You are on page 1of 62

THE SAHARA: BRIDGE OR BARRIER

The Sahara stretches like a giant nomad's tent across northern


Africa. Here Arab and Black Africa meet and mingle. For centuries
the desert has been a highway for trade and culture; modern roads
still follow the ancient caravan trails of pre-Roman days.
Today the Sahara has acquired new importance as developing
states seek to capitalize on the oil, gas, iron ore, and other rich
mineral resources beneath its surface and as scientific developments
make possible their exploitation. As the present article points out,
however, "what technology has opened, politics has often closed."
The unifying influence of French rule is a thing of the past. Now
a cluster of independent states struggles along the road to economic
development. While the demise of colonial rule snapped many of
the strings that oriented the littoral states of the Sahara to Europe
rather than to each other, the elements of a new grouping are still
to be created. Conflicting territorial claims over ill-defined borders
exacerbate differences in interests and ideologies.
On the other side of the ledger, there are certain forces tending
toward unity. This article assays the strengths and weaknesses of
Pan-Africanism, the now defunct Common Organization of the
Saharan Regions, the Arab Maghreb, "Morocco Irredenta," and the
Casablanca Group. The author concludes that "there is nothing
inevitable about Saharan unity, either in a larger framework of
African unity or in a regional framework." Whether the Sahara
assumes the character of barrier or bridge will, he believes, depend
upon the ability of states to cooperate in providing "the money,
skill, and effort necessary to over-all Saharan exploitation."
I. WILLIAM ZARTMAN, Assistant Professor at the Institute of
International Studies, University of South Carolina, is currently on
leave under a Rockefeller Foundation research grant to study foreign
policy in western Africa. His studies of independent Moroccan government, Problems of New Power, and of northern Africa, Government and Politics in Africa North of the Sahara, will be published
this year.
January 1963

ANNE WINsLoW

Editor-in-Chief

Contents
TOPOGRAPHY AND TRADITION ................

THE NEW CONFIGURATION ....................

14

THE OCRS .....................................

26

THE ARAB MAGHREB ..........................

34

MOROCCO IRREDENTA ........................

42

THE CASABLANCA GROUP .....................

51

CONCLUSIONS .................................

58

MAPS
Regional Groupings ..........................

27

Western Africa .............................

32

No. 541

International Conciliation

January 1963

Topography and Tradition


IS A WELL-ENTRENCHED idea, a hang-over from the
Middle Ages and from French colonial notions, that Africa stops
at the Sahara. As long as the Continent could be divided into
convenient zones of colonial influence and Africans could be
spoken of as anthropological specimens rather than as political
beings, the world could get by with this sort of concept. As long
as it lasted, architectural similarities between Warzazat in the
Moroccan Valley of the Dra and Bamako on the Malian Niger
went unnoticed, the presence of both Nilotic and Negroid types
on the Tassili frescoes went unexplained, and the column of
General Leclerc marching up from Lake Chad across the desert
in 1943 was a brave anomoly. Today this attitude is rapidly
becoming outmoded.
The Sahara has been more a link than a barrier between
Black and Arab Africa. New political developments reflecting
this fact can have great effect on the future of African and international relations. This thesis will be developed in four steps:
What is the geographical nature of the Sahara and its shores?
What has been the political nature of the Sahara in the past?
What new elements have arisen to effect this nature? What are
the resulting possibilities of regional unity around the Sahara?
Attention will be focused on the vast area of North and West
Africa west of 25 degrees east longitude; this meridian passes
through the easternmost limit of Libya, Chad, and the Common
Organization of the Saharan Regions (OCRS).* When referred
to in its entirety, this area will be called western Africa. NonSaharan regional groups in western Africa, such as the SahelBenin Entente, the former Mali Federation, the Union of
African and Malagasy States (UAM, the Brazzaville Group),
THEIm

* Although titles are given in English throughout this study, French acronyms
are employed, following common usage.

and the Union of African States (the Guinea-Ghana-Mali group)


will not be treated. The United Arab Republic (Egypt) will also
be regarded as being outside this region, to the extent possible.
Physical Features

The world's largest desert area stretches eastward from the


Atlantic Ocean across northern Africa, crosses the Nile Valley
and the Red Sea, continues over the Arabian Peninsula, crosses
the Persian Gulf, and loses itself in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Reduced to its narrowest expression, the western part of this
desert is called the Sahara (the Arabic for "desert"). On the
north, it is contained by the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. On the south, it is bordered by the valleys of the
Senegal and Niger rivers. To the east, it merely continues under
other names, as the Libyan and Nubian deserts.
The Sahara is not most of the things commonly associated
with its name. It is neither a flat, empty sandbox, nor a garden
of oases where the indolent lounge on lush grass under date-laden
palms. While the prevailing characteristic of the entire desert
belt is its barrenness, induced by chronic and endemic insufficiency of rainfall, scarcely any other characteristics are constant
or common.
Although the Sahara has never been an inland sea, as has
sometimes been supposed, it has not always been a desert. At one
time it was a jungle, and as recently as 10,000 years ago it was
well populated. It has become progressively drier. This change,
however, has not been sudden. It is considered likely that the
rainfall 2,500 years ago was about the same as it is today - less
than two inches of average useful precipitation per annum, or less
than one-third of the rainfall in Arizona. Dryness - and the
desert itself - arise from the location of the western African
land mass in an anti-cyclonic zone and the existence of a high
pressure area in the midst of this land mass. The air is adiabatically warmed in this high pressure area and there is little vegetation to absorb heat or give shade; hence, some of the hottest
weather in the world has been found in the Sahara. Temperatures are not constant, however; a daily range of as much as 50
to 60 degrees Fahrenheit results from the dry climate. The
4

January daily mean is about 60 degrees; the daily mean for July
is a respectable 95. The hot dry air also increases evaporation, a
major threat to irrigation canals and natural watercourses alike.
Both seek refuge underground, the canals being replaced by
foggaras, or horizontal wells, and the surface water becoming
underground streams and a low lying water table fed by rains
outside the desert area. Whole rivers, such as the Algerian
Saoura and Igharghar, and lakes, such as the former inland sea
of the Upper Niger, have disappeared from the surface.
This hot, dry, high pressure area, a permanent characteristic
of the Saharan atmosphere, is kept in place by surrounding geographic and atmospheric conditions. To the north, the Atlas
Mountains catch humid winter winds from the Atlantic and
wring out their moisture before they reach the desert; in the
summer, hot shergis or siroccos carry the dry dust of the Sahara
across North Africa and sometimes out into the Mediterranean.
To the south, the humid Tropical Maritime Air meets the Tropical Continental Air in an Intertropical Convergence Zone that
swings seasonally back and forth across West Africa. In July and
August, when this Zone lies at its northernmost point along the
southern edge of the Sahara (about 17 degrees north latitude),
the rainfall along the Guinea coast is heavy (over twenty inches
between Bathurst and Monrovia) and Timbuctu receives as
much as four inches. In December and January, the Saharan air
sweeps across West Africa as the hot dry harmattan and pushes
the Zone out to sea (about 4 degrees north latitude). North or
south, no humidity succeeds in crossing the mountains or the
rain forest to fall as rain on the Sahara. To the west along the
Mauritanian coast, some little moisture does fall, captured
mainly in the latter half of the year as rain or dew by the
Zemmour massif that rises some 200 miles inland parallel to thd
coast. This bit of moisture makes the coastal plains of Mauritania and Spanish Sahara a grazing area for pastoral nomads.
During the first six months of the year, a sandy wind blows
across the coastal plain from the Sahara out to sea. Although
surrounded by humid air as well as by bodies of water, the desert
is, above all, a product of the atmosphere that hangs over it.
Nothing in this atmosphere dictates the topography of the
5

desert - unless it be the scouring action of winds and sand that,


except for infrequent but destructive flash floods, constitutes the
only erosion possible in the Sahara. The desert is therefore extremely heterogeneous and, above all, anything but flat. Shaped
very roughly like a giant khaima (nomad's tent), with its bumpy
ridgepole located in the middle of western Africa, the Sahara
is centered on the barren, rocky highlands of the Hoggar and
Tibesti which are joined together by the low saddle of Tummo.
In these two highlands altitudes exceed 9,000 feet, and Emi
Koussi in the Tibesti is the highest point in the Sahara. However,
the slope of the "tent" is not gradual; the two high points are
flanked by other highlands - the Ennedi in Chad and Sudan,
the Air in north central Niger, Adrar des Iforas on the border
between Mali and Algeria, Eglab where Mali and Algeria meet
Mauritania. About these highlands, in an intermingled pattern
of roughly concentric arcs, are alternating areas of rock in
varying stages of metamorphosis - tassilis or sandstone plateaus,
hammadas or flat bedrock, regs or stony plains, ergs or sandy
wastes generally associated with a desert. The ergs make up only
a quarter of the Sahara, but they are important because they
separate the population into distinct zones. The Tenere divides
the Hoggar from Tibesti, the Berber-speaking Tuareg from the
Sudanese-speaking Teda people. The Juf, the Chech, and the
Tanezrouft, three ergs running along the eastern Mauritanian
border into Algeria, divide the Arabic-speaking Moors from the
Tuareg. The Great Eastern and Great Western ergs north of the
Hoggar separate the Tuareg from the mixed Arabic and Berber
populations of the Algerian oases. And the population of the
Libyan province of the Fezzan north of the Tenere is found for
the most part in a string of oases between Sebkha and Murzuk,
surrounded by the Issawan and Oubari ergs to the north and
the Murzuk erg to the south.
The Sahara reaches the sea along the Libyan coast, where
the Mediterranean has broken through the Atlas-Apennine barrier and bitten into the African continent, and along the Atlantic
coast, where the eroding sandstone of the desert dwindles down
to the shifting dunes on the coastal plains of Mauritania and
Spanish Sahara. Between the two, the desert is diked off from

the sea on the north by the high parallel ranges of mountains


that start in the Canaries and eventually turn north into Sicily
and Italy. These Atlas Mountains are a wall in many ways. As
a watershed, they supply the water table underlying the desert
to the south and catch the rain that gives fertility to the plains
and valleys of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia to the north. As
a military wall, they have been used to protect the coastal
farmers against the incursions of the desert warriors. Yet, despite
their imposing height - Tubkal in the High (Moroccan) Atlas
reaches 13,664 feet, the highest point in Africa west of the Nile
and Lake Tanganyika - the mountains have never been an
effective barrier to the Sahara. Both the Romans and the French
crossed the Atlas to protect their coastal granaries by building
forts on the Saharan side. The mountains were scarcely effective
against the Arabs.
The country south of the Sahara is also composed of parallel
zones. Along the edge of the desert is a sahel or plains region
running in a generally straight belt between Lake Chad and
Cape Verde (Dakar). In this region, through which the bend
of the Niger flows, there is only a little summer rain, producing
scrubby grass and acacia-type vegetation and creating the conditions for a pastoral society. The southern limit of this zone
approximates the northern limit of western Africa's malaria
zone. Parallel to this region, between the Gambia River and
northern Nigeria and including almost all of Upper Volta, is
the zone properly called the western sudan, characterized by
flat savannah and dry woodlands. Although the northern limit
of the tsetse fly, bearer of sleeping sickness, runs through this
region, it is, nevertheless, the home of a pastoral economy similar
to that of the sahel. A third belt runs from upper Guinea to the
Cameroon Mountains, sinking down to the coast along the
shores of eastern Ghana, Togo, and Dahomey. This zone of
Guinean savannah forms a "poor middle belt" across western
Africa, generally characterized by poor soils, thin population,
few towns (except along the coast), variable rainfall, and moist
woodlands and grasslands. At either end of this belt are the
only two salient highlands of West Africa, the Futa Jalon in
Guinea to the west and the Cameroon Mountains to the east.

These two vertical promontories are partly responsible for the


existence of the typical tropical rain forest (as frequently and
erroneously confused with tropical Africa as the erg is with the
Sahara) since they help provoke continuous heavy rains along
the flat, coastal plain between Guinea and Ivory Coast and
between Nigeria and Cameroon. The rain forest and the inhospitable beaches that border it form the southernmost climatic,
vegetational, and geographic belt of western Africa. This, more
than the mountains and deserts to the north, has been the
primary obstacle to human penetration into the heartland of
western Africa.
As A Unit
In its human physiognomy the Sahara has played three roles
in the past, each partially reflecting the desert's geographical
nature. Perhaps the rarest has been that of an independent unit
based on the geographic and social peculiarities of the region
itself.
During the first centuries before and after Christ, Rome fought
to destroy the Garamantes who inhabited the Fezzan. Before
and after this time the Libu of Libya and the Teda of Tibesti
raided the Nile Valley. The Sanhaja Tuareg were traditional
plunderers of the Ghana Empire along the Niger River, and in
the eighth century a confederation of Tuareg, led by the Lemtuna Tuareg, attacked Ghana from its capital at Tegdaust.
These and other tribal societies that occupied the desert lived
by trading, raiding, and herding; they effectively regulated
Saharan commerce and plundered the societies and states on
the northern and southern shores of the desert, sporadically imposing domination over them. The continual friction between
internal and external societies, common to many desert regions,
was partially the result of natural conditions; during times of
prolonged drought, when subsistence was difficult even for the
limited desert population, these hardy tribes overflowed their
territory and sometimes conquered their littoral neighbors.1
I Given

the unusually dry conditions in the western Sahara between 1956

and 1962, the pro-Moroccan feeling among some Mauritanians (see p. 45)
may well be a modern example of this phenomenon.

