Analysis

Moncef Khane: Trump’s proclamation does not change the nature of the Western Sahara issue as a case of decolonization

Moncef Khane, Bethesda
Moncef Khane, Bethesda

The writer is a former senior political affairs officer of the United Nations.

Trump’s proclamation does not change the nature of the Western Sahara issue, as a case of decolonization registered on the UN lists.

President Trump’s “proclamation” by which he recognized Moroccan “sovereignty” over Western Sahara (in exchange for Morocco’s official recognition of Israel) does not alter the legal status of the non-self-governing territory as the secretary general of the United Nations stated unequivocally on Dec. 12: “We have said it very clearly — for us, in relation to Western Sahara, everything remains as it was. And the solution of Western Sahara does not depend on recognitions by individual states. [It] depends on the implementation of Security Council resolutions, of which we are the guardians.” 

The question of the decolonization of Western Sahara, a territory larger than the United Kingdom, has been on the General Assembly agenda since the early 1960s and on the agenda of the Security Council since 1975, after Morocco’s military invasion and continuing partial occupation of Africa’s last colony.

Moncef Khane, Bethesda
The writer is a former senior political affairs officer of the United Nations.

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