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 Le conflit armé du sahara marocain

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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Mer 11 Juil 2007 - 21:27

materiel des far chez le polisario



le mur de defence

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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Sam 11 Aoû 2007 - 21:39

CIVIL a écrit:
materiel des far chez le polisario



le mur de defence

ce sera une tres bonne distination tourstique , plus beau que celui du chine lol!
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Lun 8 Oct 2007 - 16:04

un numéro du dessou des carte d'arté sur les frontier marocaine trés intérésent Wink
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/maroc++soutien/video/x1bfp3_maroc-les-frontieres-incertaines_events
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 18 Jan 2008 - 21:41

temoignage de mohamed ould dadi sur aljazzera
في أعقاب المسيرة الخضراء التي قادها الملك المغربي الراحل الحسن الثاني حتى باتت تلك الرمال ساحة للقتل والقتال بين الجيش المغربي والقوات الصحراوية التابعة لبوليساريو والتي كانت مدعومة آنذاك بتدفق السلاح والعتاد من ليبيا والجزائر، حرب أدت إلى كوارث كبيرة بين الطرفين ولعل محمد ودادي قائد الفيلق الميكانيكي السابق في بوليساريو خير مثال على ما حصل فهو فقد نصف وجهه وكاد يفقد يده وساقه في الحرب الضروس.

محمد ولد دادي: هذا الجروح اللي وقعت في اليد كان كسر هكذا تشوف كانت كسر في الذراع وكان كسر آخر من فوق وكان في كذلك كسر في الأرجل هذا بالإضافة إلى جروح خفيفة كانت في الجسم..

سامي كليب: بالإضافة، والإصابات في الوجه في معركة سابقة؟

محمد ولد دادي: هذا في معركة سابقة في تقريبا في بداية 1976 في معركة أخرى في صحراء في قرب العيون تقريبا.

سامي كليب: كانت معركة شرسة جدا تلك التي اعتقل فيها محمد ولد دادي فالقائد العسكري كان على رأس الفيلق الذي بادر إلى مهاجمة الجدار المغربي الهائل الذي بناه الملك الحسن الثاني لردع رجال بوليساريو وثنيهم عن مهاجمة الجيش المغربي جدار يمتد على أكثر من ألفين وخمسمائة كيلو متر ومحمي بالألغام والمدرعات والقوات العسكرية وقد أقام له الصحراويون في هذا المتحف العسكري مجسما صغيرا لدراسة كيفية مهاجمته ومناطق الخلل الموجودة فيه، محمد ولد دادي هاجم مع قواته الحائط الرملي هذا بشراسة كبيرة ولكنه أصيب إصابات بالغة واعتقل فاقدا للوعي كان جسده ينزف بغزارة كبيرة حين تم أسره وبعد أن تمت مداواة جروحه وأبقي في المستشفى لفترة طويلة نقل إلى السجن حيث بقي أكثر من اثني عشرة عاما يقول أنه تعرض في خلالها لضغوط نفسية كبيرة وإغراءات مالية لينتقل إلى صفوف الجيش المغربي وحين أعتقل كان أولاده أطفالا وكانت ابنته الصغرى لا تزال في بطن أمها وحين أفرج عنه لم يستطع ابنه التعرف عليه.
http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/E3188525-1357-4E7B-A2DF-31CF41D9EF3B.htm
http://www.dailymotion.com/anti_polisario/video/x25j2r_les-pertes-du-polisario_news
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 2 Mai 2008 - 1:27

Un F-5 marocain abatu par le polzbl
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 2 Mai 2008 - 2:53

scorpion-rouge35 a écrit:
un numéro du dessou des carte d'arté sur les frontier marocaine trés intérésent Wink
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/maroc++soutien/video/x1bfp3_maroc-les-frontieres-incertaines_events
Scorpion rouge ta rien trouvée a nous montrée apart sa??
bien sur que la vidéo a été posté par 1 algérien mais vous devez oubliez 1 peux l'autodétermination du Sahara car sé pas une solution envisageable comme sa vous serez moins choqué plus tard allé cherché allieur ya le Kosovo et le tibet qui attend votre aide ne raté pas l'occas de faire volé vos sukhoi-30 ou de les faire abattre c'est la même chose je vous laisse Wink
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Sam 3 Mai 2008 - 15:27

ce n'et qu'une emmision qui passe sur arte qui est une chaine franco allemande est qui est presenter par alexendre adler , donc c un point de vue d'un coté neutre , il se peut qu'il ai raison ou qu'il sois dans le faux , mais ca reste un point de vue
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Sam 3 Mai 2008 - 18:49

eh ben je peux t'assure que c'est complètement faux a 200% voila et l'affaire du Sahara est bientôt terminée l'algérie veux a tout prix devenir la puissance régionale alors elle a trouvée la solution en soutenant le polizbel pour divisée et détaché le maroc et ben vous pouvez rêvé tant que vous voulez personne ne vous empêche Bon rêve ^^
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Jeu 22 Mai 2008 - 1:52

Citation :
Morocco "planning military attack on Sahara"

afrol News, 21 May - According to press reports in Spain, the government and army of Morocco are making preparations for a military attack on the territories controlled by Western Sahara's Polisario Front since a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991. The alleged "preparations" are to be a reaction to the increased civilian activities by Polisario in its "liberated territories".

The Spanish electronic daily 'El Imparcial' reports that Moroccan King Mohamed VI and his army are supervising several military preparations that probably aim to enable the Moroccan Army to conquer the Sahrawi liberated territories. These territories, separated from Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara by a mined wall, are controlled by Polisario and its exiled Sahrawi government.

The paper claims that many intelligence services had noticed Moroccan military movements that could be considered preparations for a new military adventure. Fighting between Morocco and Polisario started in 1976, with the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, and ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991. Around one third of mostly uninhabited Saharawi lands - the interior part bordering Algeria and Mauritania - were left on Polisario's hands.

UN peacekeepers and diplomats have noted a growing irritation among Moroccan leaders over Polisario's increased use of its "liberated territories". Polisario is based in the Algerian refugee camps, where most of the Sahrawi population has lived since the late 1970s.

Lately, however, Polisario has started holding many political and media meetings in Tifariti, the only town in the liberated territories, which was deserted after Moroccan chemical weapon attacks in the late 1980s. At this moment, Polisario is organising large celebrations of its 35th anniversary in Tifariti, including many international guests. These celebrations have strongly provoked Moroccan officials.

