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Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 ...,....rss- Directorate of ~' ~"?+ Intelligence Western Sahara: Scenarios for a Diplomatic Solution NESA 87-10027 April 1987 Copy 3 4 9 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Intelligence Western Sahara: Scenarios for a Diplomatic Solution This paper was prepared by Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis. It was coordinated with the Directorate of Operations. Comments and queries are welcome and may be directed to the Chief, Arab- Israeli Division, NESA Secret NESA 87-10027 April /987 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Western Sahara: Scenarios for a Diplomatic Solution Key Judgments The 11-year war in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Algerian- Inlormation available backed Polisario Front guerrillas shows no sign of ending. Even though as at 18 nsarch 1987 Morocco has the upper hand militarily, Algeria and the Polisario hold sway was used in this report. in the diplomatic arena. The chances of a negotiated political solution during the next several years are poor. Neither side is willing to make the necessary compromises. 25X1 Although Morocco and Algeria want to avoid wider conflict, their competition for preeminence in the Maghreb poses potential dangers for the United States. The jockeying could lead to instability in Morocco and a weakening of US ties to Algeria.) 25X1 Only a political solution will bring lasting peace. Rabat and Algiers recognize that military means will not resolve the dispute, and their views on a negotiated settlement are slowly converging. Algeria's President Bendjedid is the key to progress. He eventually will be forced to make diplomatic concessions because his government will not risk all-out war to stop King Hassan's successful efforts to consolidate his hold on Western Sahara. Algiers, however, will require aface-saving formula. 25X1 The most likely diplomatic solution would be based on the concept of federation, involving Hassan's sovereignty over Western Sahara in return for a degree of Polisario autonomy. This type of compromise would amount to a Moroccan trusteeship of Western Sahara, probably under UN auspices, and would give Algeria a way out of the conflict without conceding defeat. Political solutions less likely to bring peace include Moroccan incorporation of Western Sahara, a territorial partition, or the formation of an indepen- dent state in the region. 25X1 A settlement of the Western Sahara dispute would only temporarily stabilize the politics of North Africa. Both Algeria and Morocco will continue to compete for influence with other regional states. Hassan would benefit the most from a settlement, but he might be emboldened to renew Irredentist claims to the Spanish enclaves and possibly even to Mauritania. 25X1 Secret NESA 87-/0017 April 1987 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Soviet interests in the Western Sahara conflict probably are limited, and a resolution is unlikely to change Moscow's relations with either Morocco or Algeria. The Soviets believe they have little hope of weakening Morocco's strong ties to the United States. Moscow has sanctioned Algiers's transfer of arms to the Polisario, but it does not want to jeopardize relations with Rabat by openly supporting the Polisario. A settlement could enhance the US position in the Maghreb, mainly because it would strengthen Morocco, Washington's closest friend in the region. Nevertheless, it could also encourage King Hassan to take steps- such as unilateral initiatives in the Arab-Israeli peace process-that could complicate other US interests in the region. The King may press the United States to provide increased financial and military aid in return for his willingness to support US strategic interests, but he probably would not weaken his ties to the United States. Algeria is likely to view Washington as partly responsible for a Moroccan success in Western Sahara. Algiers probably would cool relations with Washington, at least temporarily, in response to perceived greater US- Moroccan cooperation and possibly develop closer ties to Moscow. Algeria would also seek to compensate by strengthening ties to Libya, Tunisia, and Mauritania, the most vulnerable state in the region. 4 25X1 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Moroccan, Algerian, and Polisario Attitudes 1 Past Attempts at a Solution 4 Bilateral Initiatives 4 Third-Party Efforts 5 International Attempts 5 Prospects for a Diplomatic Settlement 6 Morocco 6 Algeria 6 Alternative Political Solutions 8 A Compromise Formula 8 Moroccan Incorporation of Western Sahara 9 Territorial Partition 9 An Independent Western Sahara 9 Wider Implications of a Settlement 11 The Regional Perspective 11 The Enclaves 11 Mauritania 11 Libya 12 Appendix Chronology of the Western Sahara Dispute 15 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Figure 1 Western Sahara Canary Islands (Spain) Morocco Norfh Aflanfic ?cean Mauritania Mauri#ania 50 100 Kilometers F-~,i-4 t , 50 100 Mile Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Western Sahara: Scenarios for a Diplomatic Solution The contest for control of Western Sahara, pitting Morocco against guerrillas of the Algerian-backed Polisario (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro) is in its