Thus on three occasions the Sahara was united, along with


some of its shores, under one ruler as a single unit. During the
last fifty years of the eleventh century the Lemtuna Tuareg,
known as the Almoravids (al-Murabatin or men of the fortified
monastery), became powerful under Abdullah Ben Yasin and,
led by his successors, Abu Bakr and Yusuf Ben Tashfin, conquered Africa from the Senegal and the Niger to the straits of
Gibraltar, and took over Spain as well. In the middle of the
sixteenth century the Songhai were led from their capital of
Gao on the Niger by Askia Mohammed I, and extended their
rule over the Tuareg north toward the Atlas and east almost
to Lake Chad. But the Songhai came in contact with the Saadi
Empire of Morocco, itself a product of the desert, and, by 1591,
after a formidable military expedition across the desert led by
an Andalusian mercenary, Judar, the rule of Sultan Ahmed
al-Mansur extended from Morocco to the bend of the Niger.
Allegiance to Morocco was maintained until 1660.
None of these Saharan states lasted beyond the second generation; the locus of activity shifted away from their desert center
to the more populous northern and southern shores, and the
ties binding the empire dissolved. The dynamism of these empires was found in an glan of conquest, not in their cohesion
or viability. There never has been a viable desert state capable
of ruling, rather than simply raiding, the more populous littoral
fringes.
The creation of an independent Sahara is no longer likely
since the independence of Algeria, although between 1957 and
1961 France's Saharan dpartements were separated administratively from Algeria, and the Provisional Government of the
Algerian Republic (GPRA) charged that France was attempting
to create an autonomous Saharan republic. Algerian political
pressure kept this idea -

if it ever existed officially -

from im-

plementation, but, in any case, the evident non-viability of an


independent Sahara in the modem age is generally recognized.
Oasis cultures support a frugal type of subsistence economy with
a low nutritional level and standard of living. Furthermore, the
desert must be continuously cultivated in its scattered spots and
belts of meager fertility or it will reclaim wells, oases, and farm-

lands. Irrigation and expensive "soil-less culture" can make the


fossil soils of the Sahara support many types of crops, but only
along the edges of the desert is there any large possibility for
land reclamation. It should be noted that oil workers on the
"prefabricated oases" and even flocks of Algerian sheep have
been rotated to France on a six-month basis; the Tuareg might
profit by this example.
As A Barrier
The desert has also been thought of as a buffer zone or a
"barrier-in-depth." The German geopolitician Karl Haushofer
incorporated this notion into his image of the world. It enabled
him to continue the World Island's peripheral sea across the
Sahara's southern flank and thus to explain the separateness
of Africa from world politics. The division between Arab and
Black Africa reflects this idea. The Sahara is also the great divide
between Mediterranean and African climates, and thus between
a diversified agricultural and a tropical, single-crop economy.
Although the Egyptians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans all
knew people who crossed the Sahara, such crossings were not
commonplace. To all the foreigners who ever conquered western
Africa (except the Arabs and the French), the desert was indeed
a barrier.
Yet the desert has scarcely been a barrier to local intermingling. The earliest artifacts found in the Sahara indicate
that the desert was inhabited from prehistoric times and that
its inhabitants were in active commercial contact with its northern and southern shores. It is believed that the Capsian civilization which existed in parts of Stone Age North Africa was based
on a mixed Negro and Mediterranean population.
The Sahara today supports over three million people. Twothirds are sedentary farmers, the rest are nomads or seminomads, who move from place to place in regular patterns seeking grazing land and conducting trade. Negro groups are found
throughout, particularly around the fringes, from the Sudanese
in the Niger and Senegal valleys to the Harratin (liberated slaves)
south of the Atlas, the Teda (or Tebu, also slaves) of Tibesti,
and the Bella among the Tuareg. These populations are usually

sedentary. Moors, Berbers (including Tuareg who occupy the


largest Berber area), and Arabs (including the Arma, left over
from Judar's army, who continue to live along the Niger) are
both sedentary and nomadic. Fixed Jewish settlements are found
in the northern part of the desert. It is difficult to obtain any
accurate estimate of the size of these intermingled ethnic groups.
On the northern and southern fringes of the Saharan region
- as frequently occurs at the juncture of two economic zones,
particularly where a change of mode of transport is involved
- belts of cities have grown up. They trade with both north and
south. Smara, Tiznit, and Gulimim, the cities of the Tafilalt
oasis, and Sijilmassi, Figuig, Biskra, Ghardaia and the Mzabi
cities, al-Golea, al-Aghuat, Wargla and Tuggurt, Ghadames,
and the coastal cities of the Sirte form a belt from Spanish
Sahara to Libya where Mediterranean trade since historical
times has met products from the south. Kaedi, Kayes, Kumbi,
Tegdaust, and Walata, the Niger river capitals of Jenne, Timbuctu, and Gao, Takkeda, Agades, and the Hausa cities (Katsina, Sokoto, Kano, and Zinder) form the southern belt. In between, Atar, Taodeni, Adrar, and the oases of the Tuat, In
Salah, Ghat, and Gatmun, and Murzuk in the Fezzan, and Kufra
owe their existence to the crossing of trade routes.
Existence and trade in the desert were interdependent. Because
of the non-viable nature of the region, anyone who lived in it
was dependent on goods from external sources. But because of
the poverty of the region, not only in subsistence products but
also in all but a few natural resources, desert existence depended
on entrep t trade and on commercial connections between Africa
and the Mediterranean. That Black Africa was never completely
cut off from the influence of Mediterranean culture and that
the wealth of the far interior was always accessible to the western
world was due to the Tuareg. But for them, the Sahara might
have proved an insurmountable barrier instead of a highway
for trade and culture.
As a Bridge
Arnold Toynbee has observed that steppe regions are language
conductors rather than barriers, fulfilling functions similar to

those of inland seas. The Sahara is one of his examples. Although


in African geography it constitutes a distinct zone whose severe
natural conditions have posed difficulties to communication between the northern and southern shores, the Sahara has been
not so much an impenetrable barrier as a sea of social and
economic intercourse. Several characteristics of this sea have
already been mentioned: the heterogeneous and partially mobile
population, the constant political and military interaction between the north, the desert, and the south, the littoral and
"midstream" belts of cities. All these have served to tie western
African together.
Two other characteristics are significant. The pastoral migrations follow a definite pattern. Most notable is that of the sheep
and cattle tenders of Mall and Mauritania who each year guide
their flocks to follow the rain from the lands of the Senegal and
the Niger to the markets of the Wadi Dra and Saqiet al-Hamra.
Similar migrations have been noticed for centuries in the annual
rounds of the Teda between Tibesti and the oases of the Fezzan,
in the movement of the Tuareg of the Air (in Niger) north to
the oases of Tidikelt (in central Algeria) and even Mzab, and
the movement of the Tuareg of the Hoggar south to the Hausa
cities of northern Nigeria.
Analogous to the regular pastoral nomadism is the caravan
trade which since pre-Roman times has been the life-blood of
Saharan commercial movement. The pre-Roman trail is believed
to have run diagonally from Tripoli past the Hoggar to Gao
on the Niger; another swung roughly from Timbuctu on the
Niger northwest to northeast in a great arc, avoiding the Juf and
Erg Chech, to Tindouf and southern Morocco. During the height
of the trans-Saharan trade, medieval caravans followed these
same routes, as do the modem roads and trails. At the western
end of the desert the trik al-beidan ("Moors' trail") gathered
at Atar caravans which had moved west from Trarza and Timbuctu and led them north to the Wadi Dra; the modem piste
de Mauritaniefollows the same route, making a detour via Tindouf to avoid Spanish territory. The Tindouf-Taodeni-Timbuctu
trail southeast directly across the ergs remains a caravan route,
although less important than when it was the artery of exchange
12

for gold and salt, the basic commodities of medieval Saharan


trade. Two major routes, with frequent lateral links in the midSahara, have tied Gao and the Niger bend cities with the oases
of the Tuat and the Hausa cities with the oases of Mzab. Along
these same two routes the two "imperial trails" of southern
Algeria, the piste du Tanezrouft and the piste du Hoggar, now
carry truck, bus, and automobile traffic between the Mediterranean and the Niger. Present-day oil and gas pipelines follow the
same routes. A "Mer-Niger" railway, too, has been slumbering
for half a century in the planning stage "along the Tanezrouft
trail." General Leclerc used the same Garamantian routes to
come up from Lake Chad to the Mediterranean coast as had
the caravans from Gabes, Ghadames, and Ghat to Agades, and
from Tripoli to the salt of Murzuk and then to Bilma and Bornu.
Furthest to the east a traditional track went due south from
Benghazi to the Kufra oasis and from there to Abeche in Chad;
at least the northern part of it serves as a road today.
East-west roads were less developed and have less importance
today. They depended on religious as well as commercial activity,
since the Muslim population of the French Sudan needed a way
to travel to Red Sea ports for the hajj. Two roads were generally
taken: either the diagonal pre-Roman route from Gao northeast to the Mediterranean and then along the coastline to Egypt
(as the Mali potentate Mansa Musa is thought to have done
with his 5,000 pounds of gold and 500 slaves in 1324); or the
more direct route along the twelfth parallel from the Hausa cities
to the Sudanese Nile and then northeast to the Red Sea. The
latter route is today a major road and, in Sudan, also a railroad.
The roads continue; the products change. Salt-literally
worth its weight in gold at some periods- cloth, dates, and
sugar, the traditional items of exchange, are now being joined
and sometimes replaced by grain, tea, bicycles, and radios as
the principal items of trade. The build-up of Villa Cisneros,
Tindouf, Fort Gouraud, Colomb Bechar, and Reggan, as well
as the oil and gas camps of Libya and Algeria, have created new
centers of need and trade.

The New Configuration


has been rich in changes that make the role
of the Sahara as a connecting link both more important and
more questionable. One new element, Pan-Africanism, is a factor
of unity; another, the independence of the Saharan states, a
factor of division. The third, modem technology, which since
1956 has literally opened up the Sahara, is apolitical and its
consequences are ambiguous.
THE PAST DECADE

Developing Mineral Wealth

Mineral deposits have lain beneath the Sahara for millenia,


but they have been neither easy to get at nor get out. In the
decade after World War I the archeologist Conrad Kilian discovered the existence of oil along the Libyan frontier and, in
April 1928, using a law passed during the French Revolution,
claimed the territory for France. It was not until 1947 that
the French government's Bureau of Petroleum Research (BRP)
began serious study which in 1952 resulted in licenses being
granted to four companies for exploratory research in the Sahara.
The first strike in March 1954 showed a gas field at Jebel Berga,
near In Salah, too far from an economic outlet to be exploitable,
but with estimated reserves of 63 billion to 110 billion cubic
meters. In January 1956 at Ejeleh, the Company for Petroleum
Research and Exploitation in the Sahara (CREPS) made the
first oil discovery. By 1962 over 800 borings had been made
in the Algerian Sahara and reserves were estimated at 600,000,000 tons of oil and 1.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
In 1962, with a production of 28,000,000 tons of oil, the Sahara
(Algeria and Libya) is expected to be the sixth largest producing
region in the world, surpassing both Indonesia and Mexico.
Saharan oil and gas are found in a number of regions. The
Fort Polignac basin, with half of the borings, includes the
CREPS sites of Zarzaitin, Ejeleh, Tin Fuye, Ohanet, Tiganturin,

and al-Adeb al-Arash, and the Libya-Shell site at al-Atshan in


Libya. Numerous but small and widely dispersed gasfields are
also found in the basin. Production by 1962 was 10,000,000
tons; reserves are over 8,000,000 tons of oil and 300 billion cubic
meters of gas. Another field at Hassi Messaud was discovered
in 1956 by the National Society for Petroleum Research and
Exploitation in Algeria (S N REPAL), and now also includes
wells within the territory of the French Petroleum Company
(Algeria) (CFP FA]). Within the same oil field the sites of
al-Gassi and al-Aghreb were discovered in 1959 by the National
Petroleum Society of Acquitaine (SNPA), with deposits of both
oil and gas. Reserves are estimated at 500,000,000 tons of oil
and 450 billion cubic meters of gas; oil production by 1962 was
17,000,000 tons, with a current annual rate of 10,000,000 tons.
The field at Hassi Rmel, which may be the largest deposit of
natural gas in the world, has been developed by S N REPAL
since 1956. It has reserves of gas estimated at 850 billion cubic
meters and a daily production of half a million cubic meters.2
In Libya the most productive field- discovered in 1959 by
Esso Standard Libya- is located at Zelten, 100 miles south
of the Sirte indentation in the coastline. Production in 1962 was
6,000,000 tons. An additional 2,000,000 tons is expected to be
added in 1963 from the neighboring wells at Raguba, developed
by Esso Sirte. The other important Libyan field is about 100
miles to the west and the same distance from the Gulf of Sirte.
There the wells of Dhara and al-Mabruk, developed by Oasis
Oil Company and Esso Sirte since 1959, produced close to
3,000,000 tons in 1962. Concessions in Libya are held by nineteen companies in all. Some other scattered wells in Tripolitania
and northern Cyrenaica have thus far produced only smaller
quantities of oil; gasfields have not yet been found in Libya.
Oil has been discovered to date in the Sahara only in Algeria
and Libya. Morocco granted a concession to the Italian National
2 Ownership of the above-mentioned concerns is as follows: CREPS:
majority-French Government Autonomous Petroleum Agency; minorityRoyal Dutch Shell; S N REPAL: divided equally between BRP and the
Algerian government; CFP (A): French Petroleum Company (35% government-owned, with the rest in private hands) owns 85 per cent; SNPA:
major ownership-BRP (537) and French Petroleum Company (157o).