According to reports in 'El Imparcial', the Rabat government had started war preparations by pensioning off 30 Islamist officers that may constitute a hinder for such operations. Further, it had deployed troops in the south of Morocco that would be ready to comply with the order of crossing the borders.

The paper claims to have information saying that, when Morocco has conquered these new territories, a new wall would be raised on the international borders between Sahara, Algeria and Mauritania. In this way, Sahrawis would be confined to the refugee camps in the Algerian desert.

Needless to say, such an attack would trigger fighting between Moroccan troops and Polisario. It could also involve troops from Algeria, Polisario's principal ally, which would be unwilling to let the balance of power in the region tip towards archrival Morocco. UN peacekeepers stationed in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara would not have a mandate to take measures. An attack would mean the end of the 1991 ceasefire and would probably lead to a withdrawal of the UN mission altogether.

The reports in 'El Imparcial' could not be confirmed by other sources, but speculations of this kind are not unique.

Lately speculations about an end to the ceasefire have steadily increased. Both Morocco and Polisario are increasingly frustrated about the status quo. Polisario has been promised a referendum over independence since 1991, but Moroccan hardliner policies by now have squashed all hopes of such a solution. Moroccan authorities have become clearer and clearer on their rejection of the 1991 peace terms, and negotiated solutions increasingly seem impossible.

Both sides therefore have increasingly turned to war rhetoric, indicating that war preparations indeed may be going on.

By staff writer
http://www.afrol.com/articles/29012

© afrol News
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Jeu 22 Mai 2008 - 12:58

Je ne sais que penser de cet article, les sources citées ne sont pas des plus fiables meme si nos autorités ont ete claires "Sortez de Tifariti", il y a eu les manoeuvres pour enfoncer le message mais devant l'attitude polz l'option militaire n'est plus a exclure. De toute façon, il n'y a plus qu'a attendre que la presse algerienne reprenne l'info en y ajoutant des "sources sures" pour qu'on comprenne mieux ce qui se passe, mais je crois que l'affaire va etre bouclée d'une maniere ou d'une autre.

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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Jeu 22 Mai 2008 - 16:26

ce que tu attend est la

Citation :
Le Maroc pousse à la reprise de la guerre au Sahara occidental

Le Front Polisario estime que le Maroc pousse à la reprise des hostilités au Sahara Occidental au lieu de respecter le droit à l’autodétermination des sahraouis.
jeudi 22 mai 2008.

Le Front Polisario en conflit avec le Maroc. (JPEG) Le ministre de la Défense de la République arabe sahraouie démocratique, Mohamed Lamine Bouhali, semble peu convaincu ou carrément sceptique quant à une solution politique au conflit du Sahara occidental. Il préconise une guerre ouverte du moment que le cessez-le-feu conclu entre le Front Polisario et le royaume du Maroc n’a plus raison d’être aujourd’hui avec l’incapacité de l’ONU à mettre en œuvre ses engagements. Il a évoqué aussi avec franchise les relations sahraouies et la position de l’Espagne, de la France et des pays arabes sur la question.

A la question du "Jeune Indépendant" sur le soutien qu’apportent l’Espagne et de la France au Maroc, le ministre sahraoui a affirmé : "Le gouvernement socialiste espagnol est traditionnellement allié de la monarchie alaouite pour des raisons d’intérêts. La France, quant à elle, voit ce conflit sous deux angles. D’un côté, elle le voit d’un œil de colonisateur car les responsables français demeurent ceux de la France coloniale et ils ont de tout temps protégé la monarchie du Maroc. L’autre élément est la haine qu’éprouvent les anciens colonisateurs contre le peuple algérien et sa glorieuse révolution. Ils considèrent que la révolution sahraouie est le prolongement de la révolution algérienne. Pour eux, donc, il s’agirait d’une probable confirmation de la glorieuse révolution algérienne et que les deux voisins seront des alliés stratégiques dans les domaines politique et économique. Ce qui, d’après eux, menacerait l’existence même de la monarchie marocaine, source de grands intérêts pour les Français. Je vous rappelle que la France a combattu aux côtés des Mauritaniens de Mokhtar Ould Dada et des Marocains contre le Front Polisario."

D’après Le Jeune Indépendant
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Jeu 22 Mai 2008 - 17:00

yakousa a écrit:
ce que tu attend est la

Citation :
Le Maroc pousse à la reprise de la guerre au Sahara occidental


D’un côté, elle le voit d’un œil de colonisateur car les responsables français demeurent ceux de la France coloniale et ils ont de tout temps protégé la monarchie du Maroc. L’autre élément est la haine qu’éprouvent les anciens colonisateurs contre le peuple algérien et sa glorieuse révolution Rolling Eyes Laughing (Respect au peuple algérien d'abord)
Ils considèrent que la révolution sahraouie est le prolongement de la révolution algérienne. Pour eux, donc, il s’agirait d’une probable confirmation de la glorieuse révolution algérienne et que les deux voisins seront des alliés stratégiques dans les domaines politique et économique. Ce qui, d’après eux, menacerait l’existence même de la monarchie marocaine, source de grands intérêts pour les Français. Je vous rappelle que la France a combattu aux côtés des Mauritaniens de Mokhtar Ould Dada et des Marocains contre le Front Polisario."

D’après Le Jeune Indépendant

Notre royaume exciste depuis des milliers d'année, les plus glorieuses dynasties nous ont gouverner, c'est juste a un moment de faiblesse que la France nous a pris l'actuel mauritanie et la moiter de l'algérie, et les espagnols nous ont pris le sahara !

Et maintenant quoi ? les polizbal menace notre existence ! est ce un poisson d'avril un peu en retard ou quoi ?

nous essayons toujours d'avoir une solution diplomatique , et nous voulons la paix, est si il veulent la guerre les FAR de 2008 ne sont pas les FAR de 1975 ! et le Maroc de 1975 n'est pas celui de 2008!
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 21:09

Romeoh a écrit:
Conflit asymétrique est le nouveau mot à la mode pour dire guérilla ou insurrection.
les FAR ont été confrontés à une guerre asymétrique avec des combattants bien entrainés, bien équipés et disposant de bases de repli en territoire proche.
La guerre asymétrique, il l'ont assimilée de la manière forte, donc ils connaissent, la preuve, le nombre d'ECM sur les F16 qu'on va avoir.
Il ne faut pas se laisser impressionner par les photos de soldats européens et américains, avec gilets, lunettes et tout les pompons...en fin de compte, quand tu va à la guerre, tu peux mourir comme tout le monde.


