Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
The SADR was proclaimed by the Polisario Front
(a former socialist liberation force which has since reformed its ideological and political views) on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlou
, Western Sahara. The SADR government controls about 20–25% of the territory
It calls the territories under its control the Liberated Territories
or the Free Zone
controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory, and calls these lands its Southern Provinces
. The SADR government considers the Moroccan-held territory to be occupied territory, while Morocco considers the much smaller SADR-held territory to be a buffer zone
The claimed capital
of the SADR is former Western Sahara capital El-Aaiún
, while the temporary capital
moved from Bir Lehlou to Tifariti
in 2008. The seat of government is located in the Sahrawi refugee camps
The SADR maintains diplomatic relations with 31 UN states, and is a full member of the African Union
Following the evacuation of the Spanish (as a consequence of the Moroccan Green March
), Spain, Morocco, and Mauritania
signed the Madrid Accords
on November 14, 1975, six days before Franco
died. Morocco and Mauritania responded by annexing the territory of Western Sahara. On 26 February 1976, Spain informed the United Nations
(UN) that as of that date it had terminated its presence in Western Sahara and relinquished its responsibilities, which left the region devoid of any Administering Power. Neither Morocco nor Mauritania gained international recognition, and war ensued with the independence-seeking Polisario Front
. The UN considers the Polisario Front to be the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people
, and maintains that the people of Western Sahara have a right to "self-determination
The creation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was proclaimed on February 27, 1976, as the Polisario declared the need for a new entity to fill what they considered a political void left by the departing Spanish colonizers. While the claimed capital is the former Western Sahara capital El-Aaiún (which is in Moroccan-controlled territory), the proclamation was made in the government-in-exile
's provisional capital, Bir Lehlou
, which remained in Polisario-held territory under the 1991 ceasefire
(see Settlement Plan
). On February 27, 2008, the provisional capital was formally moved to Tifariti
Day-to-day business, however, is conducted in the Sahrawi refugee camps
in Tindouf Province
, which house most of the Sahrawi exile community.
A new 1999 Constitution of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic took a form similar to the parliamentary
constitutions of many European states, but with some paragraphs suspended until the achievement of "full independence". Among key points, the head of state
is constitutionally the Secretary General of the Polisario Front during what is referred to as the "pre-independence phase", with provision in the constitution that on independence, Polisario is supposed to be dismantled or separated completely from the government structure. Provisions are detailed for a transitory phase beginning with independence, in which the present SADR is supposed to act as Western Sahara's government, ending with a constitutional reform and eventual establishment of a state along the lines specified in the constitution.
The broad guidelines laid down in the constitution for an eventual Western Saharan state include eventual multi-party democracy with a market economy
. The constitution also defines Sahrawis as a Muslim, African and Arab people.
The Constitution also declares a commitment to the principles of human rights
and to the concept of a Greater Maghreb
, as a regional variant of Pan-Arabism
Since August 1982, the highest office of the republic has been the President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
, a post held by the secretary-general of the Polisario Front, presently Brahim Ghali
who appoints the Prime Minister
, presently Mohamed Wali Akeik
. The SADR's government structure consists of a Council of Ministers (a cabinet led by the Prime Minister), a judicial branch (with judges appointed by the President) and the parliamentary Sahrawi National Council
(SNC; the present speaker
is Kathri Aduh
). Since its inception in 1976, the various constitutional revisions
have transformed the republic from an ad hoc
managerial structure into something approaching an actual governing apparatus. From the late 1980s the parliament began to take steps to institute a division of powers
and to disentangle the republic's structures from those of the Polisario Front, although without clear effect to date.
Its various ministries are responsible for a variety of services and functions. The judiciary
, complete with trial courts, appeals courts
and a supreme court
, operates in the same areas. As a government-in-exile
, many branches of government do not fully function, and has affected the constitutional roles of the institutions. Institutions parallel to government structures also have arisen within the Polisario Front, which is fused with the SADR's governing apparatus, and with operational competences overlapping between these party and governmental institutions and offices. A 2012 report mentioned the existence of the Sahrawi Bar Association.
