The Western Sahara conflict has proven to be one of the most protracted and intractable struggles facing the international community. Pitting local nationalist determination against Moroccan territorial ambitions, the dispute is further complicated by regional tensions with Algeria and the geo-strategic concerns of major global players, including the United States, France, and the territory's former colonial ruler, Spain. For over twenty years, the UN Security Council has failed to find a formula that will delicately balance these interests against Western Sahara's long-denied right to a self-determination referendum as one of the last UN-recognized colonies.
In the first book-length treatment of the issue in over two decades, Zunes and Mundy examine the origins, evolution, and resilience of the Western Sahara conflict, deploying a diverse array of sources and firsthand knowledge of the region gained from multiple research visits. Shifting geographical frames--local, regional, and international--provide for a robust analysis of the stakes involved.