Je sais pas si on peut considérer la Guerre contre les Polzs comme un conflit Asymétrique.
Ce qui caractérise la "Guerre Asymétrique" c'est :
L'utilisation d'attaque type "attentat" contre les troupes Marocains ou civile, chose que les Polzs ne font pas
Ils ont un uniforme qui les distinguent des civiles, donc il n'y a pas de confusion entre les deux belligérants
Ils ne combattent pas en Zone Urbaine mais en zone désertique
Ils utilisent un véritable arsenal Militaire (certes insignifiant mais nuisible)
Donc dans le cas tu Polisario je ne pense pas que nous puissions parler de conflit asymétrique mais bien Dissymétrique (Guerre classique)
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 21:26

La guerre en Irak est asymétrique dans le sens de ta définition. Mais asymétrique implique une disproportion entre les forces en présence, cette définition ne parle pas des techniques ni du champ de bataille, même si en fin de compte, au lieu de se réfugier au milieu des civils, les polz se réfugiaient en Algérie.
De plus, ta définition est valable aussi pour insurrection et guérilla.

Citation :
Asymmetric warfare originally referred to war between two or more belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly. Contemporary military thinkers tend to broaden this to include asymmetry of strategy or tactics; today "asymmetric warfare" can describe a conflict in which the resources of two belligerents differ in essence and in the struggle, interact and attempt to exploit each other's characteristic weaknesses. Such struggles often involve strategies and tactics of unconventional warfare, the "weaker" combatants attempting to use strategy to offset deficiencies in quantity or quality.[1] This is in contrast to symmetric warfare, where the two powers have similar military power and resources and rely on tactics and strategy that are similar overall, differing only in details and execution.
Définition de wiki.

Ils est clair que la guerre asymétrique moderne (Irak, Afghanistan) se rapproche de ta description.
Mais il est certain que la guerre contre les polz n'a pas été une guerre conventionelle.

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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 21:34

la guerre en vietnam de la jungle et contre le polz est bel et bien une guerilla,low-intensity conflict.
y´a qu´apres le mur qu´ils ont laisé tomber leur Hit&Run (qui caracterisent les guerillas) pour attaquer en classique
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 22:00

zakaria a écrit:
revenons au sujet mnt les amis.
la nécéssité pour les FAR de modérniser et repenser les méthodes de formation et d'entrainement afin de s'adapter au nous types conflits dit assymétrique.
Il ne s'agit pas seulement de repenser la formation et l'entraînement, c'est toute la manière de faire la guerre que la guerre assymétrique oblige de repenser.
Depuis la construction du "mur", l'affrontement avec le polzs a tourné à la guerre conventionnelle. Et avec tous les gos moyens qu'ils ont, c'est presque une armée conventionnelle. La vraie menace en matiére de guerre assymétrique dans nos provinces du sud, c'est "Khatt echahid", le mouvement des opposants aux dirigeants des polzs. Ils sont éparpillés à travers le monde, on n'en trouve dans les camps de Lahmada, dans nos provinces du sud et dans plusieurs pays d'Europe. Ils n'ont presque pas de moyens, mais c'est ce qui les rends d'autant plus dangereux. Les émeutes de Laayoune et les bandes de jeunes qui ont semé la zizanie, ce sont eux qui étaient derrière, pas le polz "classique". Pour l'instant, ils ne pésent pas encore tres lourd et ne peuvent donc passer à un stade de confrontation plus violent. C'est pourquoi, j'espere tres fort que ce problème soit enterré avant que ces jeunes petits malins ne prennent plus de poids. Les dirigeants des polzs les craignent comme la peste et je les comprends. Ils ne commettront pas la bêtise de s'enfermer dans des camps, ni d'affronter les FAR sur champ de bataille. Le chefs se cachent à l'étranger d'ou il tirent les ficelles en battant les tambours de la propagande, les autres vont vivre avec nous et nous enquiquiner l'existence par une succession continuel de petits actes de subversion dans le cadre d'une stratégie de tension permanente. Ce qui les empêche jusqu'à présent de prendre du poids, c'est le systéme socioculturel des habitants des provinces du sud. Mais tout ça est entrain de changer.
Les officiers qui auront à combattre ce genre de cellules subversives vacilleront entre le domaine militaire et policier, avec une importance primordiale à accorder au renseignement. L'anthropologie, entre autres nouvelles disciplines, doit figurer au programme de formation de ces officiers, sachant le poids des croyances chez les populations, qui sont le véritable nouvel objectif des affrontements. Les conquêtes ne sont plus territoriales, elles sont 'humaines'. Ce sont les populations qu'ils faut désormais conquérir pour s'assurer le contrôle territorial. Les Américains l'ont compris à leur dépend en Irak et en Afghanistan. Et c'est d'ailleurs dans ces pays que des anthropolgues américains ont commencé derniérement à "participer" à la guerre, mais c'est déjà trop tard.
Il faudrait également former des guerriers de l'information, des cyberguerriers, pour la guerre informatique sur ce nouveau champ de bataille virtuel qu'est le Web (rappelez-vous des attaques informatiques russes contre le reseau géorgien et les dégâts ainsi causés). Ils doivent aussi apprendre à lutter contre la cyberguerilla, ...
C'est toute une nouvelle culture de la guerre qu'il faudrait cultiver. Je m'imagine même que dans un proche avenir que les critéres de recrutement de armées vont pas mal changer et on va se retrouver avec quelques "guerriers" chétifs, petits de taille et portant des lunettes, mais capables de paralyser les activites d'un pays rien qu'en pianotant sur des claviers d'ordinateurs.
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 22:02

Qu'ont les Polzs de commun avec les "Djihadiste" d'Afghanistant et Irak ?
Qu'elles sont les méthodes/armement "Non-Conventionels" qu'utiliseraient les Polzs ?

