The number of countries recognizing the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (S.A.D.R.) continued to dwindle this week as the Republic of Mauritius withdrew its diplomatic recognition. Mauritius had first extended recognition to the S.A.D.R.—also known as Western Sahara—in 1982. The Mauritian foreign ministry said it still supports the (largely moribund) efforts of the United Nations (U.N.) to end the conflict.
Western Sahara was known as the Spanish Sahara until Spain withdrew in 1976, leaving the northern two-thirds of the territory to Morocco and the southern third to Mauritania. Morocco instead invaded the entire country and has since subjected it to brutal occupation while the indigenous, non-Arab Sahrawi people’s Polisario Front rebel group has insisted on the independence of their S.A.D.R., which now governs only a sliver of territory east of huge defensive sand walls built by Morocco.
|The Polisario Front still asserts Sahrawi sovereignty.|
|States which recognize the S.A.D.R. are shown in green.|
Dark grey countries have withdrawn previous recognition.
|The flag of Mauritius|
|A Sahrawi man with the flag of his struggling state.|