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Vol 40 No 16

Published 6th August 1999


Morocco

Desert kingdom or desert republic?

Whether Rabat cooperates with the United Nations' planned referendum on Western Sahara next July will be a key test of King Mohammed VI's political muscle. His father, King Hassan II, marched troops into the territory shortly after Spain pulled out in 1976, a move condemned by both the UN and the Organisation of African Unity. Hassan made the occupation of the Sahara a national cause and persuaded Westerners that if his troops were pushed out, the kingdom would collapse.

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