Le polisario est soumis au même titre que le Maroc au Droit de la Guerre puisqu'il signa un cessez le feux avec le Royaume en 91 sous l'égide d'une organisation international et qu'il existe une Zone Neutre qui définit clairement les deux Belligérants (Maroc-Polzs) .
La "Rasd" était officiellement en état de Guerre contre le Maroc (vice-versa) au yeux de l'ONU alors que dans dans un Conflit asymétrique il n'y a qu'une partie en état de guerre.

L'armement du polisario ainsi que ces méthodes ne sont en rien comparable. Ils utilisent des Chars, Blindé, Sam, ont un uniforme etc donc des objectifs militaire bien définie.
Même s'il y a disproportion entre les forces en présences cela ne caractérise pas obligatoirement l'asymétrie.
Le cas de la Serbie ou l'Irak contre la Coalition démontre aussi une disproportion entre les deux armées pourtant il s'agissait bien d'une guerre
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 22:09

dr.watson1 a écrit:
Qu'ont les Polzs de commun avec les "Djihadiste" d'Afghanistant et Irak ?
Qu'elles sont les méthodes/armement "Non-Conventionels" qu'utiliseraient les Polzs ?

Le polisario est soumis au même titre que le Maroc au Droit de la Guerre puisqu'il signa un cessez le feux avec le Royaume en 91 sous l'égide d'une organisation international et qu'il existe une Zone Neutre qui définit clairement les deux Belligérants (Maroc-Polzs) .
La "Rasd" était officiellement en état de Guerre contre le Maroc (vice-versa) au yeux de l'ONU alors que dans dans un Conflit asymétrique il n'y a qu'une partie en état de guerre.

L'armement du polisario ainsi que ces méthodes ne sont en rien comparable. Ils utilisent des Chars, Blindé, Sam, ont un uniforme etc donc des objectifs militaire bien définie.
Même s'il y a disproportion entre les forces en présences cela ne caractérise pas obligatoirement l'asymétrie.
Le cas de la Serbie ou l'Irak contre la Coalition démontre aussi une disproportion entre les deux armées pourtant il s'agissait bien d'une guerre
Il y a aussi le mode "mixte", qu'on dit les Iraniens prêts à appliquer en cas de guerre contre les Etats-Unis.
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 22:15

salut a tous!

Tu te trompes Doc, les guerillas qui par definition opposent une armee reguliere a une organisation type "milice" sont bel et bien considerés comme un conflit assymetrique.

Difference de moyens et difference de strategie (attaque et repli de la part de la milice, etc...) : d'ou l'assymetrie... ; )

Quand tu dis "un Conflit asymétrique il n'y a qu'une partie en état de guerre.", eh bien figures toi que c'est le cas depuis le debut de ce conflit ou le polizabale se retranche automatiquement apres chaque attaque chez vous en algerie, d'ou l'impossibilité de poursuivre les attaquants sans violer le territoire des voisins

Lis War initiation by weaker powers de TV paul, ca eclairera ta lanterne

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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Ven 12 Déc 2008 - 22:20

Samyadams a écrit:

Il y a aussi le mode "mixte", qu'on dit les Iraniens prêts à appliquer en cas de guerre contre les Etats-Unis.


Ce sont les Pasdarans (Gardien de la révolution) qui veulent appliqué ce schéma, c'est une organisation militaire qui dépend du Guide de la Révolution et qui n'est donc pas une véritable Organisation militaire qui dépend du Ministre de la Défense ou du gouvernement Iranien (Il développent leurs propre missiles et armements).
Ils ont annoncés ça après la victoire du Hezbollah pendant la guerre de 2006


[EDIT]
Les modos du Taff pour vous, Tranfert dans la Partie Sahara Marocain
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Dim 11 Jan 2009 - 17:52

quelques vintage articles du TIME
(specialement pour juba2 qui voulait de la lecture sur les batailles du sahara Wink )

1976

Citation :
From the Magazine | The World
Armor at the Oasis

Posted Monday, Feb. 9, 1976


After months of increasing tension and in spite of anguished pleas from five Arab chiefs of state, Algeria and Morocco last week were on the brink of war for control of the former Spanish Sahara. By week's end a sharp and bloody battalion-level battle near the oasis of Amgala (see map) had apparently ended in Morocco's favor. Reports from the scene were sketchy, but the Algerian press service spoke of "violent combat," while Moroccan officials, claiming victory, conceded "many dead."

Wrestling for the barren but phosphate-rich former Spanish colony (103,000 sq. mi., pop. 73,000) began in the wake of last November's "Green March"—350,000 unarmed, Koran-carrying Moroccans dispatched by King Hassan II to lay claim to the territory. Though the marchers halted short of Spanish battle lines, Hassan secured from Madrid an agreement partitioning the colony between Morocco and Mauritania. Algeria quickly denounced the deal and warned darkly of "protracted guerrilla war."

In December, as Moroccan and Mauritanian occupying forces moved in, guerrillas from an acronymic Algerian-trained liberation group known as the Frente Polisario staged a series of violent clashes and ambushes against both armies. Polisario spokesmen claim to have inflicted particularly heavy losses on Mauritania's tiny (3,800 men) army—219 killed and 37 P.O.W.s. Two weeks ago, Polisario guerrillas downed a Moroccan F-5 fighter flying close cover during a clash between the guerrillas and Mauritanian forces. Meanwhile, Algerian diplomats denounced Moroccan "aggression" in world forums. Some 35,000 Moroccans living in Algeria were deported, and the bulk of Algeria's 55,000-man army was drawn up near Tindouf, at the intersection of Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania.

The Moroccan army launched a search-and-destroy campaign against the Polisarios. Apparently in response, Algerian units crossed into the Sahara. At Amgala, a skirmish between Moroccans and the guerrillas grew into a major battle with tanks and heavy artillery. Morocco claimed to have captured 101 Algerian prisoners. Algeria admitted only that its forces had "withdrawn in good order . . . after they had admirably carried out their mission."

Stung Again. The possibility of all-out war stirred fears throughout the Arab world. Egypt's Anwar Sadat, Tunisia's Habib Bourguiba and Iraq's Ahmed Hassan Bakr telephoned Hassan and Algerian President Houari Boumedienne to urge a ceasefire. Syria's Hafez Assad dispatched Vice Premier Mohammed Haidar and Chief of Staff General Hikmat Chehabi to Algiers and Rabat to try to defuse what Damascus radio called "the explosive situation."

