April 2, 2024

The Western Sahara conflict is getting old. Having turned 40, which is quite an advanced age for a conflict, it is increasingly showing signs of ageing—wrinkles, changes of shape and fatigue—alongside its still apparent genetic inborn features. Protractedness seems to be ubiquitous in its usual portrayals: a late, zigzagging and protracted decolonization procedure that was reluctantly launched by dictatorial Spain in the 1970s degenerated into a protracted annexation of the territory by Morocco and a protracted conflict between the latter and the pro-Sahrawi independence Polisario Front, which in turn have entailed a protracted refugee situation as well as a protracted conflict resolution process fruitlessly led by the international community for more than three decades.

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