Hydrocarbon Agency (ENI) in Tarfaya in 1960 but no strikes


were made. Oil is already mined in small quantities north of the
Atlas near Sidi Qassem and is believed to be present in larger
supply near the coast at as-Sawira. Tunisia granted concessions
to five companies -including ENI, a Tunisian BRP branch,
and United States companies - soon after the Algerian strikes,
but without success. In 1960 more than twenty concessionnaires
were granted permits in the Spanish Sahara, but no oil has
been found. Prospecting is also being carried out in Mauritania
and in Niger.
Transportation Problems

The major problem in the oil-producing countries of Libya


and Algeria, that of transport, was solved in record time in both
countries by the construction of pipelines. The Hassi Messaud
system was opened in December 1959 with the completion of
a 22" and 24" pipeline from Haud al-Hamra to Bougie on the
coast, a distance of 410 miles.' The northern part of the Fort
Polignac basin was attached to this system by a 325-mile 30"
pipe from Ohanet to Haud al-Hamra in 1961, and at the end
of the year a temporary above-ground line linked Ejeleh to
Ohanet. Two other spurs connect Haud al-Hamra with alAghreb and al-Gassi (10Y" for 74 miles) and with Hassi
Rmel (8" for 183 miles). The annual capacity of the main
line to the coast is about 15,000,000 tons. The need in Algeria
is great enough that another oil pipeline is scheduled for construction and still another is contemplated. The main gas line
runs from Hassi Rmel to Relizan near the coast and then
branches to the three ports of Arzew, Oran, and Algiers. Its total
distance is 493 miles and, with varying diameters of 16", 20",
and 24", it has a capacity of between 1.75 and 3 billion cubic
meters of natural gas. To the east an international oil pipeline
runs from In Amenas in the Fort Polignac basin to La Skhira
on the Tunisian coast. This line, 480 miles long and 24" in
diameter, has a capacity of about 14,000,000 - 20,000,000 tons,
8 Until the present pipeline was completed, oil was carried by a "babypipe" 6 inches in diameter over the 105 miles between Hassi Messaud and
Tuggurt, thence by railway to the port of Philippeville.

16

but it has been highly controversial politically. After the agreement for its construction was signed on 30 July 1958, Tunisia
was strongly criticized by the Algerian provisional government
for lack of solidarity with the Algerian nationalists; in the summer of 1961, when the Bizerte crisis embittered its relations
with France, Tunisia closed the pipeline at La Skhira for about
two months."
In Libya a 100-mile 30" pipeline, opened in October 1961,
links Zelten with the newly created oil port of Marsa al-Brega.
In mid 1962 a 30" spur joined the Raguba fields to this line,
and another line of the same diameter 86 miles long joined the
wells of Dhara and al-Mabruk with the port of as-Sidra. Longer
pipelines in Algeria make the port-price of its oil two to three
times higher than that of Libya or of the Middle East. As in
the Middle East, however, the possibility of rapid amortization
makes this only a short-term disadvantage.
The results of these pipelines have been twofold. New work
is given to a small but highly trained group of Algerians and
Libyans, new products and new ways of life are brought into
the interior of the desert, and new revenues are added to government and private income. At the same time the two countries
turn their economic faces toward the Mediterranean, to the
benefit of their common neighbor, Tunisia, but away from other
Saharan countries that do not have the same natural resources.
Transportation problems can also be observed in connection
with other important mineral deposits. Coal is found at Colomb
Bechar but the cost of transportation makes exploitation uneconomic unless the coal is used on the spot; the mines, begun in
1947, were closed by decision of the French government in
December 1961.
The additional discovery of 1,000,000 tons of 45 per cent
manganese ore at Jebel Gettara in the same region brings up
the often-discussed possibility of an industrial zone shared by
Morocco and Algeria in the Bechar region. Morocco's under4Libya was first approached for the construction of a pipeline some 50

miles shorter to the Libyan port of Zaoura, but refused to permit construction as a gesture of solidarity with the Algerian rebels. See, on the larger
pipelines, Industries et Travaux d'Outre-Mer, No. 84 (Paris: Nov. 1960),

pp. 791-793; 795-799.

exploited lead, zinc, and manganese deposits and its large unworked iron fields are located within 100 miles of the Bechar
complex. Less than 150 miles to the north, but connected with
Colomb Bechar by rail, the anthracite mines of Jerrada have
reserves estimated at 100,000,000 tons; production from these
mines is now shipped north or west to the coast. More than
2 billion tons of over 50 per cent iron ore lie near the surface at
Gara Jebilet near Tindouf, but Moroccan refusal in 1958 to
allow shipment through Tarfaya has prevented exploitation and
there is no basis for local industry. Elsewhere in the Algerian
Sahara, tungsten deposits in the Hoggar at Launi are being
surveyed for possible exploitation and there are unevaluated
deposits of tin, copper, and diamonds; distance factors, again,
are of discouraging magnitude. Large phosphate deposits are
being worked near the Shott al-Jerid in the Tunisian Sahara;
the larger Moroccan phosphate deposits are located north of
the Atlas.
On the western side of the desert, Mauritania by 1967 will
benefit from an estimated $9,000,000 annual royalties paid for
its iron deposits, as well as from the indirect value of additional
employment and trade. The 145,000,000 tons of 63 per cent
iron ore at Fort Gouraud are being exploited by the Mauritanian
Iron Mine Company (MIFERMA). Half of the profits are to
go to Mauritania. Too frequently overlooked, however, is the
fact that at the projected rate of extraction the iron at Fort
Gouraud will last only twenty-five years; and there is little hope
of building up an industry that would use the minerals on the
spot. Additional iron and more important deposits of copper
at Akjoujt are mined by the Mauritanian Copper Mine Company (MICUMA). 5
The three southern Saharan countries have the barren share
of the desert. Tin and tungsten are mined in small quantities in
the Air (Niger), and the Tibesti (Chad), and sodium salts
also continue to be mined and exported, largely through Nigeria.
5 The French government owns 25% and French private capital 35% of
MIFERMA, with the remainder divided among British, German, and
Italian interests. Half of MICUMA is owned by private French capital,
with France and Mauritania sharing the remainder.

18

Unevaluated deposits of manganese are found at Kenieba in


Mali and Liptaka in Niger. Some 225,000,000 tons of 40 per
cent iron ore and a reserve twice as large have been discovered
at the edge of the Sahara near Niamey in Niger. However, all
these resources are hampered by distance from industrial centers.
Besides posing problems, transportation has also acted as an
element of technological change in opening up the desert. Two
railroads with a combined length of 400 miles cross the mountains separating the Mediterranean from the Sahara. One runs
from Oran (Algeria) and Oujda (Morocco) to Colomb Bechar
and a few surrounding towns; the other runs from Philippeville
(Algeria) to Tuggurt and al-Oued. In Morocco, Algeria, and
Tunisia, on the other side of the mountains, an 1,800-mile main
line from Casablanca to Tunis parallels the coastline, the backbone of a well-developed 4,800-mile system. Even Libya has two
small separate rail systems of 216 miles. In West Africa, although
none of the rail lines reaches the desert, the railroads connecting
Dakar with Koulikoro near Bamako, and Conakry with Kankan,
are in effect extended an additional 500-700 miles to the edge
of the desert by the Niger waterway with which they make
contact.
The reach of the railroads into the interior has been longer
than their mileage. The railroads from the Mediterranean, the
Atlantic, and the Gulf of Guinea all symbolize - and contribute
to - the influence that European colonialization has had on the
traditional trade patterns of the Sahara. No longer are the centripetal influences of the trans-Saharan caravan trade the dominant
commercial force in western Africa; the centrifugal influence of
new coastal cities, railroads, oceanic transport, and external
markets has tended to turn the littoral countries' backs to the
desert.
The technological feat that could reverse this tendency has
never left the drawing board. The Trans-Saharan Railroad has
been a controversial dream ever since 1870, before the interior
was either explored or pacified. Its history has been speckled
with charlatans and visionaries, but its supporters continue to
be as adamant as its opponents. Work actually started in 1941
as a result of the Vichy regime's sudden interest in the project
19

but was quickly abandoned. The Mediterranean-Niger or "MerNiger" line appears to pose no serious technological difficulties
over its 2,000-mile length, except for the passage of the Wadi
Guir south of Bechar. But its raison d'Stre would have to be a
flow of goods that does not yet exist.
Less famous but just as controversial are the plans first laid
in 1920 for a 100-mile extension of the Tuggurt railroad to
Wargla. After the discovery of oil the project was revived and,
in 1958 and 1959, plans were drawn up for a railway to Wargla
and to Hassi Messaud, or to Hassi Messaud alone, following
close by the bed of the pipeline from Haud al-Hamra. But
indecision between the "and" and the "or," and the uncertainties of the Algerian war kept the railroad on the planning board.
Unlike the case of the gigantic Mer-Niger project, commercial
flow between Tuggurt and Wargla and Hassi Messaud is already
in existence being carried by pipe and truck lines. Both means are
adequate for present and foreseeable traffic.
The paramount factor operating against the modem centrifugal forces in the Sahara is transportation over tracks and trails
that follow old caravan routes. Although no paved road crosses
the Sahara, some Algerian trails have been partially paved. The
development of trucks and automobiles made specially for the
desert has increased traffic over these trails and has tended to
revive commerce between littoral states across the desert.
Finally, technological advances, still largely confined to the
research stage, have permitted wild dreams and moderate hopes
of bringing back some of the prehistoric greenery of the Saharan
region. The Albian Water Table (Nappe du Continent Intercalaire), an aquifer lying between 1,600 and 3,000 feet under
the surface of the Moroccan and Tunisian Sahara and the
northern part of the Mauritanian, Algerian, and Libyan Sahara,
is fed from the Atlas Mountains. Already it has been tapped by
twelve deep wells in the northern Sahara, the most famous of
which are the artesian wells near Tuggurt and Wargla; these
and traditional wells now draw off about a quarter of the
annual replenishment by rain from surrounding mountains. It
has been found that palm trees in traditional oases frequently
take their nourishment from water alone, and experiments in

hydroponics, or soil-less water culture, are being carried out by


the National Center of Saharan Research at Beni Abbas south
of Bechar. The results of these projects are of great interest locally, but there are major obstacles to their widespread effectiveness. In most cases, until the successful development of hydroponic farming, the necessary conditions of soil and water are not
found in the same place. Both research and soil-less culture itself,
and also the drilling of wells, are extremely expensive processes
scarcely within the range of developing nations' budgets. Finally,
although some 350 acres at Wargla and 800 acres near Tuggurt
were opened to date culture, the major effect of these wells has
been resuscitation of dying oases rather than desert reclamation.
These results, however, are not negligible. In the Fezzan and in
the Algerian Sahara traditional oases are being depopulated as
the development of public transportation gives youth a chance
to escape to the coastal cities. The application of new technology
in arid farming may make it possible to break the cultivationexhaustion-abandonment cycle that has been the fate of farms
in and around the Sahara.
A Mosaic of States

What technology has opened, politics has often closed. The


second new factor in the Sahara, its "balkanization" into a number of independent states, has caused the desert to be cut like
a pie into separate wedges. Libya in 1951 was the first Saharan
state to attain independence and Algeria, in 1962, is the latest.
In 1956 Morocco and Tunisia regained their sovereignty, and in
1960 Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad all acceded to independence. All eight Saharan states have limited means of development. In all eight population is concentrated at one end of the
country, away from the tongue of land that extends into the
desert. Two of the countries on the northern "shore" of the
Sahara

Algeria and Libya

contain the major portion of

the desert. Over 732,000 square miles make up the Algerian


Sahara, the largest part of Algeria and the bulk of the Sahara
itself. In this area live 590,000 people. Few of Libya's 1,200,000
people but most of its 680,000 square miles are in the Sahara;
the southwestern province of Fezzan is entirely Saharan, cen-

tered on a string of oases, and Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, except


for the coastal cities, are also desert. Morocco's southern half
holds less than 15 per cent of the country's 11,600,000 people.
The Tunisian share of the Sahara is only about 10,000 square
miles and contains only a tenth of Tunisia's 4,000,000 people.
On the southern "shore," half of Mali, 60 per cent of Chad,
and 90 per cent of Niger are considered Saharan; each of these
three countries is slightly over 460,000 square miles in size. Yet
less than a quarter of each of the three countries' populations is
located in these vast regions. To the west, Mauritania and Spanish Sahara lie almost entirely within the desert, with about 550,000 and 5,000 Saharan inhabitants within the two territories,
respectively, and some 30,000 nomads shared between them.
The mere existence of separate states does not necessarily mean
the end of cooperation. But the conditions of rivalry are present.
National interest, divergent policies and ideologies, and competing
personalities, heightened by developing nationalism, are a few
of the obstacles to cooperation. The most striking rivalry is over
the land itself - boundaries and conflicting territorial claims.
Rivalry among brothers over boundaries is not new in the Sahara;
the line separating modem Algeria from Mali, Niger, and Chad
was drawn in the Niamey Convention of 20 June 1909 to separate French military explorers in Algeria from French military
explorers in West Africa. Chad included part of the Sahara also
"by an anomaly due to the peculiarities of the conquest."' The
western Libyan boundary was not fixed until just before Libyan
independence. Mauritania was established as a colony in 1920
and given its present boundaries in 1946. In several cases boundaries were never clearly defined; in all cases they are artificial
with regard either to native history or to local geography. As a
result there are border disputes between Tunisia and Algeria,
Morocco and Algeria, and Mali and Algeria, and Morocco
has claimed Mauritania and Spanish Sahara outright.
The effect of these claims and disputes on the development of
mining and transportation in the Sahara has already been felt.
Morocco refused to allow ore from Tindouf, which it claimed,
I Neville Barbour, A Survey of Northwest Africa (London: Oxford, 1958),
p. 269.

