Monday, May 31, 2010

The Liberation of the Sahrawis

The Saharawi liberation movement has been greatly overlooked by the international community and media. Along with Palestine, it is the world's last colony. Morocco considers the Sahrawis as captives.
While the situation has improved since the early 1990s, the political liberalization in Morocco has not had the same effect on Western Sahara according to Amnesty International in 2004 Some quick history- Morocco's 1975 annexation of the territory, a former Spanish colony, sparked a war between its forces and Algerian-backed Polisario guerrillas. The two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1991 but UN-sponsored talks on Western Sahara's future have since made no headway. Rabat has pledged to grant Western Sahara widespread autonomy but rules out independence. The Polisario Front wants a referendum on self-determination, with independence as one of the options. More than 165,000 Western Saharan, or Saharawi, refugees live in the camps, according to the Polisario; 90,000 according to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). They exist mainly on international aid. The largest camp is the Dakhla camp in Southern Algeria. Human rights are repressed in the Moroccan-controlled territories of Western Sahara, according to Amnesty International in 2003 and Human Rights Watch in 2004, when it comes to having a pro-independence position.

Dakhla refugee camp

Today, the main source of misery is not lack of food, or health care, but unemployement. Even though there are small shops , a hospital and school, many are unemployed. The Sahrawis are unable to work and provide for themselves, the UNHCR distributes rations for 125,000 people and believes that the nutrition for the refugees is improving. Sadly, the Sahrawis primarily live off of rations.

The liberation of Palestine is a cause which is very dear to all Muslims, but let us not forget our brothers and sisters in the Western Sahara. May they be able to live freely on their land, inchAllah.


MuslimFirst said...

Wow, thanks for informing us about this. I am completely ignorant about this - so again, great to learn to more about such situations.

Aazar ali shad said...

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Aazar Ali Shad

Anonymous said...

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Take care.