Amid Moroccan Investment in Western Sahara, Tensions Simmer

Morocco pours billions into the resource-rich territory
Photograph by Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Western Sahara, a Colorado-size piece of land directly below Morocco, has been relatively quiet since the United Nations brokered a cease-fire in 1991 between Morocco, which occupied the land when Spain withdrew from its former colony, and the indigenous Sahrawis, who wanted independence. After the cease-fire, a United Nations peacekeeping mission arrived to set up a referendum for independence. That vote never happened. For the most part, Western Sahara fell off the radar.

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