US – Morocco: Congress to condition military cooperation with Rabat over Western Sahara

By Julian Pecquet

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on December 8, 2021 23:42

Morocco US Western Sahara
Moroccan and US flags are seen outside the provisional consulate of the U.S in Dakhla, Morocco-administered Western Sahara, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Noureddine Abakchou)

Congress is poised to approve legislation that would condition US military cooperation with Morocco over the Western Sahara issue, one of several Africa-related provisions in the must-pass annual defense bill.

After several weeks of negotiations between members of the House and Senate over the FY 2022 National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), lawmakers released their compromise bill on Tuesday. The House quickly passed it by a vote of 363 to 70, with the Senate poised to follow suit in the coming days.

The compromise nixed several Africa-related provisions that were in the Senate bill, but kept a few of them, including language that seeks to compel Rabat to work towards a political settlement in the Western Sahara, despite the Donald Trump administration’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory.

The original Senate bill contained strict conditions backed by Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a longtime champion of the native Sahrawi people’s quest for an independence referendum.

We note with concern the immense human

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime