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First Foreign Diplomatic Mission Opens in Contested Western Sahara
Moroccan King Mohammed VI. (Twitter)

First Foreign Diplomatic Mission Opens in Contested Western Sahara

According to Arab media, the tiny Muslim-majority island nation of Comoros has become the first country to open a diplomatic mission in Western Sahara, a disputed territory in Africa primarily under Morocco’s control but which was once colonized by Spain. After Madrid relinquished administrative control of the Western Sahara to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a war broke out between the latter two and the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi nationalist movement. While Mauritania four years later withdrew its claims to the territory, the Algeria-backed Polisario Front has continued to wage a campaign for independence. Within this context, Rabat described Comoro’s opening of a consulate in the city of Laayoune as “a supreme expression” of support for Morocco’s claims. This is liable to be further bolstered by Gambia, which is expected to follow suit by inaugurating “as soon as possible” a consulate in the port city of Dakhla. The international community does not recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the vast desert region and has long called for a referendum in which a scattered population of about 500,000 people would determine its status. While the Polisario Front ostensibly supports this position, Rabat has repeatedly rejected the idea, instead offering the splinter group limited self-rule in parts of the territory.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
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