The Last African Colony - Morocco and Western Sahara.doc

The Last African Colony - Morocco and Western Sahara.doc -...

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QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. T HE L AST A FRICAN C OLONY A look at the History and Modern Day Conflict of Morocco and Western Sahara Mariana Beardsworth Maria Kredlow June 1, 2005
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QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. T HE L AST A FRICAN C OLONY T ABLE OF C ONTENTS 1. Introduction (p.1) Why This Region? 2. Western Sahara History (p.2-12) Before Colonization Arrival of Arabs Geography and People Spanish Colonization Struggle for Independence 3. Moroccan History (p.12-19) Origins – The Early Years Religion and the Flourish of Culture Prosperity Colonialism Independence 4. A Bitter Battle (p.19-25) UN MINURSO Mission 5. Moroccan Relations (p.25-30) Relations with the United States Relations with the European Union Interview with Ambassador Riley 6. Recognizing Western Sahara (p.30-32) 7. Oil and Western Sahara’s Future (p.32-36) Kerr-McGee and TotalFinaElf POLISARIO and UN Resistance Western Sahara Resource Watch Importance of Oil for Saharawi The United States’ Role 8. Conclusion (p.37-38) Works Cited
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INTRODUCTION Western Sahara remains the last African colony.  Over the course of  history, many groups have attempted to control the region of North Africa at the  gateway of the Mediterranean known as Morocco and Western Sahara.  Today,  Morocco exists as an independent country, but it still struggles to control its  neighbor, Western Sahara. The Saharawi people of Western Sahara long for  freedom, but history has proved it difficult in the past, and global and economic  ties of the present reveal a grim future for the land. This paper will explore the  histories of the two regions separately and together, and then explore the  economic ties of the present to show why independence is proving so difficult for  Western Sahara. Why this region? Why have Morocco and the Western Sahara historically been such  desirable locations? They have both been conquered by and resisted many  empires. Many factors have played in role in the region’s desirability throughout  the ages.  Morocco was initially controlled because of its excellent location on the Mediterranean.  It also provided olives and grain.  There was also evidence of  wine making and fishing, as well as the export of lead, silver, copper, and iron.  In later years, Morocco still proved to be a highly strategic location for a  military base. Furthermore, in Western Sahara, the deposits of phosphates, gas 
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and oil and uranium are very tempting to energy-starved Morocco, as well as to  other large and ambitious oil companies.
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