At week's end Moroccan communiqués claimed the area had been "cleansed of all rebel elements." Algerian pride, still wounded by a Moroccan whipping in the 1963 border war, had been stung again. Should Boumedienne try to even the score, Algeria's army would be far from supply bases and pitted against a Moroccan force roughly its equal in size and skill. But Algeria's 3-to-1 advantage in air power could prove decisive in the Sahara's frigid, windswept wadies and salt flats, whose sparse vegetation creates ideal strafing ground.


1977
Citation :

Monday, Jan. 3, 1977
Shadowy War in the Sahara


Polisario. What is it? Someone's name? Some sort of police force? Actually, it is the latest in the long list of labels attached to the world's many guerrilla armies.

Like angry ants in a vast sandpile, the combatants in a little-known African war of liberation are carrying out search-and-destroy missions in the desolate 100,000-sq.-mi. area once known as the Spanish Sahara. On one side are an estimated 30,000 troops from Morocco and Mauritania, which claimed the land that Spain surrendered sovereignty over last year under strong United Nations pressure. Opposing are the 5,000 guerrillas of the Frente Polisario (for Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro, the two provinces involved). Polisario is fighting to gain independence for a new "Saharan Arab Democratic Republic" and the 100,000 people, mostly Reguibet tribesmen, it would represent.

TIME Correspondent David Beckwith, who spent two weeks with Polisario guerrillas in the desert, reports that so far the shadowy Sahara war is a standoff. The Moroccans and Mauritanians hold the villages but venture cautiously into the desert for fear of ambush; Polisario fighters as a result roam freely over much of the territory, boastfully but inaccurately declaring it "liberated." The guerrillas, though, have carried the war into both Morocco and Mauritania. Last June Polisario even attempted a mortar attack on the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott (see map). Although the guerrillas lost 200 men, including Polisario's founder, Mohammed Wall, 28, in the battle, they consider the shelling of the Mauritanian capital a great victory. They have brought Mauritania close to economic disaster with periodic attacks on the 450-mile rail line, which brings the country's iron ore to the sea. In the north, Polisario has also shut down the vast Moroccan-controlled phosphate deposit at Bu Craa by harassing the mine and its 60-mile conveyor belt to Atlantic Ocean docks at Aaiun. The attacks, ironically, have helped Morocco's domestic phosphate industry by keeping supplies short.

Classic Guerrillas. The war shows no sign of ending, reports Beckwith, even though Morocco and Mauritania have lost about 1,000 men since last February. Other Arab governments—notably Saudi Arabia—have tried to work out a diplomatic settlement, so far without success. Supplied with East Bloc arms by Libya and Algeria, Polisario is able to struggle on from sanctuaries near the Algerian border town of Tindouf, where about 40,000 Saharoui refugees live in 22 camps. By helping the guerrillas, President Houari Boumedienne is able to keep a third of Archenemy King Hassan's Moroccan armed forces tied up in a frustrating and expensive war.

In classic guerrilla fashion, Polisario fighters are mounting up to five raids a week on enemy-held villages to drain the morale of the occupiers. Beckwith accompanied them on one mortaring mission and filed this account of a five-day, 900-mile venture:

The target was Amgala, five miles north of the Mauritanian border—the scene of a disastrous defeat of a combined Algerian-Saharoui force by a Moroccan armored column last February. Since then the Algerians have pulled their troops out of the Sahara. The 2,000 Saharoui residents of Amgala have also fled, and were replaced by 900 Moroccan soldiers. Polisario, as a result, shells Amgala regularly. The last attack, by another guerrilla force, occurred only three days before we set out.

Our assault was to take place in late afternoon so that any Moroccan F-5s scrambled from Aaiun, 120 miles away, would not find us before nightfall. Our force: four guerrillas in a 1974 Toyota Landcruiser and five more in an erratic 1965 Land-Rover. We crossed the Algerian border without incident. "Passaporto," joked one guerrilla in desert Spanish, stroking his Kalashnikov assault rifle. The vehicles rolled along wherever the drivers saw a path, whether it was soft sand or hard lava fields. Top speed under ideal conditions was 60 m.p.h.; our average was more like 20 m.p.h. We paused periodically to allow the guerrillas to pray, kneeling toward Mecca, and to wolf down strips of tough camel meat boiled in its own sinewy fat and garnished by dive-bombing flies.

At night we camped in the open; since headlights can be seen for ten miles in the desert, we bumped along in darkness looking for spots where talha trees or hills would provide protection. "A million-star hotel," jested one guerrilla familar with the Guide Michelin as he looked at the sky above. As soon as they camped, the guerrillas gathered branches and started a fire to warm themselves against the night chill. "In the past, I've made a big fire and hidden away near by," said Ahmed, the Toyota driver. "Then the Moroccans came to the fire and we trapped them. Now they're afraid of fire." Actually, the territory is so vast and Moroccan night patrols are so infrequent that detection would be a freakish misfortune.

Nearing Amgala, we switched to relatively new Land-Rovers in better repair; some had been captured in an ambush of Moroccan troops only three weeks earlier. More men arrived also; by the time we reached the target there were five cars containing 42 guerrillas and three 82-mm. recoilless rifles. Creeping around the town from the north, three carloads of guerrillas drove to within a mile of Amgala. Turbaned youths set up their Czech-made weapons pointing over the ridge. The other two cars, meanwhile, were posted to cover the escape. I crept up the black rocky terrain and rolled into a ridgetop foxhole dug for a previous bombardment.

Cut the Road. Our operation commander was Mohammed Fadel, 41, a former shopkeeper from Aaiun and a onetime French army noncom; when he gave an arm signal, the first rounds arched toward Amgala. After four blasts, the Moroccans returned fire. One shell exploded on hard lava 100 yards from a Polisario gun; most landed farther away, indicating either the enemy's inaccuracy or his confusion. Even so, after firing 19 rounds, the guerrillas suddenly dashed back to their cars and scurried away. As we drove down the ridge, another Moroccan round exploded 200 yards to the right. "Bombardimento," explained one young guerrilla helpfully.

