Polisario Front

▪ political and military organization, North Africa
abbreviation of  Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro , Spanish  Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y Río de Oro 

      politico-military organization striving to end Moroccan control of the former Spanish territory of Western Sahara, in northwestern Africa, and win independence for that region. The Polisario Front is composed largely of the indigenous nomadic inhabitants of the Western Sahara region, the Saharawis. The Polisario Front began in May 1973 as an insurgency (based in neighbouring Mauritania) against Spanish control of Western Sahara. After Spain withdrew and Morocco and Mauritania partitioned Western Sahara between themselves in 1976, the Polisario Front relocated to Algeria, which henceforth provided the organization with bases and military aid. Mauritania made peace with the Polisario Front in 1979, but Morocco then unilaterally annexed Mauritania's portion of Western Sahara. During the 1980s Polisario Front guerrillas, numbering some 15,000 motorized and well-armed troops, harassed and raided Moroccan outposts and defenses in Western Sahara. Morocco responded by constructing a berm, or earthen barrier, some 1,240 miles (2,000 km) long, which was completed by 1987. In the late 1980s and early '90s, the Polisario Front suffered a series of high-level defections and internal problems in its refugee camps. In addition, although Algerian diplomatic support continued, military support was reduced during the 1990s. Despite these challenges, the Polisario Front's overall level of legitimacy with the Saharawis and in the global political community appeared largely undiminished.

      In 1991 the Polisario Front inaugurated a new, more democratic constitution for the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR; declared by the Polisario Front one day after Spanish withdrawal in 1976). In the same year, it accepted a United Nations (UN) peace plan for Western Sahara that provided for a referendum of self-determination. Owing to disputes over voter eligibility, the referendum scheduled for early 1992 was postponed, and a series of UN-sponsored talks between Morocco and the Polisario Front were conducted. Attempts to determine the parameters of the referendum were largely unsuccessful, however, and in 2000 the UN Security Council (Security Council, United Nations) requested that alternatives to the referendum be considered, a process that remained at an impasse in the early 21st century. UN-sponsored talks between the Polisario Front and the Moroccan government took place in mid-2007 amid warnings by the Polisario Front of a return to armed hostilities.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Polisario Front — جبهة البوليساريو Jabhat al Bōlīsāryū Polisario Front Spanish name Frente Polisario Secretary General Mohamed Abdelaziz Founded 1973 (1973) …   Wikipedia

  • Former members of the Polisario Front — Since the end of the 1980 s, several members of Polisario have decided to discontinue their military or political activities for the Polisario Front. Most of them returned from Algeria to Morocco, among them top leaders, founder members, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Front Polisario Khat al-Shahid — (Khat al Shahid, often w. Spanish transliteration as Jat Achahid, is Arabic for Line of the Martyr ) is a minor faction within the Front Polisario. It is based in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf, Algeria, but also has supporters and members… …   Wikipedia

  • Front Polisario — V. Polisario (Front) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Polisario — (Front) abréviation de Front populaire pour la libération de Saguia el Hamra et Río de Oro, mouvement de libération du peuple sahraoui (créé en 1973). Il lutte pour l indépendance du Sahara occidental, colonie espagnole jusqu en fév. 1976, que se …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Polisario — /poh li sahr ee oh /, n. an independence movement opposing Moroccan control of the Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory that Morocco annexed in stages beginning in 1976. Also called Polisario Front. [ < Sp (Frente) Po(pular para la)… …   Universalium

  • Polisario — /poh li sahr ee oh /, n. an independence movement opposing Moroccan control of the Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory that Morocco annexed in stages beginning in 1976. Also called Polisario Front. [ < Sp (Frente) Po(pular para la)… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Front Polisario(groupe terroriste) — Front Polisario Le Front Polisario, de l abréviation espagnole de « Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro » (Front populaire de Libération de la Saguia el Hamra et du Rio de Oro), connu aussi sous le nom… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Front Populaire de libération du Saguiet el Hamra et du Rio de Oro — Front Polisario Le Front Polisario, de l abréviation espagnole de « Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro » (Front populaire de Libération de la Saguia el Hamra et du Rio de Oro), connu aussi sous le nom… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Front polisario — Le Front Polisario, de l abréviation espagnole de « Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro » (Front populaire de Libération de la Saguia el Hamra et du Rio de Oro), connu aussi sous le nom Frelisario au début de… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.