In 2016, the bar association (going by the name Union of Sahrawi Lawyers) issued a report calling for the implementation of political and civil rights.
Unfortunately, there is no clear indication as to how certain demographic groups, such as women, have fared in the legal field.
The SNC is weak in its legislative role, having been instituted as a mainly consultative and consensus
-building institution, but it has strengthened its theoretical legislative and controlling powers during later constitutional revisions. Among other things, it has added a ban on the death penalty
to the constitution, and brought down the government in 1999 through a vote of no-confidence
The composition of the Sahrawi National Council is as follows:
Area of authority
International recognition and membership
As of November 2020, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has been recognized by 85 states. Of these, 45 have since "frozen" or "withdrawn" recognition for a number of reasons. A total of 40 UN states maintain diplomatic relations with the SADR, while a further 7 also recognise the state. Sahrawi embassies exist in 18 states
Four ways to show Western Sahara in maps
On 27 February 2011, the 35th anniversary of the proclamation of SADR was held in Tifariti, Western Sahara. Delegations, including parliamentarians, ambassadors, NGOs and activists from many countries participated in this event.
Proposed Western Sahara Authority
Under the Baker Plan
created by James Baker
, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
's personal envoy to Western Sahara, the SADR would have been replaced with a five-year transitional Western Sahara Authority
(WSA), a non-sovereign autonomous region
supervised by Morocco, to be followed by a referendum on independence. It was endorsed by the UN in 2003. However, as Morocco has declined to participate, the plan appears dead.
In April 2007, the government of Morocco suggested that a self-governing entity, through the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs
(CORCAS), should govern the territory with some degree of autonomy for Western Sahara. The project was presented to the UN Security Council in mid-April 2007. A stalemate over the Moroccan proposal led the UN, in an April 2007 "Report of the UN Secretary-General", to ask the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political solution.
The predominant religion practised in Sahrawi territories is Islam.
- ^ SADR. "Constitution of the SADR" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
- ^ Martos, Isabel. "Linguistic Policy in the Camps of Sahrawi Refugees". researchgate. Universidad de Alcalá. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- ^ "El Español en los Campamentos de Refugiados Saharauis (Tinduf, Algeria)" (PDF). Cvc.cervantes.es. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- ^ Until complete independence. Article 32 of the SADR constitution states: The Polisario is the sole political formation allowed for Sahrawis to exercise politics until complete independence"Constitution of the SADR". Archived from the original on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- ^ "Resources". ICANN.org. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
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- ^ Article 6 of the Sahrawi constitution. Article 2 prescribes that "Islam is the state religion and source of law".
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- ^ "Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" (PDF). African Commission on Human & Peoples' Rights. September 2012.
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- ^ "South Africa". ARSO – Association de soutien à un référendum libre et régulier au Sahara Occidental. 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- ^ South African Broadcasting Corporation (2006-09-01). "Asia-Afro partnership meeting kicked off today". South African Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-01.
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- ^ "Arab League supports Morocco's territorial integrity". Arabic News. 1999-01-08. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
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- ^ Prensa Latina (2006-09-11). "LatAm, Caribbean Parties in Nicaragua". Prensa Latina. Archived from the original on 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2006-09-11.
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- ^ [dead link]
- ^ "Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara" (PDF). UN Security Council. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.[dead link]
Official SADR pages
- (in Spanish) Sahara Today (Independent Digital Journal Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic)
- (in Arabic and Spanish) Futuro Saharaui(Saharawi first independent magazine founded in 1999)
- (in Spanish) FiSahara Festival de cine del Sahara – Sahara Film Festival]
- (in Spanish) El Bubisher Bookmobile and permanent Libraries Project in the Saharawi refugee camps)
- (in Spanish) EFA Abidin Kaid Saleh de la RASD Audiovisual Education School Abidin Kaid Saleh of the SADR)
- (in Spanish) ARTifariti (International Meetings of the Art in the Liberated Territories of SADR)
Last edited on 17 May 2021, at 07:30
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