22

an outlet south of Agadir. The same attitude prevents cooperation


over an industrial complex at Bechar; one reason for the failure
of the South Oranais (Algeria) coal mines was the result of
technology-the arrival of gas in Oran-but the other was
political-cancellation of coal orders from Meknes after Moroccan independence. The important railroad connecting Dakar
with its hinterland has been closed since the collapse of the
Mali Federation in August 1960, and Mali is considering using
its Soviet loan to build a link between Bamako and the Guinean
railroad to avoid having to deal with Senegal.
As another example, after five years of negotiations the
Spanish in 1959 refused to allow the construction of a rail line
from the Mauritanian iron mines at Fort Gouraud to the sea
unless it went to Villa Cisneros in Spanish Sahara. One major
objection to Villa Cisneros was its harbor's need of dredging,
whereas Port Etienne has a naturally deep and sheltered harbor.
The fact that Port Etienne is in Mauritania is also a factor in its
favor. Adamant on the choice of Port Etienne as its iron port,
Mauritania, with the help of a $66,000,000 loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), is
building a 419-mile dog-leg rail line around the Spanish territory. The first section was dedicated in March 1961 and the
line will be opened in 1963. The independence of Mauritania
has had a noticeable effect on traditional migration patterns in
the western Sahara. Although an important movement north
continues, the growth of Nouakchott, Fort Gouraud, and Port
Etienne has brought about lateral movement as well. Spanish
occupation of the Spanish Saharan interior and French reinforcement of Tindouf in early 1958, Moroccan army concentration
in Tarfaya since the same year, the closing of the Mauritanian
frontier in mid-1962, and the constant insecurity along the
piste de Mauritanie-all products of the delicate political and
military situation in this corner of the Sahara-have restricted
traditional movement.
A last example of the effects of nationalism on technological
advances is the matter of oil contracts, which have become subject to ever greater and more rapid modification. In July 1961
a new Libyan oil law removed a number of financial advantages
23

that oil companies had enjoyed under the more liberal 1955
law, and put new concessions up for open bidding on the basis
of these new conditions. Thus Libya joined the list of Middle
Eastern countries seeking greater control over, and profits from,
their oil resources. The Evian Agreements also seem to envision
bidding for Algerian concessions, although the Saharan Oil Code
is guaranteed by the new Algerian state.
Pan-Africanism
The third new element-Pan-Africanism-tends to mitigate
the disruptiveness of independence and attendant nationalism.
But the exact dimensions of Pan-Africanism must be made clear.
At best, it is a "working disposition," a state of mind that suggests that African criteria are paramount and that cooperation
with other Africans is preferable to external ties. As such it is a
powerful slogan through which actions can be justified and
communication between mass and leaders facilitated.
At the same time, Pan-Africanism has never been implemented
politically; it is a myth, not a reality. The crucial element, both
in understanding the myth and in separating it from current
reality, is its relation to nationalism. Although Pan-Africanism
and nationalism have the same root-both respond to the need
of newly politically conscious and politically independent Africans to establish their identity-their branches are often far apart.
The oldest and common element to both is ethnic. Racial nationalism (in this case called negritude) is, like any other nationalism, exaggerated pride in the self, here identified with color and
culture. As a political feeling, however, Pan-Africanism is synonymous with individual states' nationalism only in its negative
facet, anti-colonialism, and is conceived of as solidarity against
external political, economic, and cultural forces. Anti-colonalism
is only a reaction and in the long run not very satisfying as an
answer either to the countries' need for identification or to real
problems; in fact, after independence, colonialism has to be redefined as neo-colonialism to take into account its less ostentatious economic nature. The African is therefore obliged sooner
or later to find the real nature of his problems and to find a
satisfying definition of his self. He may choose to identify with

his state or his continent (geographically or racially defined) or


an intermediate grouping; he is unlikely to choose two at the
same time. Pan-Africanism is therefore as incompatible with individual states' nationalism as Pan-Arabism is with Jordanian,
Syrian, or even Egyptian nationalism.
However, in addition to the crucial issue of identity, other
problems remain to be solved. In western Africa, as in most of
the world, the basic problems are poverty and underdevelopment. These problems are present in the extreme in the Saharan
heartland of the region and they contrast strikingly with the
promise of the area's mineral deposits. For those states whose
share of the desert includes these resources, development depends
on external aid. For those states whose desert share is devoid
of mineral wealth, independence has meant separation from the
colonial unity that made for common benefit from Saharan resources. No political system in western Africa will be any more
durable than its ability to deal with inherent poverty and underdevelopment; but by definition, no single state is strong enough
and rich enough to deal with these problems alone. The economic needs of western Africa, then, give added impetus to some
form of African cooperation.
It is unlikely that Pan-Africanism will find realization on the
continental level. The broader the geographic area covered, the
looser cooperation tends to be. The attractiveness of the PanAfrican myth and the need for cooperation on common problems, however, facilitates implementation on a less-than-continental level among states with other similarities than their common attraction to the same slogan. Pan-Africanism in western
Africa, then, falls from universalistic verbiage to the level of
regional groupings. There are four examples of such groups the Common Organization of the Saharan Regions (OCRS),
a Saharan development organization; the Arab Maghreb, the
dream of North Africa, politically and economically united;
Morocco Irredenta, the search for an historic empire; and the
Casablanca Group, an international pressure group. An investigation of the prospects for each of these potential unifying forces,
however, does not provide grounds for much optimism.

The OCRS
of the Saharan Regions was created by French law on 10 January 1957 for the purpose of the
exploitation, economic development, and human advancement
of the Saharan zones. It was born out of sudden interest in
the desert and its populations because of the discovery of oil.
Through the use of oil revenues it became possible to pay long
overdue attention to the development of the Saharan region and
to the social conditions of its inhabitants. It was not until three
years after its founding that OCRS finally achieved its proper
administrative shape, and it was less than two years later that
it passed out of existence with the advent of Algerian independence. Yet even during this time- as official publicity does not
hesitate to point out- "France was the only country in the
world to consecrate all of its income from oil discovery and exploitation to the advancement of the population of this underdeveloped part of the world."7
OCRS territory originally included Mauritania and the Saharan regions of Algeria, Soudan (Mall), Niger, and Chad. The
mission of the Organization was to raise the local standard of
living while taking into account existing traditions, and to foster
research and development, transportation and communications,
industrial promotion, and industrial and agricultural urbanization within a broad framework of state planning. Its DelegateGeneral, who was French Minister for the Sahara as well, was
given political, administrative, and military powers formerly held
by the Delegate-General of Algeria and the High Commissioners
of French West and Equatorial Africa. This political centralization just at the moment when the territories involved were moving toward autonomy aroused opposition among Algerian repTHE COMMON ORGANIZATION

l7Robert Lecourt, Minister for the Sahara. Industries et Travaux d'Outre-

Mer, No. 84 op. cit., p. 710.

m
C

resentatives and prevented the full accession of Mauritania


(although Mauritanian representatives sat on some of OCRS'
bodies).
After the inauguration of the Fifth Republic and the autonomy
and subsequent independence of French West and Equatorial
Africa, the OCRS statute was revised, first in February and
March 1959 and again in June 1960, to remove the objectionable political and military powers and to separate the offices of
Minister and Delegate-General. OCRS was authorized to enter
into contractual relations with the new governments of Saharan
nations. On 12 May and 14 September 1959, Niger and Chad
signed treaties on a bilateral basis with France for continued
participation in the revised Organization.8 Mali (Soudan) defected in the process, and the possibility of its return-despite
repeated invitations from France and Niger-was removed by
the collapse of the Mali Federation with Senegal and the militant
complexion of the Malian politics. Mauritania remained suspicious. Invitations were pressed on Tunisia and Morocco by
France in 1959 and 1960, and OCRS officials spoke hopefully
of including Libya and even Sudan; but the states of the
Maghreb refused participation pending a solution of the Algerian question, especially over territory that was subject to conflicting political claims.
Even as a truncated unit OCRS had great possibilities for
action. Its Delegate-General, Olivier Guichard, was supported
by a twenty-one-member Technical Committee that assisted in
the formation of programs, and a forty-one-member Economic
and Social Commission acting as a representative institution
with consultative functions. Delegates from France, the Algerian
Sahara, Niger, and Chad sat on both bodies. The budget floated
on Algerian oil after 1960 when the first oil revenues were
received. A total of $200,000,000 was spent, apportioned into
roughly equal parts for each of the four annual budgets (19591962).
The Saharan Oil Code of 1958-1959 provided that all of the
8
Although not a member of OCRS, Libya has planned with Chad and
Niger a joint road linking the three countries. Le Monde (Paris), 19 May

1962.

28

oil revenues paid to France be reinvested in Algeria, 25 per


cent going to the Algerian Equipment Fund and the rest going to
the Sahara (15 per cent to the Saharan Solidarity Fund and
60 per cent to the OCRS). Since these revenues were set at 50
per cent of the net profits-i.e., to begin after amortization or
after about 1964-the law also provided for the immediate payment of oil royalties set at 12.5 per cent of the "field value" of
crude oil. As oil revenues rose, the direct subsidy of the state
was to decrease; in 1962, $26,000,000 or 55 per cent of the
OCRS budget was to come from oil.
Nineteen-sixty also marked a turning point in the expenditures
of the Organization. In the previous year and a half of operation,
82 per cent of the budget had been devoted to infrastructure,
especially roads, air installations, and telecommunications. It
was necessary to lay the basic network of transportation and
communications before substantive accomplishments could be
envisaged. In 1960 investments in infrastructure dropped to half
the OCRS budget and in the 1962 budget to 32 per cent.
Forty-five per cent and then 53 per cent of the budget went to
"social expenditures," including irrigation (a third of the subtotal), electrification, housing and health, education, and recreation projects. The results of these expenditures were often dramatic. Water flow in the Algerian Sahara increased by 25 per
cent, and irrigated land by 20 per cent; over half of the desert's
10,000 miles of tracks and trails were put into conditions of yearround use and 1,200 miles of hard-surface roads were constructed.
The development of the Sahara, particularly under the present
conditions of oil flow, would not be remarkable if it had been
limited to Algeria. The importance of OCRS was its international nature. Following the accession of Niger and Chad to the
Organization in 1959, $1,340,000 and $500,000, respectively,
were devoted to these two countries. By 1962, each was receiving $3,000,000, or, together, an eighth of the budget. Of this
sum, 60 per cent in Niger and 85 per cent in Chad were spent
on "social" projects, particularly on water supply and on sanitary
and industrial improvements to help animal raising in these
pastoral countries. Largely because of these improvements, the
29

southern frontier of Algeria has been reopened to traditional


cattle trade from Chad. A less tangible but equally important
example of international cooperation within OCRS was its series
of conferences bringing together representatives of the three
member countries. A conference on livestock in arid zones was
held in Fort Lamy in April 1961; one on teaching and professional training in arid zones in Niamey in June 1961; a third
on transportation, communication, and exchanges in Tamanrasset in January 1962.
OCRS was not an alliance and its political implications were
few, despite the fears of its non-members. But in western Africa
of the early 1960s, association with a French-dominated institution based on recognition of French ownership of the Sahara
was a delicate matter and demonstrated the difficulty of divorcing economics from politics and cooperation from colonialism.
President Hamani Diori of Niger emphasized in mid-1961 the
value of OCRS but hoped for a complete legal dissociation of
France. The resulting organization was to be a Saharan "Schuman Plan" with littoral states pooling their resources; French
experts, however, would continue to provide the necessary technical assistance to the African body. Both Niger and Chad also
expressed the hope of seeing all littoral Saharan states, without
exception, join a development organization which would be
successor to OCRS. In the event, Algerian independence in
1962 led to a narrower organization.
The Evian Agreements of 19 March 1962 created a FrancoAlgerian Saharan Organisme to replace OCRS. Its purpose is
to promote "rational exploitation of the underground resources,"
including maintenance and development of necessary infrastructure, and the regulation of the legal aspect of future oil exploitation. Its budget is supplied by equal donations from France and
Algeria and, for a renewable period of three years, by 12 per
cent of the Algerian oil revenue. A twelve-man administrative
council, half French and half Algerian with an Algerian president, Lamine Khane, and a French director-general, Claude
Cheysson, governs the affairs of the Saharan Organisme. Like
its predecessor, the Organisme is an autonomous corporate body.
But its scope and declared purpose is much narrower than that
30

of OCRS. The goals of welfare and development are gone, and


the membership, while implicitly open to other countries, is in
present fact reduced to the two founding states.
Algeria can find uses for its oil revenues without feeling obligated to share them with other Saharan countries. While it is
conceivable that Algeria, like Ghana, Egypt, or Communist
China, may give aid to other underdeveloped areas for political
purposes, it is unrealistic to expect an aid program or an international organization comparable to France's OCRS. Algerian
officials have let it be known that there will be no cooperative
exploitation or sharing of Saharan resources, and France has
assumed directly the obligations incurred toward Chad and
Niger through OCRS. What has happened instead, as is natural
within the framework of Franco-Algerian politics, is that the
Organisme was created to orient Algeria northward across the
Mediterranean; OCRS had been designed to tie together the
Saharan countries. Judging from Tunisian and Moroccan experiences, Algeria will continue to depend on France for technical
aid and for markets for its oil and other products. Under new
political leadership the Saharan Organisme may in time be
expanded to provide the framework for continued French technical assistance to non-Algerian Saharan regions, though that day
is not likely to arrive soon.