second decade. Neither side appears capable of winning aclear-cut military victory. Moreover, the combatants have shown little willingness to end the fighting at the peace table~~ interests. The struggle continues to be the main point of friction between Morocco and Algeria, who both seek Ma- ghreb leadership. If the existing stalemate drags on indefinitely, it will contribute to political and econom- ic instability in both countries as well as risk wider conflict in North Africa. This assessment will focus on the political options of the key players, possible diplomatic solutions, the ramifications for regional politics, and the implications for US and Soviet Fighting in Western Sahara has its origins in the decolonization process. In 1975 Spain began a phased withdrawal from Spanish Sahara, and in early 1976 Madrid relinquished control over the territory to Morocco and Mauritania, who divided it between them. This prompted Algeria and the Polisario-the only indigenous political movement among the native population of about 75,000 in the colony-to launch armed attacks against Morocco and Mauritania. The conflict has evolved from a dynamic contest- during which territory changed hands several times-to a static one involving limited Polisario military operations against Moroccan forces en- trenched behind a lengthy earthen wall or berm. The Polisario and its Algerian patrons held the upper hand until 1981, when Morocco built its first berm. Since then, Morocco has seized the initiative and now controls more than two-thirds of Western Sahara. Diplomatically, Rabat has not achieved the same success. Algiers has used its strong position in the 25X1 Nonaligned Movement and generous aid disburse- ments in Africa to rally international support for the Polisario. Sixty-five countries, including India, Yugo- slavia, and Nigeria, recognize the Polisario govern- ment, the Saharan Democratic Arab Republic (SDAR). Algeria's diplomatic muscle has produced strong endorsements for its position in the United Nations and led to the withdrawal of Morocco from the Organization of African Unity (OAU), following OAU recognition of the SDAR in 1984. Moroccan, Algerian, and Polisario Attitudes 25X1 The driving force behind Morocco's pursuit of the war is a national consensus that Western Sahara is an integral part of the country. Morocco claims Western Sahara on the grounds that it possessed the territory before Spanish colonization. In our view, Moroccan King Hassan has little room to maneuver because even the opposition parties have taken a strong sup- portive stand on the issue. He has generally pursued a hard line and would lose face at home if he were to make concessions that would threaten Moroccan con- trol over the territory. According to the US Embassy in Rabat, most Moroccans believe that Algiers- despite its espousal of self-determination for the Poli- sario-covets the territory and that the Polisario is a creature of the Algerians.0 25X1 We believe Morocco can continue to fight indefinite- ly, given the low cost of maintaining the berms and its ample reserves of manpower. According to the US Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Area: People: Population: Religion: Language: Capital: Natural Major industries: Geography: 266,770 square kilometers, comparable in size to Colorado or Great Britain. Arab and Berber Estimated at 92,000 (July 1986), including refugees living in Algeria. Muslim Hassaniya Arabic and Moroccan Arabic El Aaiun (also La'younJ Phosphates, iron ore, .fish Phosphate mining, fishing, and handicrafts The Atlantic coastlinefeatures rugged cliffs with sand dunes that extend up to 30 kilometers inland. Most of the interior consists of a rocky plain, and the sand dunes of neighboring Mauritania and Algeria barely extend into Western Sahara. RairEfall averages from S to 20 centimeters each year-a total that allows for seasonal vegetation and abundant game. The country contains only one intermit- tent river. The legal status of the territory and the question of sovereignty are unresolved. 'ter Spain abandoned Western Sahara in 1976, Morocco and Mauritania partitioned it, with Morocco acquiring the northern two-thirds, including the rich phosphate reserves at Bu Craa. Mauritania, under pressure from the Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its part in August 1979. Morocco moved to oc- cupy the Mauritanian sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administra- tive control over most of the territory. The Polisario Front and its Algerian- backed government-in-exile continue to contest Morocco for control of the territory. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 he economic burden proba- bly ranges from $500,000 to $1 million per day. The number of those killed in combat is about a dozen per month. viewed as defensive. (morale problems among the troops are increasing, we do not believe that these problems are serious. The US Embassy in Rabat says that the war is sustainable for Morocco because it is dum. In our view, the issue evokes less emotions for most Algerians than it does for Moroccans because Algeria has no claims to Western Sahara. Nevertheless, it is involved in the conflict for ideological reasons. Algiers has always insisted on the principle of self-determina- tion for the inhabitants and views the Polisario quest for self-determination as a legitimate struggle against colonialism. The government has declared itself ready to accept the results of a properly conducted referen- In addition, national interests have a bearing on25X1 Algeria's position. Because of its common border with Western Sahara, Algeria sees itself as a party to the dispute. The government supports the Polisario as part of its efforts to deny Morocco access to the region and to drain Moroccan resources.