The war in the Western Sahara recently entered its sixteenth year. Although progress toward peace has been made, concrete steps to a final resolution have t yet occurred. This has had serious political, social, ecomic, and military consequences for the countries in the region. Despite the significance of the issue, until w very few scholarly works have dealt with the regional and international dimensions of the conflict. In particular, little attention has been paid to the role of the superpowers and of the United Nations in the region and to the other related issues which are the focus of this book. The Western Sahara conflict raises serious questions about the role of international law and of the United Nations in achieving the decolonization of former colonial territories and resolving regional conflicts. Taken together, the work of the scholars, diplomats, and experts in international law who have contributed to this volume constitutes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of outside powers in the origins and evolution of the war in the Western Sahara. Their work also casts new light on the efforts of the Maghrebi states to overcome regional divisions by themselves and on the continuing attempts by the United Nations to resolve the conflict in the Western Sahara and restore respect for international law. This work will interest specialists West African affairs and in international law and organizations.
Yahia H. Zoubir teaches political science at the American Graduate School of Business in Montreux, Switzerland. He is the author of numerous articles on the Western Sahara conflict and Algerian politics, which have appeared in the Arab Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and Africa Today, and as chapters in several books. Daniel Volman is adjunct instructor in the School of International Service at American University, Washington, D.C. He received his PhD in African history from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1991. He is the author of numerous articles on U.S. military policy toward Africa, which have appeared in the Journal of Modern African Studies, New African, and The New York Times.