan sahrawi...

    if you don't agree, come on and fight for it, we are 36 million ready to kill and die for it

  26. Anonymous9:09 AM

    you want to see the difference between propaganda and a true and faire cause, in paris these last weeks two demonstrations were held in paris, one for polisario one for tibet :

    polisario,algeria = Propaganda :

    Tibet = A true cause :

    both had a lot of ads, but hopefuly some intelligent people can see propganda....

  27. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Senia vs. Phosphate plunder lawyers -Part 1

    The US lawfirm Covington & Burling helps Morocco in the illegal plunder of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara. The Sahrawi student Senia Bachir Abderahman is trying to get answers from the lawfirm as to how they can defend the plunder of her homeland.

    24.04 - 2009 20:19 Printer version

    Western Sahara Resource Watch has been writing about the Washington based lawfirm Covington & Burling which supports the Moroccan plundering of Western Sahara.

    The firm has made an opinion for their Moroccan government client OCP, stating that the phosphate plunder is legal and for the benefit of the local people of Western Sahara.

    Senia Bachir-Abderahman is a refugee from occupied Western Sahara, studying in the US. She says that none of her countrymen benefit from the industry.

    Senia wants the US lawfirm to explain how the plunder can be beneficial to herself and her people.

    WSRW sent a letter to Covington & Burling on 4 November 2008, but the lawfirm has still not been replied.

    After Morocco occupied Western Sahara in 1975, they fired most of the Sahrawis working in the phosphate industry, replacing them with Moroccan settlers. Morocco earns up to 2 billion dollars a year from the mine in Western Sahara.

    At the same time, a majority of the Sahrawi people suffer in refugee camps in Algeria, after fleeing the Moroccan forces. The entire multilateral aid to the refugee camps corresponds to approximately 2,5 percent of Morocco's income from the mines in the occupied territory.

    Covington & Burling's analysis of the industry is used by international phosphate importers to legitimise their imports, claiming it to be legal. The confidential analysis is said to prove that the local people benefit from the industry, but the local people are themselves not allowed to see the opinion.

    video on Youtube:


  28. Anonymous4:54 PM

    a lot of lies in the last comment, well propaganda it's only thing polisario has :

    1- morocco fired all the sahrawi to hire moroccan from the northe = false. : in sahara the deputy, the mayors... are all sahrawi, the businessman, the worker are sahrawi... go and get there...

    2-majority of sahrawi are in tindouf = false. the majority are in w.s have a decent life and benefit from the ressources

    morocco want the sahrawi from tindouf to return home and have a decent life, but that does nt benefit to the terrorist group polisario and its algerian leaders

  29. Anonymous2:05 AM

    well you want to see what a good media is :


    i did nt knew that moroccan sahara problem was heard in the sates...

    well nothing new in the last u.n resolution, 1 more year of minurso and negociations, polisario seems unhappy with france position who for the first time, claimed in the u.n it support for autonomy, what is more surprising is the russia representative implicit support for morocco...
    on the other hand obama seems more neutral than bush for the moment...

  30. Anonymous2:54 AM

    a demonstration in laayoune , moroccan sahara :


    poor sahrawi, they are so repressed....lol

  31. Another important question is: how much do the refugee camps cost? And that makes me wonder: who should pay for the cost of living for the refugees? The UN acts as if they are responsible, but the UN did not chase them away...

  32. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Will, have you abandoned the WS conflict or are you just to busy with the exams?

  33. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Maybe he is in marrakech prison ?? don't forget morocco is evil...
    or maybe he's in rabat, kylie minogue, alicia keys, stevie wonder are there this week for the biggest rabat's festival of the year...
    it's way better than doing the revolution with castro, bouteflika and mugabé in sahara, lol

  34. Anonymous9:27 AM

    Fallshaw and Ayala's film is finally out...

    In the desert lands of Algeria, an estimated 160,000 people have been living in refugee camps for more than 30 years, after they fled when Moroccan forces took over their homeland. Filmmakers Fallshaw and Ayala set out to learn more about the Saharawi refugees, focusing on Fetim, her young family, and the 'grandmother' who conveyed her to the camp as a three-year-old. After all these years, a reunion is planned between Fetim and her mother. In following this touching story, the filmmakers uncover an awful truth that precipitates their dramatic exit from the region and much skulduggery – a tale of discovery that turns into a political thriller. JN•

  35. Anonymous1:02 PM

    well i think it's obvious that the heads of algeria/polisario are criminals that have nothing to do with justice nor human right...
    poor sahrawi 34 years in desert living for dreams and lies...
    hopefuly some foreigner came and continue to dream with them

  36. hello friend .. When you see the blog, I feel still need a lot of learning to make a good article. I am still a beginner, so I need a friend for communication. Hopefully you do not mind to be my friend.

  37. Moroccan Sahara is part of Morocco. There are lot of historical facts to prove this. Its colonialism that divided the greater Morocco.


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