the Sahrawis and their leadership, the Polisario Front, have successfully
leveraged international support to obtain widespread international recognition
of their movement and legal rulings in support of Sahrawi self-determination.7
They have also cultivated strong allies such as Cuba and Algeria. Algeria has
granted the Polisario Front governance over the refugee camps and provided them
with weapons, food-aid, and financial assistance. The Polisario Front also has
a colonially demarcated space that it envisions as the future territory for
Sahrawis, but neither the international institutions who have supported the
Polisario Front nor its allies have succeeded in helping the Polisario Front
achieve its ultimate goal of independent Sahrawi governance over all of the
Western Sahara territory. The goal of realizing an independent state in Western
Sahara defines the Polisario Front; it is its means for creating and
maintaining a popular movement. Their secondmain goal, which is synonymous with
independence, includes a referendum that would allow for the self-determination
of the Sahrawi people. In their speeches and public documents, Polisario
leaders frequently invoke the need for Sahrawi self-determination, which
indicates that it is a core tenet of their ideology. Even the constitution of
SADR combines these two goals.8 Thus, while independence in Western Sahara
comprises the ultimate goal, the Polisario Front’s goals cannot be achieved
without a referendum that speaks to the organization’s ideology as a bottom-up
movement. Nevertheless, there are no strongly compelling reasons to doubt that
a referendum with an option for independence would overwhelmingly support
independence in Western Sahara. 9 The Polisario Front’s tactics for achieving
its ultimate goal include leveraging international support for the Polisario
Front against Morocco. UN resolutions calling for self-determination in Western
Sahara and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Morocco did not 


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