Armed with bazookas and a recoilless rifle, a 13-man defense squad was already set up in front of us, ready to cut the road if the enemy emerged from Amgala. That would give the main party time to set up a full-fledged ambush several miles away. At that point, however, the guerrillas stopped for a celebration—building fires, cooking camel meat, boiling tea, praying and congratulating one another for hitting Amgala with at least eleven of the 19 rounds. After half an hour it became apparent that the Moroccans would not be coming out to fight that day. The fires were covered, and we started leisurely back to base camp, eight hours away—the first leg in a two-day ride across the immense desert to the safety of Algeria.
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Dim 11 Jan 2009 - 18:23

1979

Citation :

Monday, Sep. 3, 1979
Shifting Sands


King Hassan's expansionism heats up the Sahara

Morocco's King Hassan II, 50, has long been one of the U.S.'s most valued allies in the Third World. But Washington policymakers worry about the deceptively boyish monarch's ambitious territorial expansion into the former colony of Spanish Sahara. Reason: the more he grabs, the deeper he appears to sink into the sands of economic troubles at home and political isolation abroad.

On the military front, Hassan has been locked for almost four years in a no-win war against the guerrillas of the leftist Polisario Front, which is fighting to turn the barren but phosphate-rich, 103,000-sq.-mi. slab of desert into an independent "Saharan Arab Democratic Republic." At home, he has had to contend with rising public anger and labor strikes prompted by a deteriorating economy; it has suffered both from the decline in the price of phosphates, which provide a third of Morocco's export earnings, and from the war's cost, estimated at $1 million a day. Internationally, he has been virtually ostracized not only by other Third World countries but even by former Western patrons like France. Worst of all, since the Polisario is based in and backed by Algeria, Hassan's socialist antagonist to the east, the King regularly runs the risk of provoking a wider, full-scale war between North Africa's two most populous countries.

Earlier this month Morocco's smaller neighbor to the south, Mauritania (pop. 1.5 million), abruptly made a separate peace with the Polisario and gave up its own claims to Tiris el Gharbia, the lower reaches of the Western Sahara. To forestall a Polisario takeover there, Hassan promptly occupied the area with 2,500 legionnaires and proclaimed it Morocco's 40th province. Though it was cheered by flag-waving children, that annexation sorely raised the level of tension across the Maghreb. Algeria immediately accused Hassan of being manipulated by "colonialists and imperialists." The Polisario vowed to "intensify military operations inside Morocco as well as within the Sahara territory." It was no idle threat, coming as it did on the heels of the insurgents' fiercest military operation to date: a frontal attack by 1,500 guerrillas, equipped with light tanks and Sam7 anti-aircraft missiles, against two battalions of Moroccan regulars at Bir Anzaran, just 60 miles from the Atlantic coast.

Though the six-hour battle left 500 Polisarios dead, compared with 125 Moroccans, according to Rabat's claims, the attack clearly shocked Hassan. Last week the King himself made a somewhat desperate public pitch to justify the annexation and try to regain some international support by portraying himself as the guardian of Western interests in North Africa. Shifting the focus of the conflict, he accused Libya most of all for the destabilization in the region. "Colonel [Muammar] Gaddafi would be happy if a conflict broke out between Algeria and Morocco," the King declared. "We would both come out of it so weakened as to ensure his leadership in North Africa." At the same time, he went out of his way to be conciliatory toward Algeria and invited a negotiated settlement.

In a similar, private offer of negotiations last year, Hassan had arranged to meet secretly with Houari Boumedienne, but the Algerian President's fatal illness forced a cancellation. Now it is more difficult than ever to see the outline of a possible settlement. Algeria has little to lose by continuing to support the Polisario so long as its own troops are not involved and Libya continues to provide much of the rebels' financing. For its part, Morocco is clearly not willing to give up any of its annexed real estate peaceably. Besides his own irredentist impulse, Hassan also has to reckon with the nationalistic fervor of his subjects—which the King originally whipped up in 1975 with his dramatic "Green March," in which 350,000 Moroccans literally walked into the collapsing Spanish colony.

Hassan's dilemma is also Washington's. Despite its 1960 defense agreement with Morocco, the U.S. has tried to remain neutral in the dispute and has refused to supply Hassan with arms to use against the Polisario. The Administration is in no mood to jeopardize sensitive oil and gas deals in Algeria, where the new, post-Boumedienne regime of Benjedid Chadli shows growing signs of wanting to seek better ties with the West



Citation :

Monday, Nov. 12, 1979
Sahara Dilemma


Carter decides to aid Morocco


Like so many African crises before it, the Polisario dispute in the Sahara between Morocco and Algeria has caused the Carter Administration an inordinate amount of worry. As in such similarly intricate problems of the recent past that involved Zaire, Angola and the Ethiopian-Somali fighting in the Horn of Africa, the Administration has been sharply divided over how to protect its improving relations with the Third World while at the same time countering rising Soviet influence.

In the present case, the question is in what way the U.S. can best use its influence toward bringing about a cease-fire in the Western Sahara between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario guerrillas, who want to establish an independent state in the area formerly ruled by Spain. Morocco's King Hassan II is pressing the U.S. to sell him the Bronco planes and Cobra helicopter gunships he feels he needs to continue the fight against the guerrillas. The U.S. State Department opposes the sale and cites a CIA assessment that Morocco cannot win the war against the Polisarios. The State Department also fears that the arms sale would merely provoke the Polisarios into seeking more sophisticated weapons from Algeria, Libya and even the Soviet Union. Moreover, the planes, if delivered, would be vulnerable to the Soviet-made Sam7 missiles that Algeria has supplied the Polisarios. As one U.S. arms dealer in Rabat sees it, the additional American arms would simply "increase the casualty rate on both sides."

On the other hand, President Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski as well as the Defense Department believe that the weapons would strengthen Hassan and make him more amenable to seeking a negotiated settlement. The question is exceedingly tricky: Washington does not want to betray Morocco, a longtime ally. But neither does it want to jeopardize its improving relations with Algeria, and not merely because that country now supplies 9% of U.S. crude oil imports. Last week President Carter decided that the U.S. must support Morocco with the arms sale, though the transaction has also to be approved by a wary Congress. Then he sent Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Rabat to urge the King to seek a compromise. At the same time Brzezinski left for Algiers to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of the beginning of Algeria's war of independence from France—and to explain the Administration's position to Algerian President Benjedid Chadli.