INTENTIONAL
BLANK

The Arab Maghreb


OF NORTH AFRICAN unity is an old dream. The implications of its simple title, al-Maghreb al-Arab ("The Arab
West"), is one of natural, pre-existing unity based on the culture
and the geography of the region. Since it shares a common
Mediterranean coast, climate, and cultivation, and occupies the
entire northern shore of the Sahara, the Maghreb is easily conceived of as a geographic unit. Its culture, too, is unified on the
basis of Arabic and Islam, and differences in dialect or in
religious practice (within the framework of the Malikite Rite
which is common to North Africa) are no greater than in any
other area of the same geographic or demographic size. The inhabitants of Casablanca and Algiers and Tunis, or Fez and
Tlemcen and Qairwan, or the Atlas and the Aures mountains
and the Tunisian Tell are frequently closer to each other in
their ways of life than they are to their fellow countrymen.
There is even a precedent for Maghreb unity. In the latter
half of the twelfth century, Abdulmumin established the Almohad dynasty-whose name, from al-Muwahiddin,the unitarians,
referred to its religion and not to its politics-and enlarged the
kingdom of Spain and Morocco to include Algeria and Tunisia
as well. In 1162 he called himself khalifa, independent from the
Muslim Middle East. However, by the beginning of the next
century the Maghreb was again divided into three parts. The
only other examples of North African unity were under foreign
domination, first by the Romans and much later by the French.
Each colonial power, however, administered its North African
territory as three provinces. The existence of three states, therefore, has an older historical basis than does Maghreb unity. The
fact is that an Algerian is not a Moroccan or a Tunisian (or a
Libyan) any more than a Dane is a Norwegian or a Swede
(or a Finn), and unity is at least as far from the Maghreb as
it is from Scandinavia.
THE rDEA

34

However, there are Maghreb leaders who are convinced of


the importance of cooperation which could lead eventually to
closer forms of unity. One reason is the hope of gaining bargaining power in international councils. Another is the desire to
avoid competition among highly similar economies. Another is
the desire to benefit from the natural resources of the other
members, strongest in Tunisia, which has only its own phosphates, and weakest in Algeria, which is plentifully supplied.
Another is the possibility, based on cultural similarity, of economical pooling of resources in the creation of a common
Arabized education system. It should be noted, however, that
all these reasons are aspects of a broad attempt to gain strength
through union against the pressure-be it political, economic, or
cultural-of a uniting Europe to the north. Pan-Maghrebism is
therefore both an attempt to solve the real problems of its
members and an attempt to formalize an existing sense of
identification.
Modem Pan-Maghrebism owes much to the influence of the
father of Pan-Arabism, Shekib Arslan. In 1927, young Maghreb
nationalists in contact with him created in Paris the Association
of Muslim Students of North Africa (AEMAN). The Association numbered among its founding members many of the present
rulers of Morocco-including Foreign Minister Ahmed Balafrej
as its secretary-general-and Tunisia, and some of the older
Algerian nationalists such as Messali Hadj, now in eclipse, who
was one of the few Algerian leaders deeply interested in Maghreb
unity. After World War II, Maghreb nationalists joined the
rising Arab nationalism in the Middle East. The Front for the
Defense of the Maghreb participated in a conference on North
African problems organized in Cairo in 1945, and Habib Bourguiba (now president of Tunisia) at the end of the year asked
the newly formed Arab League to admit North African observers,
although by country, not by region. In February 1947 another
Cairo conference on North Africa resolved to create a Bureau
of the Arab Maghreb to lead the propaganda war for North
African independence. Bourguiba was soon joined in Cairo by
other North African nationalist exiles, including Abdulkrim
Khattabi, the Riffi warrior who in 1948 set up a Liberation
35

Committee of the Arab Maghreb. Abdulkrim was life president


and Bourguiba, secretary-general. At the same time, in Paris,
during the National Assembly debate on the Algerian statute,
Algerian Muslim deputies presented several bills that included
suggestions for a "North African Federation within the framework of the French Union."
However, since France rejected any such federalism and
North Africa to an increasing extent rejected French professions
of assimilation, independence became a precondition to the creation of an Arab Maghreb. The existence of separate regimes
in the three countries meant that the political aspect of the
struggle for independence had to be carried out separately. Yet
as violent pressure grew, coordination in the military field increased. The Moroccan Army of Liberation (ALM) was created
to begin its activity on 1 November 1954, in coordination with
the first attack by the Algerian National Liberation Front
(FLN). It found itself unprepared when the date arrived, but
began, instead, eleven months later. The "head" of the ALM,
Abdulkrim Khatib, was an Algerian chosen by the Moroccan
resistance leaders for liaison rather than leadership functions.
In March 1957 the FLN concluded agreements with the Tunisian
government which provided for bases and training camps on
Tunisian territory. These bases eventually contained some 25,000
men with a general headquarters at Ghardimaou.' Similar installations for some 10,000 men were arranged on Moroccan territory. When independence came to Morocco the ALM alone
of all Moroccan nationalist organizations refused for some
months to lay down its arms and recognize the King until the
liberation of all North Africa was achieved.
.The independence of Morocco and Tunisia in March 1956
had its effects on the Pan-Maghreb movement. On the one hand,
it meant the end of the struggle for most of the people and
leaders of the two countries; Algeria was of great sentimental
but less practical interest to them. The enjoyment of independence or, more seriously, national reconstruction, were primordial
9 See Joseph Kraft, The Struggle for Algeria (New York: Doubleday,
1961), pp. 82-83.

36

occupations. On the other hand, independence allowed diplomatic freedom both to aid the FLN and to pursue the objectives
of an Arab Maghreb, as the state leaders might wish. Often both
goals could be covered at the same time.
The first official move came soon after independence in the
form of a meeting in Paris between Moroccan Foreign Minister
Balafrej and Tunisian Vice-Premier Bahi Ladgham, leaders of
the Istiqlal and the Neo-Destour parties, respectively, to discuss
a "unified North African policy." At the end of October 1956
a meeting with Mohammed V and the FLN leaders, including
Ahmed Ben Bella, was organized by Bourguiba in Tunis. The
conference turned into an indignant protest meeting after the
French kidnapped and imprisoned the Algerian delegates on
their way to Tunis. The following June, Bourguiba reiterated a
proposal he had made earlier for a "Franco-North African community" in which France would recognize the independence of
all the Maghreb in exchange for cooperation. Meanwhile, in
October 1956 and November 1957, Morocco and Tunisia proposed their good offices in the Algerian revolution. Later, in
October 1959, Morocco tried alone, and the following year
Tunisia was instrumental in starting the talks that finally led to
Algerian independence.
The year 1958 saw both the birth and the near-death of the
Arab Maghreb movement. During the first week of March,
Mohammed V and Bourguiba formally espoused the idea of a
Maghreb federation. At the same time, the executive committee
of the Istiqlal party met and decided to study means of enforcing
North African solidarity and building a "true union." The implementation of these ideas took place at the flood tide of PanAfricanism; as President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana was preparing the first Conference of Independent African States,
North Africa and Egypt both attempted to capture the initiative.
When the Accra Conference was definitely scheduled for the
week of 15 April, the North Africans had no choice but to attend
and to re-schedule their own meeting for the following week.
On 27 April, a four-day conference opened in Tangier, bringing
together the representatives of the Istiqlal and Neo-Destour
parties and the FLN. Resolutions recognized the FLN as the

representative of the Algerian people and recommended the


creation of a provisional government "after consultation with
the Tunisian and Moroccan governments." Moroccan aspirations toward Mauritania were endorsed. A permanent secretariat
of the Arab Maghreb was created, composed of two delegates
of each of the three countries, with offices both in Rabat and
Tunis and provision for regular meetings in alternate capitals.
The conference also supported a federal North African Union,
and proposed the creation of a consultative assembly to be composed of ten members each from the Tunisian and Moroccan
assemblies and from the National Council of the Algerian Revolution. The assembly was to make proposals to the three governments."0
The permanent secretariat met three times in 1958: at Tunis
on 18- 21 June and 30- 31 August, and at Rabat on 15 - 17
October. The first meeting was the result of Algerian pressure
for support in the constitution of a provisional government; the
second discussed the embitterment between the FLN and Tunisia
over the construction of the Ejeleh pipeline; the third discussed
the French referendum and the Maghreb consultative assembly.
The assembly was never constituted, and the secretariat never
met again.
Plans for regional unity owed their collapse to both internal
and international politics. At the end of 1958 the Istiqlal government in Morocco fell, and its successor turned to Black
Africa (where the Moroccan Labor Union [UMT] had paved
the way) and to the Arab Middle East. The permanent secretariat was too highly Istiqlal-tainted to be attractive to the new
Moroccan government, which was supported by a dissident
activist group that had left the party. Relations between Tunisia
10 For speeches and resolutions of the conference, see Maghreb Arab Uni
(Rabat: Ministry of Information, n.d.). The resolutions were carried to
King Idris of Libya and his government for their approval. Libya has not
been part of any subsequent Pan-Maghreb and is generally treated as an
afterthought by the other three states. The November 1962 meeting of
Hassan II and Idris I in Rabat is not likely to have altered this position
significantly. Libya's role in North Africa is ambiguous. Its monarchy, its
different historical background, its dependence on Western aid, its need to
balance both Maghreb and Egyptian influence, and its slowly developing
national consciousness have kept it from doing anything in North Africa
but following the crowd-at a distance.

38

and Algeria teetered between strain and amity over the attitude
to take toward negotiations with the French, the Ejeleh pipeline, and the activities of Algerian troops in Tunisia. After Bourguiba had backed away from the stand adopted in Tangier,
Tunisia and Morocco withdrew ambassadors from each other's
capitals in early 1961 over the Mauritanian question. Most important, the politicians of all three countries used the cry of
North African unity primarily to promote victory in Algeria,
and their silent rivalries heightened as an Algerian settlement
came into view.
Like Tunisian and Moroccan independence, the impending
independence of Algeria created an entirely new situation. If
the FLN was interested in Pan-Maghrebism in order to gain
support for its revolutionary war, its two neighbors used the
same movement to gain the support of a potentially strong and
independent Algeria. In October 1960, Bourguiba, who had
never ceased speaking of an Arab Maghreb, again referred to
the work of the permanent secretariat, and made his stillborn
suggestion of an "organic political union" between Algeria and
Tunisia in order to internationalize the conflict. At Mohammed
V's funeral, on 2 March 1961, newly enthroned Hassan II met
with Bourguiba and Algerian Provisional President Ferhat Abbas
to condone negotiations with France; and a summit conference
of the Maghreb states was called under the pressure of the
Bizerte crisis in July. But the meeting that took place on 23
January 1962 brought together only Hassan II and Abbas' successor, Benyoussef Ben Khedda. The conference created an
interministerial commission of the Arab Maghreb, with three
Algerian members and four Moroccans; it looked to the creation of a United Arab Maghreb; and it reserved all outstanding problems between the countries for diplomatic settlement
after Algerian independence. However, the interministerial commission has never met. Instead, in the summer of 1962, Moroccan troops and officials clashed with Algerian troops over the
ownership of a wide band of frontier territory from Tindouf to
Bechar. On the Algerian side all three members of the commission are out of power, and Premier Ben Bella has refused to
subscribe to any commitments or guarantees.