~~ 25X1 The costs of the war so far have been tolerable for Algeria because of its oil resources and the Polisario's role as a proxy in the fighting. Although Algerian troops participated in combat during the early phases of the war, their current involvement generally is one of providing logistic and tactical support behind the Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret The Polisario is committed to its goal of independence for Western Sahara despite its setbacks on the battle- field. Officials of the SDAR have publicly expressed satisfaction that Polisario access to international fo- rums, safehaven in southwestern Algeria, and eco- nomic support from Algiers give them the means to carry on the struggle indefinitely. Past Attempts at a Solution Bilateral Initiatives. Since the beginning of the con- flict, Algeria and Morocco have had numerous con- tacts to resolve the fighting in Western Sahara. Many of these attempts were secret and apparently pro- duced no written proposals for a settlement. For the most part, during the early phases of the war Morocco and Algeria tended to focus on fighting rather than diplomacy because both believed they could win. The tide of the war changed when Morocco began constructing its berms and winning the war militarily in the early 1980s. Algeria, for its part, began to use Structure. The Polisario, or the Popular Front,for the Liberation o.1'Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro, was created by Sahrawi nationalists in 1973. The move- mentlormed the Saharan Democratic Arab Republic (SDAR) in 1976. Mohammed Abdelaziz is President o.1'the SDAR and its Council ojMinisters, as well as Secretary General of the nine-man Executive Com- mittee o./'the Polisario, which is the primary govern- ing body of the organization. Ideology. Polisario leaders espouse non-Marxist Arab socialism and Sahrawi nationalism. Numbers. The Polisario claims that as many as 165,000 supporters live in its,Jour rerugee camps in the vicinity of Tindoul. Algeria. Morocco, however, contends that the number is as low as 15,000. the number is between 17,000 and 35,000-a and 500 trucks. range we endorse. Polisario troops number about 3,500 and have an arsenal including 100 tanks, 150 armored vehicles, 40 howitzers and mortars, SA-6 air defense missiles, Foreign Support. Algeria provides the bulk of the Polisario's economic and military support. Cuba provides a small number of medical doctors and military advisers, diplomacy more aggressively in response to Morocco's military moves, particularly pushing its position in the OAU. These two developments, in our view, encour- aged Hassan and Bendjedid to hold their first summit meeting in early 1983. Hassan, for his part, probably believed at the time that he would be negotiating from a position of strength. Bendjedid probably believed he had little to gain in continuing the war but would face severe criticism at home and among foreign support- ers if he abandoned the fight. Bendjedid may also 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 i Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret 25X1 meeting Hassan. have believed that the Polisario's success in gaining international recognition strengthened his hand in Even though the summit meeting helped ease bilateral tensions-a resumption of air links and reduction of restrictions on cross-border traffic-it did not settle the Western Sahara issue. The inability of both governments to move forward has encouraged them to seek help from third parties and international organi- zations to settle the dispute. about the intent of the mediating states. part, because of Algerian and Moroccan suspicions Third-Party F~`orts. Since the war began, several countries-the most prominent of which are France, Spain, and Saudi Arabia-have attempted to mediate between Morocco and Algeria. These efforts primari- ly have been to ease tensions and foster dialogue rather than to present explicit plans. In our view, third-party reconciliation attempts have foundered, in Saudi Arabia, long a proponent of Arab unity, has at various times sought to reconcile Algeria and Moroc- co. King Fahd tried in 1981 to bring Hassan and Bendjedid together, and, according to the US Embas- sy in Riyadh, the Saudis take credit for the successful meeting between the two leaders in 1983. King Fahd in March visited both countries to lay the groundwork for another Bendjedid-Hassan summit meeting. resolving the dispute. French efforts have stumbled because of Algiers's belief that Paris favors Morocco in the struggle. This belief stems from French fighting on the side of Mauritania against the Polisario during the 1970s, as well as lingering animosities toward France as a result of the Algerian independence struggle. In 1978 Paris offered a plan for territorial partition, and in 1981, 1983, and 1985 it offered to playa "friendly role" in Although Madrid wanted to wash its hands of West- ern Sahara