Mission of the Western Sahara

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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Western Sahara: Why Africa’s last colony can’t break free (The Boston Globe)

AAYOUNE, WESTERN SAHARA — On a recent Saturday in May, as dusk shaded into night in this desert city, more than a thousand women, men, and children poured into the streets. They chanted slogans for independence; flashed the peace sign to show their support for the Polisario Front; and waved the illegal red, green, and black flag of a nation that may never exist.

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Western Sahara: the inconvenient uprising nobody wants to talk (or hear) about (opendemocracy.net)

While many praise the remarkable determination of Sahrawi activists to maintain the peaceful character of their struggle, others signal this as a key factor behind their failure to secure a just resolution.

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Breaking the Deadlock in the Western Sahara (Carnegie Endowment)

Demonstrations have followed one another in Laayoune, Smara, Boujdour and Dakhla since late April, leading in some cases to violent clashes between Sahrawi pro-independence activists and the Moroccan security forces. The largest rally demanding self-determination was reported on May 4 in Laayoune, the capital of the Rabat-controlled Western Sahara territory. Though the Moroccan government restricts access to the area in times of tension like these, the arrival of foreign observers or journalists (such as that of six American and British journalists of the International Women’s Media Foundation starting on April 28) has allowed for a sense of protection and has encouraged and empowered protesters. Meanwhile, the Moroccan government response to these protests has revealed contradiction and miscommunication: the Moroccan minister of communication claimed that calm and normality prevail in the “provinces of the South”, while his foreign affairs and interior colleagues blamed “external parties,” namely Algeria and the Polisario Front, for plotting to destabilize this area.

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