In a sense, Carter is gambling that Hassan is too beleaguered militarily and politically to resist a settlement of the dispute. Since last summer, the Polisario attacks have grown from small local skirmishes to pitched battles involving thousands of guerrillas. In an attack last month, the Moroccans were forced to abandon a key defense post at Mahbes, about 35 miles inside the Moroccan border. At the same time, Hassan's economy has been hobbled by 25% inflation, skyrocketing fuel bills and bad harvests. He is not particularly popular among his countrymen, but so far they have supported him on at least one important issue, the war against the Polisarios.

What will Hassan do now? In the past, he has sometimes threatened to initiate a policy of "hot pursuit" against Algeria. Such talk alarms not only the U.S. but also Hassan's Arab allies, including the Saudis, who realize that all-out fighting between Morocco and Algeria would create a new axis of conflict in the divided Arab world. But two weeks ago, Hassan offered a little hope to his friends when he observed, in a French television interview: "I have many faults, certainly more faults than good qualities, but fortunately I am not stubborn." He then insisted that he would never resort to the "political aphrodisiac" of launching a strike into Algeria.
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Dim 11 Jan 2009 - 20:14

Thanks Yakousa
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Lun 12 Jan 2009 - 1:44

article tres interressant merci

_________________

الله الوطن الملك
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MessageSujet: Re: Le conflit armé du sahara marocain   Mar 13 Jan 2009 - 16:59

Citation :

Monday, Dec. 10, 1979
Morocco Fights a Desert War


Hassan brandishes an elite new force in the Sahara

"It is our war all right, but we are fighting for the West as well," said Moroccan Brigadier Muhamed Abruk, scanning the desert horizon from his headquarters at Laayoun, deep in the western Sahara. "We are the last fort protecting Western interests in this part of the world." For four years, Morocco has been waging a costly campaign to maintain its disputed claims over the former Spanish colony on North Africa's Atlantic coast. King Hassan II, 50, one of the West's most reliable allies in the Arab world, has found himself mired in a no-win war of attrition against leftist guerrillas of the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, who are fighting to turn the desolate, phosphate-rich 103,000-sq.-mi. wedge of territory into an independent "Saharan Arab Democratic Republic."

Committed to defending isolated population centers and their own garrisons, Morocco's 36,000 troops in the Sahara have been increasingly harassed by the hit-and-run attacks of Polisario bands armed with Soviet weapons. Last week the Polisario attacked a Moroccan village with Soviet-made Katyusha rockets, and claimed that it shot down a Moroccan air force Mirage fighter with a SA-7 missile. The Polisario command in Algiers also claimed that its forces had killed 329 Moroccan soldiers in a series of engagements near Laayoun, but Moroccan officials in Rabat flatly denied the claim.

Lately, however, two developments have given Morocco's 120,000-man military forces a new impetus and the Moroccan public a strong boost. One is the Carter Administration's decision to reverse a long-standing U.S. policy by providing Morocco with badly needed arms assistance, notably Bronco planes and helicopter gunships. The other is Rabat's deliberate attempt to modify the army's defensive garrison mentality and try to seize the military initiative with an elite new fighting force. After touring Moroccan positions in the western Sahara for five days, TIME Correspondent David Halevy cabled this report:

The Moroccan brigade, moving fast across the southern desert near the Mauritanian border somewhere between Bir Anzaran and El Aargub, was an impressive sight. Armored cars and tanks, halftracks and armored personnel carriers, trucks and Jeep-type vehicles, churned across the sands as far as the eye could see. With light reconnaissance aircraft pointing the way, the battalions roared by in long columns. Supply trucks and gasoline tankers were tucked safely into the middle of the convoy, with a Jeep battalion covering flanks and rear. The cloud of dust raised by the vehicles was almost enough to lay a shadow across the burning noonday sun.

The brigade is part of the Moroccan army's elite new Saharan task force, commanded by King Hassan's intelligence chief, Brigadier Achmed Dlimi. This "Uhud Force," named after a battle famous in Arab history, has been given the best of Rabat's military machine: escorting helicopter gunships, air cover from U.S.-made F-5s and advanced French Mirages flying out of Saharan air bases at Laayoun and Dakhia. Young Moroccan officers compete for assignment to Dlimi's force, and more than 60% of the soldiers are native Saharans who know the desert terrain as well as the Polisarios.

Rabat obviously hopes that the Uhud Force may eventually turn the balance of the war by cutting off the guerrillas' movements to and from the main Polisario base at Tindouf in Algeria. Moroccan officers point to two recent pitched battles as evidence that the new task force may already be making a difference in the war.

In the first battle, at Smara on Oct. 6, three waves of Polisarios nearly overran the large Moroccan garrison, killing one local commander and 120 of his men ; the intervention of a squadron of Moroccan Mirage jets, used for the first time in the war, drove off the attackers. In the second battle, at the phosphate-mining station of Bu Craa one month later, a 600-man Polisario force attempted a similar frontal attack; this time two battalions of Dlimi's mobile forces, which had rushed to Bu Craa's defense, counterattacked, killing some 130 guerrillas and capturing twelve of their vehicles . "The Polisarios exhausted themselves in the October attack on Smara—the biggest ever carried out in the Sahara since World War II ," said Brigadier Abruk. "They also failed in their Bu Craa attack because we were beginning our own offensive."

These military initiatives, and the political boost provided by the U.S. decision to help Morocco with arms, have given observers increased confidence in King Hassan's staying power. Western capitals have long feared that the monarch, who has survived two coup attempts, might go the way of the Shah of Iran. Last summer a Central Intelligence Agency report predicted that the King could possibly lose his throne within a year, largely because of economic problems engendered by the cost of the war (estimated to be as high as $1.5 million a day).

"Those root problems are still there," a U.S. diplomat observed last week. "But the regime looks in better shape than it did some months ago."

In an interview with Correspondent Halevy in Rabat last week, King Hassan manifested considerable confidence of his own. The King said that the new Moroccan offensive in the Sahara is only the beginning of an aggressive new strategy. But he carefully drew the line against any possible hot pursuit into Algeria.

"The Polisario are escaping from the battle," he said. "In spite of that, we shall not penetrate Algeria's territory to chase them. There will be no need of that. We are now in the process of establishing another task force like the Uhud. Soon we will have a third Saharan task force in operation. With those three task forces, skillfully using tanks and helicopters, we shall gain control over the Sahara."

The King angrily charged that Algeria was not the only power behind the Polisario. He accused Libya of providing the guerrillas with Soviet arms. He claimed that Cuba's African expeditionary force was training the guerrillas and directing their attacks. And he fumed that the Soviet Union was behind it all, as part of an elaborate plan to gain control of the Mediterranean as well as North Africa.

