17 Facts About Polisario Front


In 2020 the Polisario Front declared the ceasefire over and resumed armed conflict.

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The Polisario Front is outlawed in the parts of Western Sahara under Moroccan control, and it is illegal to raise its party flag there.

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Polisario Front was formally constituted on 10 May 1973 at Ain Bentili by several Sahrawi university students, survivors of the 1968 massacres at Zouerate and some Sahrawi men who had served in the Spanish Army.

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On May 1st 1977, the Polisario raided the city of Zouerate, Mauritania, kidnapping six French iron mining technicians and killing 2 civilians.

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At this point, Polisario Front's manpower included perhaps 800 men and women, but they were suspected of being backed by a much larger network of supporters.

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UN visiting mission, headed by Simeon Ake, that was conducted in June 1975 concluded that Sahrawi support for independence amounted to an "overwhelming consensus" and that the Polisario Front was the most powerful political force in the country.

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The Polisario Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on 27 February 1976, and waged a guerrilla war against both Morocco and Mauritania.

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Polisario Front had handed in its own proposal the day before, which insisted on the previously agreed referendum, but allowed for negotiating the status of Moroccans now living in the territory should the outcome of a referendum be in favor of independence.

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Polisario Front agreed to add autonomy as per the Moroccan proposal to a referendum ballot, but refused to relinquish the concept of an independence referendum itself, as agreed in 1991 and 1997.

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Polisario Front is first and foremost a nationalist organization, whose main goal is the independence of Western Sahara.

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However, the Sahrawi republic's constitution gives a hint of the movement's ideological context: in the early 1970s, Polisario Front adopted a vaguely socialist rhetoric, in line with most national liberation movements of the time, but this was eventually abandoned in favor of a non-politicized Sahrawi nationalism.

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Polisario Front has stated that it will, when Sahrawi self-determination has been achieved, either function as a party within the context of a multi-party system, or be completely disbanded.

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Polisario Front has denounced terrorism and attacks against civilians, and sent condolences to Morocco after the 2003 Casablanca bombings.

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The first Secretary General was Brahim Gali, replaced in 1974 by El-Ouali at the II Congress of the Polisario Front, followed by Mahfoud Ali Beiba as Interim Secretary General upon his death.

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Support for the Polisario Front came mostly from newly independent African states, including Angola and Namibia.

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The Polisario Front is practically dependent on its bases and refugee camps, located on Algerian soil.

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Key diplomatic dispute between Morocco and Polisario Front is over the international diplomatic recognition of the SADR as a sovereign state and Western Sahara's legitimate government.

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