The Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro) was constituted on 10 May 1973 at Ain Bentili by several Sahrawi university students, survivors of the 1968 massacres at Zouerate and some Sahrawi men who had served in the Spanish Army. They called themselves the Constituent Congress of the Polisario Front. The Polisario Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on 27 February 1976, which is recongnized by the African Union.
It is an observer member of the Socialist International. The United Nations considers the Polisario Front to be the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people and maintains that the Sahrawis have a right to self-determination. The Polisario Front is outlawed in the parts of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, and it is illegal to raise its party flag there.