after abandoning the colony in 1976, it has occasionally made itself available as a mediator, particularly with regard to assisting a referendum. Spain has population records that would be useful in preparing a vote among the inhabitants of Western Sahara on self-determination, which both sides agree is essential for a political resolution. Even though Madrid is officially neutral, its support for the Poli- sario in the United Nations has made Spain suspect in the eyes of Hassan.0 25X1 International Attempts. International initiatives in- creasingly have taken the place of bilateral and third- party mediation as the venue for negotiations. The OAU was the original international forum for discus- sion of the Western Sahara dispute. Much of this effort is attributable to Algeria, which used its good credentials with African states to press its position. Algiers has been a stronger supporter than Rabat of liberation movements on the continent and has given more financial aid to the emerging nations. Hassan's call at an OAU summit meeting in 1981 for a supervised referendum in Western Sahara was, in our view, largely an effort to preempt Algerian proposals that would damage Morocco's diplomatic position. At the OAU foreign ministers' meeting in February 25X1 1982, however, Algeria succeeded in having the SDAR delegation seated-a development that sig- naled the SDAR's heightened status internationally. In 1984 the OAU recognized the SDAR. 25X1 We believe that Morocco's subsequent withdrawal from the OAU in 1984 destroyed any hope that this organization could broker an accord and shifted inter- national peace efforts to the United Nations. The most concerted UN initiative to date was undertaken last year, when Secretary General Perez de Cuellar attempted unsuccessfully to solicit terms fora cease- fire and referendum during talks with Moroccan and SDAR diplomats. According to the US Embassy in Algiers, the current UN strategy is to extract a commitment from the Polisario to cease hostilities in return for a Moroccan pledge to withdraw a signifi- cant portion of its military forces from Western Sahara. Comments by UN officials to Embassy offi- cers in Algiers indicate that the Secretary General may try to encourage bilateral contacts to improve the atmosphere for negotiations.0 25X1 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 aecre~ Conditions for a Diplomatic Settlement Issue Cease-fire Negotiations Morocco Yes Morocco and Algeria only Yes, with Moroccan civilian admin- istrators remaining, with military confined to barracks Referendum supervisor UN 1974 Spanish census, but only Sahrawis presently in Western Saha- ra, not including 11,000 refugees in Algeriaa a The most recent census on the population of Western Sahara is the 1974 Spanish census, which listed 73,497 Sahrawis in the territory. We believe that current Moroccan and Algerian claims as to the number of refugees in Algeria are skewed for propaganda purposes. Algeria/Polisario Yes Morocco and the Polisario, with Algeria an observer Yes, with removal of all Moroccan civilians and military 1974 Spanish census, but including the 165,000 Polisario refugees in Algeria Prospects for a Diplomatic Settlement 7'he chances for a negotiated political solution during the next several years are slim. Even though the views of both sides have converged in recent years-they accept the idea of UN mediation and a referendum of the Sahrawi inhabitants over the territory's status- neither side is willing to compromise on the specific conditions necessary for a settlement. Rabat will not com- promise on territory or sovereignty, and Algiers re- mains committed to obtaining concessions on these points. Morocco. Rabat is prepared to pursue the war indefi- nitely. The government is building a new berm that will allow it to control about 90 percent of the territory. We believe that this move reflects Rabat's pessimism about the chances of reaching a favorable political settlement in the near term. We believe that King Hassan's diplomatic strategy has been to stall for time and to hold firm to his positions for a settlement. Despite his refusal to compromise and his firm military commitment, we believe he realizes that a military victory is not achievable or will not resolve the dispute and that only a political solution can end the conflict. He believes, however, that his strong military position enables him to push for a settlement on his own terms. Algeria. Although the Algerians also maintain a tough public stance, 25X1 25X1 25X1 they are convtnce t at t e war cannot be 25X1 won and are becoming more flexible. In our view, Algiers is playing a waiting game, believing that 25X1 25X1 25x Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Countries Recognizing the Saharan Democratic Arab Republic Kiribati Nauru Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands Tuvalu 1976 Algeria Angola Benin Burundi Guinea-Bissau Madagascar Mozambique Rwanda Togo North Korea 10 1977 Seychelles 1 1978 Congo Sao Tome and Principe Tanzania South Yemen Panama 5 1979 Cape Verde Ethiopia Ghana Lesotho Zambia Afghanistan Cambodia Laos Vietnam Dominica Grenada Guyana Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua St. Lucia 16 1980 Botswana Libya Mali Sierra Leone Swaziland Chad Zimbabwe Iran Vanuatu Syria Costa Rica Cuba 12 1982 Mauritius Bolivia Suriname Venezuela 1984 