This last flurry of activity indicates some of the major problems in the construction of the Arab Maghreb. With Algerian
independence, the initiative has shifted to that nation, with its
predominance in size, resources, and dynamism. But it is unlikely
that Algeria "feels" Pan-Maghrebism as deeply as do some
Tunisians or Moroccans. By waiting for Algerian independence
to create the Maghreb, North African leaders gave Algerian
nationalism time to grow strong and, at the same time, removed
the unifying anti-French impetus of Pan-Maghrebism. None of
the present Algerian leaders has ever spoken of the Arab
Maghreb with the fervor of an Allal al-Fassi or the insistence of
a Bourguiba or the logic of an Abdurrahim Bouabid.
Bouabid, former Moroccan Economics Minister and VicePremier and a leader of the activist opposition, National Union
of Popular Forces (UNFP), and his supporters are now the
most articulate spokesmen for the Arab Maghreb. In their view
the basic idea is neither cultural, as it is for al-Fassi, nor political,
as it is for Bourguiba, but economic. To them, North Africa,
confronted with the European Economic Community (Common
Market) will be forced to "specialize in underdevelopment" by
the growing agricultural self-sufficiency of Europe. Alone, none
of the countries can overcome this danger. Together, they can
take rational and self-supporting measures of economic defense.
Bouabid suggests reconversion of agricultural production to reduce imports, reorientation of trade away from dominance by
Europe, nationalization of foreign commerce, and creation of a
common tariff for the whole of the Maghreb. He also proposes
an exchange of resources between an agricultural Morocco and
an Algeria endowed with sources of energy; this proposition has
evoked a favorable echo in some Algerian circles. The resulting
economic union would then gradually become tighter through
the successive steps of confederation and federation until a single
nation would be created. Bouabid and the UNFP have the
advantage of coherence. They have the disadvantage of impotence, for although they are the second largest party in Morocco
their influence as the opposition party under the monarchy is
relatively small.
There are other problems to be met before an Arab Maghreb

can be created. Is it in fact true that a state of 30 million inhabitants has a better chance and greater means of pulling itself
more rapidly out of underdevelopment than a country of four
(or eleven or twelve) million locked up in its political and
economic frontiers? What forces would create an Arab Maghreb?
The UNFP is close in temperament to some forces in Algeria,
but the two are frequently at serious odds with both Hassan II
and Bourguiba. How would the Arab Maghreb be created?
Bourguiba continues to speak of a union of governments and
the UNFP of action by the masses, but Bourguiba's proposal has
met with a deaf ear from the other governments. In November
1962 Ahmed Til of the General Union of Tunisian Workers
announced the imminent revival of plans for a Maghreb Labor
Confederation, but the existing Maghreb labor union secretariat
does not function. Could the Arab Maghreb be formed as long
as Morocco has a king? How would the monarchy fit into a
republican Maghreb? None of these problems is insurmountable,
and all are of a newer nature than those faced by the architects
of the Common Market. But the fact is that an Arab Maghreb
must be created. It will not spring into being from the heritage
of history, or the logic of economics, or the pressure of the
masses. To date, the strongest feeling in the Maghreb is the
feeling of Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan nationalism.

Morocco Irredenta
SINCE THE INDEPENDENCE of Morocco, the irredentist thesis
proclaimed by the president of the Istiqlal party, Allal al-Fassi,
has been a keystone of Moroccan foreign policy. The late King
Mohammed V was gradually won over to this policy, which
would equate the old Islamic notions of community (umma) and
the Imamate with the modem ideas of a sovereign state. The
new King Hassan II has adopted the same slogans with characteristic impetuous vigor.
The territory that has been claimed is four times larger than
present-day Morocco, although it would add less than a million
people to Morocco's 11,600,000 population. Claims against
Spain have involved the Atlantic enclave of Ifni and the
Spanish Sahara (Rio de Oro and Saqiet al-Hamra), as well as
the Mediterranean fortress cities of Ceuta and Melilla, all now
governed as integral parts of Spain. Claims against African
states have included parts of the Algerian Sahara; Mali, north
and west of Timbuctu; and all of Mauritania." In Moroccan
eyes, the Western distinction between de facto and de jure is,
strictly speaking, irrelevant. There is a single united Morocco,
part of which is independent and part of which is not. The superimposition of Spanish government on these territories, or of
independent governments operating within their frontiers, is
regarded as an illegal intrusion which does not alter the legal
position. The Moroccan case is based on two closely interrelated
concepts of law and history.
In a nomadic society such as that from which Muslim legal
ideas spring, the notion of territory is subordinate to the concept
of people. It is the umma that determines the geographic scope
of nations, not the territorial limit of the state or its effective

"The original map appeared in al-Alam (Rabat), 5 July 1956; see also
as-Sahra al-Maghrebi (Rabat), 30 October 1957.

control. Allal al-Fassi has stated three criteria for determining


sovereignty: Who receives the tithe? In whose name is Friday
prayer said? To whom does the tribe pay its allegiance? The
question of allegiance has been answered by the immigration of
important tribal leaders into Morocco, although they have been
replaced by others in Mauritania.12 The tithe, to the extent
that it is still paid, seems to remain within the tribal communities. There has never been any thorough indication on the
matter of the prayer, although it is true that, despite government denials, throughout much of Mauritania the prayer still
appears to be said in the name of the Moroccan Imam, the
King. Because Spanish refusal to allow celebration of the Feast
of the Throne in Ifni in 1957 caused the Ait (tribe) Ba Amran
of that Spanish enclave to travel to the Moroccan city of
Goulimim to observe the holiday, Ifni is, according to this
view, Moroccan. Thus, as far back as 1951, the King was able
to say in his Speech from the Throne, "Islam has made a nation
and a state out of this country (pays)." Subsequent writers have
been able to see in the "cultural and spiritual unity" of the
community the basis of Moroccan sovereignty.
Thus, too, the battle of historical claims, which has been
carried on with so much persistence against French and Spanish
legal and diplomatic assertions, is profoundly important to the
Muslim concept; it establishes a continuum of spiritual and
cultural unity within the Islamic community, centered on the
Sultan. From here, it is an easy step to perceive the identity
between community and sovereignty, no matter what the situation in Western international law might be. The King stated at
the time of the 1958 referendum in the French colonies,
In any case, and whatever may be the choice of the Mauritanians
and Saharians, they will continue to be part of the Moroccan
22 Among the leading exiles are Ould Babana, now head of the National
Council of the Mauritanian Resistance; Mohammed Fall Ould Omeir,
former Emir of Trarza, now Moroccan Minister of State for Mauritanian
Affairs; Dey Ould Sidi Baba, former Mauritanian Minister of Commerce and
Industry, now Moroccan Ambassador to Guinea; Mohammed Mokhtar
Ouid Ba, former Mauritanian Education Minister, now Director of the
Moroccan National Radio. Mauritania has refilled all its vacated posts,
including the emirate of Trarza (now held by Mohammed Habib Ouid
Hamed Salum).

Community... We will stick together for better or for worse, for


all Moroccans are members of a single family, professing the same
faith, Islam, speaking the same tongue; they are bound by the
same allegiance to the Alawi throne. 3
The element of history is used to reinforce the arguments of
law. Until the time of the French conquest of Mauritania and
unsubdued areas of the Algerian Sahara in the beginning of this
century, local leaders from as far east as the Hoggar and as far
south as Senegal paid allegiance to the Sultan of Morocco, whom
they recognized as Imam. These leaders had neither a provincial
nor even a feudal relation to the Sultan, and the political organism that resulted was not a territorial state with fixed boundaries
in the modern sense; outlying Saharan regions were still the
bled as-siba or "unsubnritting" regions within the empire. The
Sultan's khalifa (representative) in the Tafilalt was responsible
for the Tuat and the khalifa in Tiznit for Mauritania. The Tuat
was under effective Moroccan rule during the last two decades
of the nineteenth century, and Moroccans aided the Mauritanians against the French through the first decade of the twentieth
century. Much of this pattern of Saharan relations was destroyed
by the French, who constituted Mauritania as a territory in
French West Africa in 1920, and occupied the Tuat and Tindouf between 1925 and 1934, and by the Spanish, who occupied
Spanish Sahara between 1912 and 1934 and Ifni in 1934.
However, French administrative boundaries often varied under
the influence of more or less dynamic administrators in territorial
capitals, and territories now in Algeria, notably Tindouf, were
governed from Morocco until 1952. Except for a 100-mile line
running south from the Mediterranean to the Teniet as-Sassi
pass, defined in the 1845 Convention of Lalla Maghnia, the
Moroccan frontier with Algeria was never permanently established, for "a country which is found without water is uninhabitable
and delimitation thereof would be superfluous.""
The border between Morocco and Spanish territories along
the Atlantic coast was defined in the Franco-Spanish Convention
'3Al-Istiqlal (Rabat), 6 September 1958.

14Article 6. For text, see White Paper on Mauritania (Rabat: Ministry

of Foreign Affairs, 1960), p. 66.

of 1912,5 but Morocco -

divided into two protectorates by

the same Convention - had no say in the matter and refuses


to recognize the boundaries. When the northern portion of this
territory, Tarfaya or the Southern Spanish Protectorate, was returned to Morocco by the Cintra Agreements of 1958, Morocco
made it plain that it considered the transaction one of recovering territory, not of establishing boundaries.
When Morocco gained its independence in 1956, "Morocco'
meant the Southern (French) and Northern (Spanish) Zones
and Tangier. It was not until discussion of the OCRS, six months
after independence, that Morocco expressed official reservations
on the Sahara. The Foreign Ministry later claimed that the
problem of Tarfaya was raised with the Spanish at the time
of independence, but there is no evidence to support this, and
it is more likely that it was not discussed until mid-1957. However, during the following twelve-month period, a chain of
interrelated events brought the problem of "Morocco Irredenta"
to the fore. In November 1957, the moment the King left the
country for a state visit in Washington, the Alt Ba Amran of
Ifni started a guerrilla war, assisted by the clandestine Army
of Liberation and supported by the Istiqlal, with the goal of
winning back Ifni. Although it soon captured and still holds
all of the enclave except the village of Sidi Ifni itself, it was
stopped by lack of heavy material and by fear that Spanish
warships might bombard nearby Agadir in reprisal. Shortly
thereafter, Horma Ould Babana, the original Mauritanian nationalist and first Mauritanian deputy, fled to Cairo following
an electoral defeat and then came to Rabat, where he attracted
other Mauritanian leaders all ready to proclaim their allegiance
to the Moroccan King. In February 1958 the French and
Spanish launched a combined military campaign - "Operation
Swab" - to clear dissident tribes and especially the proMoroccan Army of Liberation out of their territory. The combination of repression in Mauritania and Spanish Sahara and
proclamations of fidelity in Rabat supplied the concrete proof
15For a clear map and description of the border changes, see Barbour,
op. cit., p. 191.

al-Fassi's arguments needed to influence the King. In February


1958, during a visit to Mhammid in the Moroccan Sahara,
Mohammed V met Army of Liberation representatives and spoke
publicly of "the return of the Sahara in accordance with respect
for our historic rights and the will of its inhabitants.""' The
first step in this new official policy was the Cintra Agreements,
negotiated after discreet United States pressure. It was hailed
in Morocco as the first move toward the south, for it had the
important effect of putting Morocco across the Dra River with
one foot in the Sahara. The announcement of the French referendum in Mauritania aroused new hope in Morocco, although
this hope soon turned to disappointment when it appeared that
the vote would favor autonomy within the French Community.
At the same time, official protests were made against MIFERMA'S application for a World Bank loan and French prospecting in Jebel Gettara on territory that Morocco now claimed
officially. In September, a congress of self-exiled Mauritanians
brought together a number of former officials who proclaimed
their allegiance to the Moroccan King. On 28 September 1958,
Mauritania voted 302,018, to 19,126 in favor of autonomy
within the French Community.
For the next two years, the question fell largely within the
domain of propaganda, usually carried out by non-official party
sources. The impending independence of an Islamic Republic
of Mauritania along with the other countries of former French
West Africa generated a new burst of Moroccan activity in 1960.
To keep its claim negotiable, Morocco made a vigorous effort
to block the admission of the new state into the United Nations,
since it was too late to block Mauritanian independence. In this
it was temporarily successful; a coincidence of aims brought a
helpful veto from the Soviet Union. The Moroccan delegation,
however, was also instructed to request the United Nations to
assist the return of Mauritania to Morocco, an action outside
United Nations power after and probably even before independence. Moroccan policy had also changed from the 1958
16 Al-Istiqlal, 1 March 1958.

