Moroccan anger over Western Sahara baffles Sweden
The Moroccan government announced a decision Oct. 1 to boycott Swedish companies, crowning a week of diplomatic tensions driven by Moroccan accusations of a change in Sweden’s stance on the Western Sahara, where conflict has been ongoing since 1975, when Spain relinquished colonial rule over the territory and Morocco ultimately seized it. The Polisario Front, representing the indigenous Saharawi people, was founded in 1973 and has been fighting for Western Saharan independence from Morocco and for recognition of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Rabat believes that Sweden, after being neutral on the conflict, is now biased in favor of Western Saharan independence.
Morocco will lose the referendum, says Sahrawi minister
The Foreign Minister of the Sahrawi Republic, Salem Ould Salek, says there is a unanimous call from his people for a return to war with Morocco over the occupied territories in Western Sahara.
Salek was speaking at a public forum in New York where the region was referred to as Africa’s last colony.
A United Nations Security Council mandated self-determination referendum for Western Sahara has failed to materialise, 24 years later as frustration at the lack of progress grows.