Burkina Peru Yugoslavia 5 Mauritania Nigeria Guatemala Dominican Republic Trinidad and Tobago Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Morocco cannot bear the economic burden of main- taining its 100,000 troops in Western Sahara indefi- nitely. ? King Hassan has less reason to deal because Moroc- co already controls most of the territory. ? Bendjedid faces the unpleasant choice of upping the ante militarily, of making distasteful diplomatic concessions to redress the situation, or of even President Bendjedid's position has evolved from sup- port for the independence of Western Sahara to some sort of federation involving autonomy for the region under nominal Moroccan control. Behind his chang- ing attitude are Algeria's economic problems due to falling oil revenues and the rising costs of economic support for the Polisario population. We believe Bend- jedid realizes that military options are limited unless he is willing to risk war with Morocco. :Most of Algeria's key leaders want a political settle- ment, but they need aface-saving compromise. The economic and military dependence of the Polisario on Algeria, however, gives it little leeway to challenge Algiers's wishes. We believe neither side can force an end to the war, and only a negotiated political solution will bring lasting peace. The pace of negotiations largely de- pends on several factors. Increasing economic and social problems in Algeria, for example, might make Bendjedid more amenable to a deal. On the other hand, the same trends in Morocco might require Hassan to focus domestic attention on the war and avoid concessions. In addition, the removal of Bendje- did or Hassan from power or widespread political changes in either regime would increase instability in the region and distract the governments from the problem. A Compromise Formula We see signs that both sides are slowly edging toward a negotiated settlement. Not much headway has been made, but they continue to hold periodic, low-level talks searching for common ground. Algeria's Presi- dent Bendjedid is the key to progress: throwing in his hand. We believe that Bendjedid will stall for time but will eventually choose to make diplomatic concessions. He has offered Hassan a federation plan in his "postage stamp and flag" proposal that would give the King titular authority over Western Sahara in return for limited Polisario self-government. Senior Algerian officials recently told the US Embassy in Algiers that their government still supports this plan. Hassan, however, refuses to accept it because it would give the Polisario too much autonomy, including diplomatic representation abroad. Algeria apparently has in mind a federation mirroring Canada's loose ties to Great Britain. Hassan would accept an arrangement similar to Quebec's position within federal Canada. We be- lieve any federal solution would have to bridge these differences. In our view, progress on divisive bilateral problems could help resolve the Western Saharan dispute. For example, most of the 1,300-kilometer border separat- ing Morocco and Algeria is not demarcated, and there have been periodic clashes along the frontier. In 1972 Rabat and Algiers agreed to delimit the border, and Morocco disavowed its claims to small portions of Algerian territory. Hassan, however, has yet to ratify the 1972 accord. Although the two regimes have not made a direct link between border problems and the Western Sahara conflict, a resolution of the frontier could provide Algiers with a "victory" that would help Bendjedid extract himself from the Western Sahara conflict. Algiers may even require Moroccan ratifica- tion of the accord, since any settlement of the West- ern Sahara problem will tend to favor Rabat. Another issue that could spur progress is repatriation of prisoners held by each side, some of whom were taken in the Western Sahara fighting. 25X1 25X1 25X1 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret to follow Algeria's lead. Given the problems with the federation idea, a possi- ble compromise would involve Moroccan trusteeship under UN auspices. Morocco would gain sovereignty, but only after a specified period of time. This solution would represent an Algerian concession to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara, while Rabat would have to guarantee certain rights for the Polisario. These could include a regional parliament, a separate budget, and possibly the right to form their own police force. The arrangement could be modeled after a UN trusteeship, such as the US administration of Micronesia. The transition period might resemble Great Britain's agreement with China to turn over control of Hong Kong by the end of the century. Morocco would achieve its objectives, and Algeria would have a solution to the problem without conced- ing defeat. The Polisario would be allowed to exercise limited self-government within the Moroccan polity but would have no representation abroad. Even though the Polisario leadership would not be pleased with this arrangement, they would have no choice but not bring Rabat to the negotiating table. Moroccan Incorporation of Western Sahara If King Hassan continues to rely principally on mili- tary force to absorb Western Sahara, he will continue to face harassment from Polisario guerrillas based in Algeria. We believe the current level of harassment is not a serious