The dispute over Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front evolved into full-scale war and after four decades remains unresolved. UN military observers separate the Polisario forces from Morocco's vast army but progress towards a settlement has been halting and the UN mission in Western Sahara is now among the longest running peace-keeping operations in the world.Here, Jensen provides a unique insider's account of the UN's involvement in Western Sahara, how the UN Settlement Plan was, after numerous obstacles, eventually put into operation and why it stalled. The Polisario is now adamant that only a referendum of self-determination with the option of independence is acceptable while Morocco offers a compromise settlement based on regional autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. Both entrenched positions are constantly reaffirmed and unlikely to vary without major political change in the region.
About the Author
Erik Jensen's impressive diplomatic career, which involved postings and missions around the world from New York, London and Geneva to Bahrain, Nigeria, East Timor and Western Sahara, culminated in his appointment as an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. He has been a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's, Oxford, Visiting Fellow at the L.S.E. and Warburg Professor in International Relations at Simmons University, Boston. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and longtime Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.His previous books include Where Hornbills Fly (2010), and Western Sahara: Anatomy of a Stalemate (2005).