"This Sahara matter is not just another conflict between the Maghreb countries of Algeria and Morocco," he said. "It is a Kremlin dossier. We are fighting a war that is part of a Russian plot against Europe itself. Let me remind you that the Moslem Conquest moved into Southern Europe using the same routes that the Russians are using now. We [Moroccans] were then, and we are now, the key to the Mediterranean Sea and to Southern Europe."

He went on: "The Russian tactics in Africa are like the tactics of a parrot climbing a tree. First came Angola, then Congo Brazzaville, then Ethiopia, and afterward the Sahara. Step by step. If they get the Sahara, the Russians will have a window on the Atlantic, as they have always wanted, and the key to the Mediterranean. The American Sixth Fleet will have to sail back home and leave these seas to the Russian fleets."


Citation :

An Exercise in Amity
Monday, May 31, 1982

By WILLIAM E. SMITH

Landing rights and help with an unwinnable war

They swapped cavalry stories in the Oval Office and reviewed the international scene while riding Lipizzaners along the banks of Virginia's Rappahannock River. But casual as it may have seemed, Moroccan King Hassan IFs visit with President Ronald Reagan last week was productive for both sides.

Washington's aim was to complete an agreement, reached in principle by Secretary of State Alexander Haig during a trip to Marrakesh last February, that would allow the U.S. to use Moroccan military facilities if troops ever have to be ferried to the Persian Gulf in an emergency. The plan was part of Haig's continuing attempt to forge a "strategic consensus" to contain Communist influence in the Middle East. Hassan was amenable to the idea on the basis of an unwritten agreement, though the U.S. was still hoping to talk him into signing a formal statement to that effect.

From the King's point of view, the best news was a reaffirmation of the Reagan Administration's pledge to press for a big increase in U.S. arms aid to Morocco. The President had already asked Congress for $100 million in military sales credits for Morocco for next year, compared with this year's $30 million.

The additional aid, if approved by Congress, would enable the King to buy armaments he needs to pursue a six-year-old desert war that neither the Moroccans nor their enemies appear to be capable of winning. The war, centered in the former Spanish Sahara to the south of Morocco, pits Hassan's armed forces against the guerrillas of the Polisario Front. The rebels, who are supported by Algeria and Libya, hope to create an independent state in the barren, 103,000-sq.-mi. territory.

The Moroccans have claimed the disputed region since precolonial times. In 1975, when Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco lay on his deathbed, Hassan led 300,000 of his unarmed subjects on a March across the border into the Spanish Sahara. The ploy worked. Spain withdrew from the colony immediately, I leaving the northern two-thirds to Morocco and the southern third to Mauritania. Nobody asked the inhabitants, believed to number about 100,000, what they wanted for their country. As it turned out, many of them wanted independence and, toward that end, banded together in a guerrilla fighting force.

By 1979, as warfare continued, Mauritania renounced its claim to any part of the former Spanish colony. Hassan held on, but understood that he was in a bind: he could not defeat the Polisario, even though he was spending about $ 1 million a day in trying; and he could not withdraw because his countrymen of every political persuasion, whatever they might think of his other policies, were wildly enthusiastic about the war in the Sahara.

Then Hassan conceived a brilliant scheme for changing the very nature of the war. He had long since realized that he did not really want most of the Western Sahara, a moonscape that only a nomad could love. What he wanted was the northwestern 20% of the territory, which contained the main towns of El Aaiun and Smara as well as the phosphate mines at Bu Craa. Hassan decided to protect his claim to this area, which he began to refer to as the "useful Sahara," by literally building a wall around it.

Hassan's wall of earth and sand does not amount to much compared with France's Maginot Line or Germany's Siegfried Line of World War II. It is roughly 7 ft. tall, 10 ft. thick, and extends for some 350 miles along an irregular arc from east to west. The wall is dotted, at intervals of every mile or so, by bunkers protected by land mines and equipped with French-built radar sensors capable of detecting enemy movements up to 40 miles away. Behind the wall, at greater intervals, are small forts or strongpoints that provide back-up support. Fully half of Morocco's 140,000-man army is on duty at the wall.

In the beginning, the whole effort was dismissed by critics as "Hassan's folly." In fact, it has proved remarkably successful at protecting the enclosed area to the north and freeing the Moroccans from the constant threat of encirclement and sniper attack. It has also restricted the movement of the estimated 10,000 guerrillas.

The wall has not brought an end to the war, however. Nor has it convinced either the Moroccans or the Polisario that they are losing. On the Moroccan side, at a site alongside the wall where the Polisario had staged an unsuccessful raid the previous night, a Moroccan colonel explains: "By building the wall and manning it with troops and radar, we have forced the Polisario to adapt to classical battle techniques, for which they are unprepared and unequipped." But in Tindouf, in southwestern Algeria, a Polisario leader in a sprawling refugee camp of 8,000 people counters: "We already control 95% of our land, and we will fight until we control all of it. We are waging a struggle for national liberation, so how can we lose?"

Much of Morocco's support has come from the U.S., which remains uncommitted on the question of Hassan's desert war but nonetheless regards the King as one of Washington's best friends in the Arab world. Hassan has been helpful to the West on a number of occasions, as when he helped make the arrangements for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's 1977 trip to Jerusalem and when he twice provided peace-keeping troops during crises in other African countries.

In the meantime, Morocco and the Polisario are also jousting with each other on the diplomatic front. At a summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity last June, Libya and several other states proposed O. A.U. membership for the political arm of the Polisario Front. Hassan forestalled the move by calling for a cease-fire and a referendum in the Western Sahara—steps that the O.A.U. had been advocating for years. The issue has continued to dominate and even disrupt subsequent O.A.U. meetings, and is certain to be raised again at the next summit conference, to be held in Libya in early August.

In many ways, Hassan is in a stronger position today than he was three years ago, when some Western diplomats were saying that his country's 300-year-old monarchy was all but finished . He has survived a drought and a decline in the price of phosphate, his country's biggest export. But he is on a firmer footing in the Western Sahara, partly because of the existence of the wall. Now he must somehow find a political compromise to end the dispute. One practical possibility: limiting Morocco's claim to the "useful Sahara" enclosed by the wall.

— By William E. Smith.

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