MINURSO was established in May1991, to enable the people of Western Sahara to choose freely between integration with Morocco or independence.
The medal has a very wide central band of a sandy brown colour, representing the Sahara Desert, with two narrow bands of UN blue at either end. Ninety days of qualifying time is required for the award.
To date, the countries of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, the Peoples Republic of China, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America Uruguay and Venezuela provided troops or observers to this Mission. At this point, MINURSO remains in a purely observation role. However, at some point, it may expand to accomplish its prime mandate, at which time, the numbers of troops and contributing countries may increase.