This paper considers the political, social, and spatial consequences of the conflict in the Western Sahara and particularly the implications this has had in the development of refugee camps in Algeria. The essay revolves around three concepts. The first regards the support policies practiced by international governing bodies, through humanitarian aid aimed exclusively at satisfying basic needs. The second is the role international co-operation plays in the construction of a process of local development and therefore permanence in a territory the local community perceives as temporary. Finally, this paper considers the critical state created when a form of permanent habitation of a temporary territory collides with hostile environmental conditions in the absence of economic resources and above all the international policies that accompany this process.
Keywords: Sahrawi conflict; international co-operation; refugee camps