military challenge for Morocco and will achieving a political settlement. We believe Bendjedid's frustration over this stalemate and the nearly complete enclosure of the region by berms could eventually impel Algeria to raise the military stakes. Algiers, for example, could allow the insurgents to engage in terrorism inside Morocco. Algeria might also decide to become directly involved in the fighting. In either case, Algiers would hope to force Hassan to the bargaining table without provok- ing an unwanted war between the two countries. We believe such actions would generate dangerous tension with little hope of forcing an end to the fighting or Territorial Partition 25X1 Although it is probably too late for this option, Morocco and Algeria could decide to partition West- ern Sahara. We do not believe the earlier territorial proposals, such as the French plan of 1978 that called for Mauritanian control of the southern portion of Western Sahara, Moroccan control of the northern portion, and Algerian acquisition of parts of northern Mauritania, would be acceptable to all parties. Any future partition would need to be heavily weighted in favor of Morocco, since Rabat will soon hold about 90 percent of the region. Rabat would retain the most useful areas of Western Sahara, while Algiers would gain territory in that part of Western Sahara current- ly outside the berm. This plan could also lead Moroc- co and Algeria to compel Mauritania to yield a small amount of its northern frontier area to round out Algeria's boundaries-a move we believe Nouakchott would gladly take to ensure a peaceful settlement. Algiers's acquisition of this terrain would ease its concerns about Moroccan encirclement. Bendjedid would have to compel the Polisario to accept resettle- ment either in Algeria or in the areas ceded by Morocco or by Mauritania. An Independent Western Sahara 25X1 The least likely outcome of the conflict would be a new state in the region governed by the SDAR. Not only is such a prospect implausible, given the military situation in Western Sahara, it is unacceptable to King Hassan, who has staked his prestige on the issue. We believe that Hassan would not even countenance an SDAR entity whose independence was heavily circumscribed by Rabat's having a veto over the 25X1 domestic and foreign policies of the new state. An independent state would not be viable economically, given its small population and lack of resources. It would be highly dependent on foreign support and vulnerable to subversion, and, in our judgment, Mo- rocco and Algeria would eventually resume the con- test for control of the territory. ~~ 25X1 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Figure.2 Possible Territorial Compromise Territorial transfer under possible compromise North Atlantic Ocean Canary Islands L~ csv.) !1 'Tan-Tan ~Bir Moghrein ;.Morocco ;- Mauritania Algeria Mali 0 150 Kilometers I r' 'i -~ 0 150 Miles Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret The Regional Perspective We believe that a compromise solution of the Western Sahara conflict would remove one of the destabilizing elements of North African politics, but it would not end the adversarial relationship that exists between Morocco and Algeria. We would expect both coun- tries to continue to view their bilateral relations and their diplomacy with other regional states as competi- 25X1 tive. The Enclaves. We cannot exclude the possibility that Hassan would be emboldened to take up other Irre- dentist issues, in particular, efforts to win sovereignty over the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco. Rabat claims the enclaves as its own and asserts that Spain should have surrendered them when it relinquished the rest of its colonial territories in Morocco in 1955. Madrid, on the other hand, has occupied and administered the enclaves as a part of mainland Spain since the 15th century. The question of sovereignty over these territories is a sensitive issue in Spain and a highly charged rallying cry for nationalism and anticolonialism in Morocco. 25X1 Mauritania. In our view, Mauritania will continue to be a vulnerable target for both Algeria and Morocco. The Western Sahara war has had a negative effect on ritania at the expense of Morocco. Morocco's prestige would go up a notch because of the enlargement of its territory, and King Hassan's imme- diate task would be to consolidate Moroccan control. Algeria, for its part, would suffer a loss of face despite any benefits it would derive from a settlement. Algeri- an leaders probably would want to compensate by reinforcing political ties to Tunisia, Libya, and Mau- Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Mauritania as the country's more powerful neighbors have attempted to pull Nouakchott into its camp. Mauritania's two coups in 1978 and 1984 were pri- marily attributable to meddling by Algeria and Mo- rocco. Mauritania also is susceptible to foreign inter- ference because of its economic and social problems due to drought, famine, and ethnic tensions. ~~ King Hassan probably hopes to maintain his good ties to Mauritania, which in recent years has moved closer to Morocco. A geria probably will be concerned about Moroccan designs on Mauritania, and it will use economic blandishments or subversion to influence the Mauritanians. Libya. We believe that Algiers would be interested in