TOPIC A Conflict in Western Sahara
- JJ Abu-Halimah (He/Him/His)
- Cameron Landin (He/Him/His)
The Arab League (ARAB) is an intergovernmental regional body of 22 Arab countries formed on March 22nd, 1945 (Syria’s membership has been suspended since 2011, but, for this committee, Syria’s delegation will be reinstated). The purpose of the body is to “draw closer the relations between member states and coordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries.” Since its inception, the Arab League has served as a medium for geopolitical, social, and economic cooperation with the task of facilitating broader regional development and conflict resolution.
This committee is a regional body that mainly contains traditional Model UN elements. However, on occasion, the committee will be presented with time-sensitive crisis-style updates that will require deft resolution. Crisis experience is not required nor will it incur any special advantage.
Currently, the area of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara is divided between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Morocco. The Sahrawi people there have sought independence for decades, however Moroccan and Mauritanian claims to the land stole that dream from them. Now, Morocco occupies most of the area as an extension to their nation, denying the Sahrawi people from control over their own land.
The ruling government of the SADR is the Polisario Front, and they have skirmished with Moroccan forces for decades, and a peaceful resolution to this situation seems impossible. Few nations recognize the SADR as the rightful government is Western Sahara, but simultaneously most nations see Morocco’s occupation as illegal. It is now up to the delegates as members of the Arab League to resolve this ongoing crisis among the Arab people. Delegates must debate who should control the land, how a functioning state is created in the desert, and what consequences there should be for the bloodshed there.