Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Chair of Mid-Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco
…Morocco has been able to persist in flouting its international legal obligations toward Western Sahara largely because France and the United States have continued to arm Moroccan occupation forces and blocked the enforcement of resolutions in the UN Security Council demanding that Morocco allow for self-determination or even simply the stationing of unarmed human rights monitors in the occupied country.
o now, at least as important as nonviolent resistance by Sahrawis is the potential of nonviolent action by the citizens of France, the United States, and other countries that enable Morocco to maintain its occupation. Such campaigns played a major role in forcing Australia, Great Britain, and the United States to end their support for Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor.
Despite 35 years of exile, war, repression and international neglect, Sahrawi nationalism is at least as strong within the younger generation as their elders, as is their will to resist. How soon they will succeed in their struggle for self-determination, however, may well rest on such acts of international solidarity by global civil society.