46

position defined by the King, in that the demand for a referendum was dropped under the pretext that "a referendum would
be inadmissible in the province of Casablanca, and Mauritania
is as much a Moroccan province as Casablanca."
After its partial failure in the United Nations, Moroccan
policy found itself both limited and directed by its proclaimed
stand. The first meeting of the Brazzaville powers in Abidjan in
October 1960 supported Mauritania. King Mohammed V then
called the Casablanca Conference of January 1961 to discuss
the Congo and, at the request of Morocco, the Mauritanian
question. In February, "with a heavy heart," Morocco walked
out of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
meeting in Addis Ababa in protest against the presence of
Mauritania. The Moroccan ambassador was recalled from Tunis
in protest against Tunisia's support for Mauritania.
The death of Mohammed V and the ascension of Hassan II
brought a moment of reflection to Moroccan policy-makers. The
new King realized the prison into which Moroccan policy had
been locking itself, although he himself had been instrumental
in dropping the request for a referendum. In mid-1961 the
Moroccan ambassador to Dakar presented Mauritanian President Mokhtar Ould Daddah with an offer of a heads-of-state
meeting and the text of a joint declaration of amity, opening
frontiers and establishing a "fraternal union" that would not
interfere in the sovereignty of the two states. Ould Daddah,
however, insisted on a preliminary public recognition of Mauritanian independence by Hassan II and the possibility of a
diplomatic solution vanished. In 1961, despite Moroccan protests, Mauritania was given United Nations membership. This
formal recognition by a majority of states has put Moroccan
policy in an embarrassing position; the King was committed to
his domestic audience to press the issue. Morocco now unofficially
hopes for a third party to suggest a referendum but does not
believe the right moment has come. Official embarrassment is
heightened by the stand of the opposition, which openly supports
a referendum and castigates the government for continuing to
fight a battle it has lost when other problems are more pressing.

The Eastern Border


The independence of Algeria, like the independence of Mauritania, brought the eastern portion of "Morocco Irredenta" into
the limelight. Between 1956 and 1962, Morocco refused to deal
with France in defining an eastern border but sent regular protests over French activities in the Sahara-atomic testing at
Reggan, mineral prospecting near Tindouf, and so forth-which
occurred on soil Morocco claims. The Moroccan position, largely
conditioned by French presence and FLN policy in Algeria, was
that while much of the territory was Moroccan a final settlement
would be possible only after the independence of Algeria. In
May 1958, however, following border incidents between French
and Moroccan troops, Morocco agreed to a no-man's-land along
the southeastern border "purely to avoid any incident and without compromising in any way the tracing of the frontiers."1
In 1961 and 1962 agreements with the GPRA formalized the
decision to put off border problems until after independence.
On 1 July 1962, Algeria-including the Tuat, the Tidikelt,
the Hoggar, and Bechar-voted overwhelmingly in favor of
independence. In Tindouf, however, it is reliably reported that,
although the entire population voted, they used hand-written
ballots bearing the words, "YES for Algerian Independence.
BUT we are Moroccans." When, several days after the referendum, Moroccan troops moved south to occupy Tindouf, they
were quickly recalled when it was learned that Algerian troops
had already taken over. Incidents involving Moroccan administrators, auxiliary forces, and local tribes have taken place in half
a dozen outposts within the no-man's-land. By the end of 1962,
there was some talk of a round-table discussion between Morocco
and Algeria to deal with the problem, which goes far beyond
the no-man's-land into territory where Morocco's position is far
less clear.
In Spanish Sahara, Moroccan activity has been more discreet.
In 1958 Morocco turned down a Spanish offer to cede all
Saharan territories if Morocco would, in return, recognize
Spain's 400-year-old claim to the Mediterranean fortress cities.
17

48

White Paper on Mauritania,op. cit., p. 116.

"Operation Swab" of the same year, however, enabled Spain


to occupy its entire Saharan province. Spain also attempted to
set up a "Mauritanian-type" puppet government in 1961 but
apparently was not able to find any candidates. In October and
November 1962, an exchange of high-level visits between
Morocco and Spain touched on the problem, and the 1958
offer was supposedly renewed. Spain's official interest in holding
Spanish Sahara is as a protection for the Canary Islands (which
al-Fassi has also begun to include, peripherally, in talking of
Morocco Irredenta); Spain has done nothing to develop the
human resources of its territories. A Spanish settlement with
Morocco is not unlikely; in this case, Morocco would gain a
valuable flanking position against Mauritania.
Morocco, better than any other Saharan country, can claim
a historically unified territory which was more or less intact at
the time of colonial occupation. By military conquest and administrative partition, France and Spain divided this unit into
artificial sections. After the end of the colonial era, the Moroccan
argument runs, there is no longer any reason for these sections
to exist; they should therefore return to the mother country.
The legal problems of the Moroccan position involve a clash
between Islamic concepts and the Western international law
that is generally recognized in the United Nations. In fact,
Algeria and Mauritania are independent states, basing their
territorial limits on the law of successor regimes (and, to some
extent, on the law of conquest). Apart from re-conquest, international law does recognize a way of changing this legal fact:
the right of self-determination through popular consultation. By
renouncing claims to a new referendum-and by contesting the
1958 referendum in Mauritania and, indirectly, the 1962 referendum in Algeria-Rabat has given up its strongest card for
a Greater Morocco.
What does Moroccan irredentism mean in terms of development of the large sector of the Sahara involved? Whatever the
area, Morocco's interest in the natural resources is commercial,
not industrial. At its present stage of development, Morocco
itself could not exploit the mineral deposits. It could, however,
create somewhat better conditions for their development by

49

others by removing some of the political obstacles; the railroad


from Gara Jebilet to the coast would no longer cross political
frontiers, and the Bechar complex would lie within a single
state's boundaries.
As for the human development of the Saharan populations,
Morocco's present effort has been limited by its capabilities and
resources. A Saharan office, created in the Interior Ministry in
late 1957 and raised to a Ministry of State in 1961, gives some
attention to the needs of Saharan refugees in Morocco. The
creation of conditions of security and the trend away from
nomadism has brought a dramatic increase of population to the
administrative center of Hassi Tantan in Tarfaya; the population has risen from 300 in 1948 to more than ten times that
number in 1962. In addition, a small national promotion project,
a type of public works scheme for the unemployed, has given
food and work to some 250 local inhabitants. Other Moroccan
attempts at development of its present Saharan regions include
cooperation with the United Nations anti-locust campaign, and
reconstruction of the ancient seqiat (irrigation canals) and
foggaras (horizontal wells) in the Tafilalt in 1957. It would be
difficult, however, for Morocco to devote much of its resources
or to seek much foreign aid for desert areas so far away from
its own needy, growing urban centers of population and its
primitive rural regions in the north.

The Casablanca Group


THE CASABLANCA GROUP is the most comprehensive attempt of
western African countries with similar problems to cooperate.
Its six original members are Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali,
Morocco, and the United Arab Republic. The territory involved
stretches from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Guinea; only
Ghana and the United Arab Republic are not contiguous. The
Casablanca Group covers most of the Sahara and, on the map,
appears to be a formidable weight in African politics. One of
the strengths of the Casablanca Group is the dynamism of its
leaders, who have played important roles in such meetings as
Bandung (1955), Belgrade (1961), and also in the United
Nations. But the very dynamism of these leaders creates rivalries
on both the personal and the political level.
Personality clash, however, is not only a subjective matter.
The leadership of the new African nations also reflects differing
interests of the states themselves, interests which vary according
to geographical position, state ideology, social and ethnic composition, and economic systems. Common interests led the six
states to form the Casablanca Group, but equally important
conflicting interests keep them from realizing the potential for
action and development that their position on a map of Africa
might indicate. Economic underdevelopment-four of the states
are located on the edge of the desert-is a condition common to
the Casablanca powers, and provides at least a basis for common
attitudes. But the political underdevelopment of the six states
also means that national policy is an uncertain quantity that
cannot be predicted. The Casablanca Group, far from being an
alliance with a common goal such as NATO or the Warsaw
Pact, has been simply a group of states with a few similarities,
each seeking support from the other on issues important to its
own foreign policy. This mutual horse-trading makes it important

51

for the members to present a united front, but at the same


time it makes the Casablanca Group an international pressure
group of uncertain cohesion.
These characteristics have been evident since the founding of
the Group. In late 1960 the Congo crisis was causing great concern, not only to the great powers, but also to the newly independent African states who were aware of the dangers of internal
instability and feared the spectre of neo-colonialism. When
Congolese President Kasavubu and Premier Lumumba fell out
shortly after independence, the split was felt throughout Africa
and was deepened by cold-war considerations. One group of
new states-most of whom had recognized Kasavubu's government-met in Abidjan in October and in Brazzaville in December 1960; they attacked Lumumba indirectly, supported the
United Nations Operation in the Congo, and also supported
the independence of Mauritania, one of their number. Another
group had already recognized Lumumba's "government" and
had decided to dissociate itself from the United Nations Congo
Force. Morocco had particular reasons for seeking allies, since
it needed support for its Mauritanian policy and the monarchy
felt itself particularly pressed by its internal, "progressiste" opposition. Invitations were sent from this group to all African
countries (except the Union of South Africa and Mauritania)
and to leading Asian neutrals for a non-aligned summit conference. The Brazzaville Group, as the moderate group of Frenchspeaking states came to be called, already had a meeting scheduled for January in Dakar and could not accept Morocco's
invitation. Of the remaining African states, those most active
in foreign affairs, being sensitive to their sudden minority position
in the continent, came to Casablanca on 3-7 January 1961 in
search of allies.18 Each had a number of policies-on Mauritania,
Algerian independence, Palestine, the Congo, apartheid, the
Common Market, atomic testing-for which it sought support.
In addition to such mutual assistance (which was not acquired
without some tempering of some members' positions), the
18 Ceylon also sent its ambassador, and Libya, its foreign minister;
neither signed all the resolutions and both dissociated themselves from the
workings of the Group.

52

conference proclaimed its ideas on regional unity in a Casablanca Charter.


The Charter set up four institutions of unification: a political
committee, with the chiefs of state or their representatives as
members; an economic committee, where the economics ministers could work for cooperation in the fields of economics and
communications; a cultural committee, with education ministers
as members; and an African joint high command, grouping
member states' chiefs of staff. It also established a secretariat and
looked to the creation of an African consultative assembly. The
Charter declared general adherence to the principles of nonalignment, colonial liberation, and cooperation, and proclaimed
"the necessity for the independent African states to direct their
political, economic and social policies to the exploitation of the
national wealth for the benefit of their peoples and to insuring
an equitable distribution of the wealth among all nationals."' 9
Personal rivalries of the leaders have most frequently appeared
in the political committee, although frequent contacts by the
foreign ministers have created a semblance of cooperation.
Neither of the first two meetings of this committee was attended
by all six chiefs of state; Nkrumah and Tour6 were absent
from Cairo in August 1961, Hassan II left before the conference
was over (as Tour6 had done in Casablanca), and Nkrumah
was again absent from Cairo in June 1962. The political committee meetings are only sketchily prepared and quickly forgotten, as is attested by the fact that the 1962 meeting did little
more than reaffirm decisions ratified the year before. Resolutions,
too, have been similar to those of previous years, mutual support,
if anything, having been weakened by the basic diversity of
interests on questions such as Mauritania and Israel. New, more
distant questions less likely to divide the members-such as
Angola and Southern Rhodesia-have been added to the list.
When the heads of state have been unable to be present, the
foreign ministers carry on in their place. Ghana called a foreign
ministers' meeting in February 1961 after the death of Lumumba, and the following January, the ministers again met in Accra
19 Casablanca Conference (Rabat: Information Department, Jan. 1961),

p. 16.

and turned
down an invitation to meet with the Brazzaville
20

powers.

The secretariat acts as a permanent liaison bureau and also


supervises the joint high command. The secretariat is located at
Kati, near Bamako, and is headed by a Moroccan, Thami
Wezzani, with an assistant from each of the other countries,
according to a compromise carefully worked out among the
chiefs of state. Plans for a consultative assembly, which were to
be prepared by the secretary-general, have fallen by the wayside.
The cultural committee has had even less to work on, since
Casablanca Group leaders made a point of their countries' cultural differences-English, French, and Arabic; Black and White
African; Muslim, Christian, and pagan. In 1962 the creation
of an Institute of African Studies at Tangier was proposed, but
the resources for such an enterprise are limited and agreement
hard to get. The individual school systems have little more
than problems in common.
The extent to which military cooperation among the Casablanca states has been carried out is unclear. The joint African
high command is located at Accra and until late 1962 was
headed by Egyptian General Fawzi. No statements were made
after the meetings of the superior council of the high command
in Cairo in July 1961 and in Marrakech in January 1962, in
Accra in September, or Algiers in January 1963; and there was
no indication that General Fawzi commanded any troops. The
composition of the meetings, however, suggests that discussions
hinge less on conventional armies than on "armies of liberation,"
such as operated not only in Algeria but also in Mauritania and
in Angola. Both Ghana and Algeria have aided the Angolans,
Morocco and Mali support the Mauritanian irregulars, and
Morocco before Algerian independence had Algerian troop
camps along its border. Past pronouncements have led observers
to fear eventual Casablanca Group military intervention on
behalf of the border claims of various members or on behalf of
20

In addition, foreign ministers and other officials have met outside of


the Political Committee, to coordinate policies regarding such matters as
policy in the United Nations General Assembly and political crises in member
governments.