strengthening ties to Libya before and after a settle- ment of the Western Sahara conflict. Since the breakup of the Moroccan-Libyan union last August, Algeria has increased its contacts with Libya. Algeri- an leaders almost certainly view such a policy as a hedge against Moroccan expansionism as well as a way to restrain Qadhafi's adventurism, and they would want to secure their eastern flank to exclude the possibility of a two-front military confrontation. Morocco alleges that Libya has resumed aid to the Polisario, but we have no evidence to support this claim. We believe Algeria would accept such aid but would insist upon maintaining its political and military control over the Polisario. For his part, King Hassan probably will continue to be concerned about growing Libyan-Algerian ties as well as Libyan meddling in Morocco and will thus seek to maintain normal relations with Tripoli. Libya, too, would want to maintain ties to Morocco because of Rabat's importance as a target of subversion. The Chances for Soviet Inroads Regardless of the outcome of any settlement, the prospects are dim for increased Soviet involvement in Western Sahara. Moscow has close ties to Algeria, sympathizes with the Polisario cause, and has sanc- tioned the transfer of arms to the insurgents. The Soviets, however, refrain from direct contact with the Polisario; they have not accorded it the status of a national liberation movement; nor have they recog- nized the SDAR. The Algerians, too, have kept the Soviets at arm's length on this issue. They have neither pressed them to become involved nor sought Soviet military or financial aid for the insurgents because of their own adequate resources and desire to retain control over the Polisario. The outcome of the conflict is not likely to change Soviet perceptions or influence Moroccan or Algerian relations toward Moscow. The Soviets support OAU and UN resolutions on Western Sahara and probably would accept any settlement agreed to by all parties. They undoubtedly will maintain current advantages in Algiers, including access for military overflights and naval port calls and a preferential position for military sales contracts. Even though the Bendjedid government is gradually expanding ties to the West, Moscow probably realizes that it has little chance of seriously weakening US-Moroccan ties, given the strong pro-Western position of King Hassan. Never- theless, Hassan has shown a willingness in the past year to permit the Soviets to make occasional naval port calls and give Moscow lucrative fishing rights along Morocco's coast. The Outlook for US Interests A compromise involving either aMoroccan-Algerian treaty, a trusteeship, or territorial partition could strengthen the US position in the region and enhance Washington's interests. It would foster: ? Stability along NATO's southern flank, in which Soviet influence is kept to a minimum. ? Opposition to Qadhafi's troublemaking. ? Improvement of US relations with Algeria. A compromise settlement would constitute a victory for the US position. Washington has remained neutral 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret sides. toward the combatants and has called fora nonmili- tary solution, direct negotiations by the parties in- volved, and a settlement that reflects the views of all Washington's indirect assistance to Morocco in the conflict-provision of military equipment, economic assistance, ould even improve US relations with Rabat. King Hassan's incorporation of Western Sahara would boost his image at home, which we believe would reinforce cooperation with the United States. Nevertheless, we believe Hassan's success may make him feisty enough to adopt policies that co~ild complicate other US interests in the region. He might, for example, take unilateral initiatives in the Arab-Israeli peace process or decide to press Moroccan Irredentist claims in the Spanish enclaves, and possibly even Mauritania. The King may also press Washington to provide increased financial and political aid in return for his willingness to support US strategic interests. We do not believe, however, that he would choose to weaken his ties to the United States. In our judgment, Hassan views his strategic links to Washington as contributing to Morocco's national security. We believe that Algiers will view Washington as a 25X1 contributor to Morocco's success in Western Sahara, regardless of how active Washington is perceived to be in helping to resolve the dispute. Consequently, Algiers could decide to reduce its ties to Washington at least temporarily. The government might also decide to develop closer ties to the Soviets as a counter to greater US-Moroccan cooperation. To the extent, however, that Algeria perceives that the United States extracted concessions from Morocco, US ties to Algeria would stabilize or improve. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 _ Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret 1975 23 May 4 July Appendix Chronology of the Western Sahara Dispute Spain announces intent to relinquish the territory. Algerian-Moroccan communique lists Algiers's approval of Moroccan-Maurita- nian partition of the territory. UN Mission to Western Sahara reports indigenous population categorically favors independence and opposes Moroccan-Mauritanian partition. Report calls for plebiscite. 