The Polisario’s isolation at the international level is increasingly deepening. The latest blow received by the separatist movement was Barbados’s recent decision to withdraw its recognition of the so-called Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic known by its French acronym as RASD.
Self-proclaimed in 1976, this entity has never been recognized by the UN, neither by any European states or by the US and Canada. Today, some African countries and others from South America, which had recognized it as a “Republic on paper” during the cold war era, have started reconsidering their decision. In the agitation of the 1960′s and 70s of the last century, Algeria and the toppled Kaddafi regime tried by all means to weaken Morocco, which they regarded as pro-Western and represented a political system that they diametrically abhorred.
By welcoming the separatist Polisario Front and providing it with arms and money, they have tried to impose a republic on the international community. After 37 years of the proclamation of the co-called RASD, increasingly more international stakeholders have come to the conclusion that it is not realistic to establish a state that does not the have the characteristics of becoming viable over the medium and long-term. More and more aware that the Western Sahara problem is in fact a regional conflict, and result of Cold War friction, the essentially African and Latin-American countries that had previously recognized the so-called republic have thus started withdrawing their recognition of an entity that does not exist in reality.
During the last decade, more than 30 countries have recanted their decision taken at times of upheaval. This hemorrhage of recognition weakens more the Polisario which is increasingly coming under the pressure of the international community, which seems determined to put an end to the Sahara conflict.
An increasing number of international observers and diplomats call on the United Nations to hasten its process of finding a long-lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the Sahara conflict and build on the Autonomy Plan presented by Morocco to Security Council in April 2007. The plan, which was described by members of the Security Council in several resolutions as “serious” and “credible” is considered as a middle ground solution that save face for both Morocco and the Polisario. The plans would enable the Saharawi population to run its affairs and elect an assembly, while remaining under Moroccan sovereignty.