54

nationalist movements elsewhere. (At one time there was fear


that they would intervene directly in the Algerian war.) It is
unlikely that such fears will be realized, if only because of the
political differences among the members.
The most detailed work of the Casablanca Group lies in the
field of economic cooperation. The economic committee met in
Conakry in July 1961, in Cairo in March 1962, in Tangier in
August 1962, and is meeting in Bamako in January 1963. The
first meeting adopted a series of broad proposals made by
Moroccan Economics Minister, Mohammed Douiri, concerning
creation of customs and payments unions (an African common
market), an African economic development bank, and joint
maritime and air transport companies.2 The latter three, which
are to be joint state corporations, have not yet been created, and
a basic lack of capital-the cause and the result of the underdevelopment that they are meant to remedy-strongly limits
their eventual effectiveness. Proposals for a common market
frequently suffer from a lack of official understanding of its
basic nature, and are largely a reaction to the establishment of
the European Common Market, which is opposed as neo-colonialist. Nevertheless, concrete, if hasty, plans have been laid and
the hopes that go with them correspond to a growing awareness
of a new common interest that is of importance to western
Africa.
The basic idea of the common market was elimination of
tariffs among the members over a five-year period, beginning
with a 25 per cent reduction on 1 January 1962, elimination of
quantitative restrictions, extension of most-favored-nation treatment, elimination of re-exportation of other members' products,
and creation of a payments union. In the Cairo meetings of
March and July the deadline was put off until mid-1962 and
then until 1 January 1963-an indication not only of the haste
with which the common market was established but also of a
growing awareness of the problems involved in its implementation. The customs union, if put into effect, may cause some
minor dislocations of local commerce and industry, particularly
21

A postal union and a telecommunications union have also been created.

among the textile industries of the three northern African


countries, and may also bring about a slight increase in trade.
But quantitatively the measure will have little effect, since no
country exchanges more than 10 per cent of its total trade
with all five other states of the Group. On the other hand, over
half of the Group's trade remains with Europe and above all
with the Common Market. A better result could be obtained
by the alignment of prices for exported raw materials and the
creation of a common external tariff. But the six countries'
share of the world market for any of the raw materials they
produce is generally small enough to give little weight to this
action, if it ever takes place.
These measures, too, fail to remedy the basic problem common
to the Casablanca powers, their dependence on raw materials
markets and their lack of capital. It was growing awareness of
this dilemma, and fear of its aggravation by the consolidation
of the European Common Market, that caused the political
committee in Cairo in 1962 to ask the developed nations to
lower their tariff barriers on raw materials and to guarantee
stable prices on products from the underdeveloped world. Although the declaration is more a wish than a policy, it is in this
area that western African regional unity can have some value.
By constituting an organization to deal with the Common
Market, by standardizing their investment codes and creating
conditions favoring development of the interior as well as the
coastal periphery, and by presenting a united front of producing
countries in international trade discussions, western African
nations can strengthen their hand and their own development.
An organization, a standardization, and a united front, however, are only procedural matters; their substance decides their
value. The Casablanca countries have all been known, according
to various criteria, as the radicals of newly independent Africa.
They have all accepted Soviet aid; they favored Lumumba and
Gizenga in the Congo crisis; and anti-colonialism plays a
particularly virulent part in their foreign-and even domesticpolicy language. They have, in the past, been particularly sensitive to the neo-colonialism they see in much foreign economic
investment and assistance, without which, however, their own

development is impossible. And their reaction to the European


Common Market is expressed in the terminology of neo-colonialism and imperialism. The possibility therefore exists that, along
with increased awareness of their common need for development, the Casablanca powers will turn their policies toward
xenophobia and isolationism, and that momentary frustration
of their objectives will lead to even further embellishment of the
"devil theory" of neo-colonialism. The temptation to choose the
negative rather than the positive side of Pan-Africanism and constitute a "pressure group of dissatisfaction" is therefore strong.
In such a case, the Casablanca Group may continue to exist,
but its contributions to the further development of the Sahara
and western Africa would be few; and the possibilities of cooperation with other African countries would remain slim.
It should be noted, however, that during 1962 the members
of the Casablanca Group began to realize that this problem
demanded cooperation beyond their limited numbers. A new
attempt at a summit conference of all African heads of state was
scheduled for the spring of 1963 in Addis Ababa. It was hoped
that the Casablanca Group and its African common market
would there give way to larger, continental cooperation.

Conclusions
BEFORE

AN ENUMERATION

of general perspectives for the future,

some special mention should be made of the effect of Algerian


independence on Saharan regional unity. Algeria includes within
its boundaries the richest and largest portion of the desert. Its
independence has already resulted in the shrinkage of OCRS
from multilateral to bilateral cooperation. It has increased the
theoretical possibility but removed the practical stimulus to PanMaghrebism. It has created understandable frustration in Rabat
by ignoring the hopes of Morocco Irredenta. It has brought
to the Casablanca Group-and to African neutralist circles in
general-a strong nation which seems bent on pursuing its revolution at home and making its voice heard abroad. The immediate effects have thus been disruptive to cooperation vis-h-vis
the Sahara. Given the massive dislocations of the Algerian war,
and in spite of its oil boom towns, it will certainly be some time
before Algeria will be able to cooperate in economic development
with its Saharan neighbors-Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and
Niger.
There are, however, some mitigating prospects. The return
of Tindouf to Morocco is possible; although no official statements have emanated from Algeria, some Moroccans seem to
feel that Premier Ben Bella might be willing to admit Morocco's
claim to that area, possibly as part of a general settlement of
territorial claims. The long-run chances for close Pan-Maghreb
cooperation, leading to political forms of unity, would be greatly
increased by successful European economic and political unity,
by the failure of renewed attempts at continental Pan-Africanism, and by the success of economic cooperation limited to
Black Africa. Finally, it is likely that, of the types of cooperation
begun by OCRS, international conferences for the exchange
of information are likely to continue, with Algerian participation,

under the auspices of United Nations-connected organizations


such as the Food and and Agriculture Organization, the Economic Commission for Africa, or even the Commission for
Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara. Beyond
these four attempts at regional unity, however, lies the continual
possibility-indeed, the need-for experimentation and development of new forms of cooperation, with a shape and a content
suited to the capabilities and desires of the region.
None of the four projects of regional unity has yet proved to
have the necessary substance. OCRS had too close political ties
to a European power to be acceptable to Africa. Moroccan
irredentism is an extension of the anti-colonialist struggle of
Morocco rather than an answer to the problems of underdevelopment. The Arab Maghreb and the Casablanca Group have
greater promise, but neither has found the political conditions or
the economic solutions necessary for unity and development.
All of these attempts at regional unity represent only beginnings. The foreign policies of the new nations of western Africa
are still in a state of flux, affected by changing economic and
political circumstances. Guinea has, in recent months, tended
to move somewhat closer to its more conservative neighbors;
Ghana maintains its membership in the Commonwealth; Mali
is an associate member of EEC, along with the Brazzaville
powers; Morocco has shown itself more interested than previously
in Western, especially French, aid and investment.
Of the few foreign policy guidelines that have been established,
that of Pan-Africanism has the greatest longevity; and its popularity suggests that the new African states will seek ways of
implementing it. By the end of 1962, it had taken the form of
appeals for rapprochement between the Casablanca Group and
the larger, more moderate Union of African and Malagasy
States (Brazzaville Group). Representatives of some Casablanca
powers were expected to attend meetings of an enlarged Organization of African and Malagasy States, which includes some
twenty English- and French-speaking countries in 1963. Spokesmen for both groups--especially from such "middle" powers as
Liberia, Nigeria, Togo, and Tunisia-more and more frequently
call for effective unity in western Africa.

Broad western African cooperation will help turn the radical


members away from some of the more negative aspects of
Pan-Africanism; at the same time, the radicals would serve as
constant reminders of the dangers of too close ties with the
former metropoles, which is another way of recalling that
African interests must be the prime criteria for African states'
policy. But the mere reiteration of Pan-African slogans-even
meetings that bring African leaders closer together-is no answer
in itself to the problems of underdevelopment.
There is nothing inevitable about Saharan unity, either in a
larger framework of African unity or in a regional framework.
Indeed, the possibility exists of continued friction, heightened
personal rivalries among African leaders, friction among competing economies and political systems, and a series of squabbles
as Mali, Morocco, Niger, and Tunisia argue with Algeria and
Mauritania over sections of the desert. Continued rivalry and
maneuvering among littoral states would reduce and might
possibly destroy any chance of concentrating the money, skill,
and effort necessary to over-all Saharan exploitation. In this
case, the Sahara may once again assume the character of a
barrier rather than a bridge.
The "strategy of international collaboration"-to use a phrase
from UNESCO's study of arid lands-has not yet been defined.
But it is certain that a good measure of cooperation is necessary
to the development of the Sahara, and it is to be hoped that the
states concerned will soon get down to the practical business of
providing that measure. A Saharan proverb is appropriate: "A
single hand, without its sister, no matter what it may do, will
never undo a double knot."

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
CHAPTER I
Studies on the Sahara: Robert Capot-Rey, Le Sahara Frangais (Paris:
Presses Univ. de France, 1953); R. J. Harrison Church, West Africa: A
study of the environment and man's use of it, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, 1960); R. Furon, Le Sahara (Paris: Payot, 1959); E. F. Gautier,
Le Sahara (Paris: Payot, 1950); Georg Gerster, Sahara, Desert of Destiny
(New York: Coward-McCann, 1960); Paul Mousset, Ce Sahara qui
voit le jour (Paris: Cit6, 1959); Bruno Verlet, Le Sahara (Paris: PUFQue Sais-je?, 1959); Frangois Vergnaud, Le Sahara (Paris: Seuil-Petite
Planate, 1959).
Historical and anthropological studies: E. W. Bovill, The Golden
Trade of the Moors (London: Oxford, 1958); L. C. Briggs, Tribes of the
Sahara (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1960); Robert CapotRey, "Etat actuel du nomadisme au Sahara," Les Probl~mes de la Zone
Aride (Paris: UNESCO, 1962); T. Clauzel, "Evolution de la vie
6conomique et structure sociale du pays nomade du Mali," Tiers-Monde,
Vol. III, Nos. 9-10; J. C. de Graft-Johnson, African Glory (London:
Watts, 1954); Jean Despois, L'Afrique du Nord (Paris: PUF, 1958);
J. D. Fage, An Introduction to the History of West Africa (Cambridge,
Eng.: University Press, 1961); Henri Lhote, The Search for the Tassili
Frescoes (New York: Dutton, 1959); C. B. M. McBumey, The Stone
Age of Northern Africa (Baltimore: Penguin, 1960); Henri Terrasse,
Histoire du Maroc, 2 vols. (Casablanca: Atlantides, 1949-1950); Benjamin
E. Thomas, Trade Routes of Algeria and the Sahara (Berkeley: Univ. of
California, 1957).
CHAPTER II
Oil, gas, and coal: Daniel Durand, La Politque PitrolikreInternationale
(Paris: PUF-Que Sais-je?, 1962); France and Petroleum (New York:
French Embassy Info. Service, Nov. 1961); Industries et Travaux d'OutreMer (Paris), No. 84 (Nov. 1960); Frangois Perroux, ed., Algbie de
demain (Paris: Tiers-Monde, 1962); "La Situation des Houil~res du SudOuest Oranie," OCRS Bulletin (Paris), No. 2 (Feb. 1962), pp. 17-20;
Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, The Lamp, periodic reports.
Problems of Arid Lands: Pierre Chouard, La Culture sans sol (Paris:
Maison Rustique, 1959); R. J. Harrison Church, "Problems and Development of the Dry Zone of West Africa," Geographic journal (London),
Vol. 127, No. 2 (June 1961), pp. 187-205; Christine Gamier, Disert
Fertile; Un nouvel dtat, la Mauritanie (Paris: Hachette, 1960); "La
R~publique Islamique de Mauritanie, "L'Information Giographique
(Paris), Vol. XXVI, No. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 1962), pp. 47-57; Gilbert White,

61

ed., The Future of Arid Lands (Washington: American Academy of Arts


and Sciences, 1956).
Railroads: R. J. Harrison Church, "Trans-Saharan Railroad Projects,"
London Essays in Geography, L. D. Stamp and S. W. Worldridge, eds.
(London: 1957), pp. 135-150; Col. Godefroy, Le Trans-Saharien (Paris:
n.p., 1919).
Pan-Africanism: Philippe Decraene, Le Pan-Africanisme (Paris: PUFQue Sais-je?, 1962); Colin Legunm, Pan Africanism (New York: Praeger,
1962).
CHAPTER III
Official OCRS material: OCRS Bulletin (monthly); two general reports, Perspectives, 1961) and OCRS (1962). For a Moroccan-Mauritanian judgment of OCRS, see al-Istiqlal (Rabat), 11 Jan. 1957.
CHAPTER IV
Mohammed Bedjaoui, Law and the Algerian Revolution (Brussels:
International Association of Democratic Lawyers, 1961); Roger le Tourneau, L'Evolution politique de l'Afrique du Nord musulmane (Paris: Colin,
1962); William Sands, "Prospects for a United Maghreb," in Tibor
Kerekes, ed., The Arab Middle East and Muslim Africa (New York:
Praeger, 1961); I. William Zartman, Problems of New Power (New York:
Atherton, forthcoming).
Newspapers: al-Istiqlal (Rabat); Afrique Action (Tunis); Le Monde
(Paris); Petit Marocain (Rabat).

CHAPTER V
Allal al-Fassi, Livre Rouge (Tangier: Perette, n.d.); J. M. Picquin,
"Les Iddes nationalistes marocaines," unpublished thesis, Rabat Law
School, 1960; White Paper on Mauritania (Rabat: Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, 1960). See also, various issues of al-Istiqlal.