16 October International Court of Justice (ICJ) concludes that Morocco's well-founded historical ties to the region do not constitute sovereignty. About 350,000 Moroccans undertake peaceful invasion into portion of the colony following ICJ decision and King Hassan's call fora "Green March" of Moroccans on the territory to demonstrate resolve. 14 November Madrid Agreement of Spain, Morocco, and Mauritania establishing interim administration of region and Spanish departure in February 1976. Algeria calls accord null and void. 1976 12 January Spain withdraws its military from Western Sahara. 26 February Spain withdraws completely. 27 February Polisario announces creation of the SDAR. March Morocco and Mauritania break relations with Algeria following latter's recogni- tion of the SDAR. 14 April Morocco and Mauritania formally partition territory. April Polisario undertakes first military operation against Mauritania's one rail line. June Polisario leader killed in major attack on Nouakchott. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret First substantial units of Moroccan Army stationed in Bir Moghrein, Mauritania, as well as first joint sweep operations by Moroccan and Mauritanian units. Polisario begins naval operations. Morocco and Mauritania sign mutual defense treaty. Second Polisario attack on Nouakchott. King Hassan threatens right of hot pursuit into Algeria following heavy military losses at Sebkhet Oumm ed Drous Guebli. Polisario releases French captives taken in fighting in Mauritania during year following French airstrikes on Polisario units. Military coup in Mauritania brings new government committed to peace settle- ment. Polisario announces cease-fire with Mauritania two days later. OAU summit meeting in Khartoum creates ad hoc "Committee of Wise Men" to deal with dispute. Algerian and Moroccan emissaries meet under French auspices. September Algerian President Boumediene's illness prevents summit meeting with King Hassan in Belgium. 1979 13 January Polisario announces new military offensive, attacking Tan-Tan, Morocco, and Cabo Bojador in Western Sahara. Actions mark first instance that guerrillas strike within Morocco and overrun sizable Moroccan town. Bendjedid inaugurated new President of Algeria. OAU "Wise Men" call for immediate cease-fire and self-determination through a free referendum for the Western Sahara population. Morocco refuses to accept narrow OAU vote to accept report. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 -~ Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret Mauritania signs peace treaty with Polisario, renounces territorial claims, and recognizes SDAR as the sole legitimate representative of the region. Shortly after, Nouakchott restores relations with Algeria. 14 August Morocco annexes Mauritania's portion of the region. October Morocco begins major military sweep in Western Sahara that results in capture of much Polisario equipment but little combat. Fall Morocco begins construction of the berm. 1980 25 January 3 March Polisario attacks Akka, Morocco in deepest penetration of Morocco in over a year. Hassan declares all of Western Sahara as an integral part of Morocco and makes his first visit to the territory the following day. April Libya recognizes SDAR, and Morocco breaks relations with Tripoli. June Hassan declares at OAU summit meeting in Nairobi that Morocco agrees to a supervised referendum in Western Sahara. October Polisario victory at Guelta Zemmur results in largest Moroccan military losses since the start of the war. 22 February OAU foreign ministers agree to seat SDAR, and 19 delegations walk out of session. 1983 26 February Hassan-Bendjedid summit meeting in Oujda, Morocco. 30 May Morocco and Algeria agree to reestablish airlinks, reduce border restrictions, and develop cooperation at local level. June OAU summit meeting in Addis Ababa passes pro-Algeria resolution calling on Morocco and SDAR to engage in direct negotiations. July Qadhafi travels to Morocco and Algeria for meetings with Hassan and Bendjedid. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 Secret 8 September Morocco abolishes visa requirements for Algerians. October Moroccan troops overrun three Polisario camps in first ground offensive since construction of the berm. 1984 27 February Mauritania recognizes the SDAR. April Algerians begin periodic overflights of southern Morocco and Western Sahara. 15 June Algerian troops ambush Moroccan supply column that strayed across border. Fall OAU recognizes the SDAR, and Morocco withdraws its membership. January Algeria and Morocco complete two months of highly intensive diplomatic contacts on Western Sahara. UN Secretary General begins several months of talks with diplomats of Morocco and the Polisario in New York to bridge differences between the two sides. UN initiative continues to the present day. Mid-February Morocco begins latest extension of the berm to include southern portions of Western Sahara along frontier with Mauritania. 25 February Polisario responds to Moroccan berm construction with the largest military operations since 1983. Saudi Arabia's King Fahd visits Morocco and Algeria in initiative. by Riyadh to resolve dispute. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 - Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 secret secret Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/07/16 :CIA-RDP88T00096R000600720010-7 ,