This book gives a comprehensive background to the long running conflict on the status of Western Sahara and particularly highlights the question of the territory's natural resources, such as fish, oil and phosphates. The book analyses why this territory, mainly covered by desert and only sparsely populated has since 1976 when the former colonial power Spain left the territory, engaged governments and people, both regionally and internationally, and the implications of its natural resources. The book includes: - a summary of the Western Saharan conflict, by Pedro Pinte Leite, specialist in international law in the Netherlands; - an up-to-date picture of the situation in Western Sahara with regard to natural resources, and the way in which exploitation is taking place, by Toby Shelley, a British journalist; - the UN s legal opinion from 2002 on exploitation of the natural resources of a Non-Self-Governing Territory written by Hans Corell, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel. Two political views of the conflict are also included. Magnus Schöldtz and Pål Wrange from the Swedish Foreign Ministry elucidate the Swedish Foreign Policy on the Western Sahara Conflict. A statement by Karin Scheele, MEP and President of the Intergroup on Western Sahara in the European Parliament focuses on the economic interests of the parties involved in the conflict. These contributions together with an extended chronology, by Claes Olsson, over the different phases of the conflict form a useful information source for policy-makers, researchers, students and activists interested in or dealing with issues related to the Maghreb framework and in particular the Western Saharan conflict.