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This book gives a comprehensive background to the long running conflict on the status of Western Sahara and particularly highlights the question of the territory’s natural resources, such as fish, oil and phosphates.
The book analyzes why this territory, (mainly covered by desert and only sparsely populated), has since 1976 when the former colonial power Spain left the territory, engaged governments and people, both regionally and internationally, and the implications of its natural resources.
The book includes:
- a summary of the Western Saharan conflict, by Pedro Pinte Leite, specialist in international law in the Netherlands;
- an up-to-date picture of the situation in Western Sahara with regard to natural resources, and the way in which exploitation is taking place, by Toby Shelley, a British journalist;
- the UN’s legal opinion from 2002 on exploitation of the natural resources of a Non-Self-Governing Territory written by Hans Corell, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel.
Two political views of the conflict are also included. Magnus Schöldtz and Pål Wrange from the Swedish Foreign Ministry elucidate the Swedish Foreign Policy on the Western Sahara Conflict. A statement by Karin Scheele, MEP and President of the Intergroup on Western Sahara in the European Parliament focuses on the economic interests of the parties involved in the conflict.
These contributions together with an extended chronology, by Claes Olsson, over the different phases of the conflict form a useful information source for policy-makers, researchers, students and activists interested in or dealing with issues related to the Maghreb framework and in particular the Western Saharan conflict.
Hans Corell, is Ambassador and a Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel
Pedro Pinto Leite is a Portuguese international jurist based in Holland, secretary of the International Platform of Jurists for East Timor and coordinator of the Dutch section of the International Association of Jurists for Western Sahara.
Claes Olsson has done further research after his degree in social sciences and is the author of several books and articles on the Western Saharan issue.
Magnus Schöldtz, Deputy Director, Head of North Africa Section, Middle East and North Africa Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Stockholm.
Pål Wrange is a principal legal advisor on public international law at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.
Toby Shelley is a journalist and writer. He is author of 'Endgame in the Western Sahara', published by Zed Books. He has visited the Western Sahara and the Sahrawi refugee camps on a number of occasions.
Karin Scheele, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), is President of the Intergroup on Western Sahara in the European Parliament
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