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the last colony in Africa 34 years of life in refugee camps everyday human rights violation no right to self determination … and the world chooses to be silent
1884: Colonised by Spain 1973: Polisario established 1975: Morocco and Mauritania – Green March 1979: Mauritania withdraws Morocco occupies 2/3rd of W.S. 1976-1991: Polisario v/s Morocco 1980- 1987: 1000 mile long wall by Moroccans
1991: MINURSO – Referendum Ceasefire – referendum? 2001: Baker Plan 2007 – 2008: First ‘direct talks’ in 7 years 2009 : … still no right to self - determination
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Recognised by approx. 80 countries.
El Aaiun (Laayoune)
2,50,000 – 3,00,000 1,00,000 – 1,50,000
moroccan settlers saharawis
+ 1,60,000 moroccan soldiers
Polisario controlled Western Sahara : 30,000
Algerian refugee camps : 1,60,000
Mauritania : 26,000
Why Western Sahara? “ Historical claims of sovereignty over the territory based on competing traditional claims, argued that the territory was artificially separated by the European colonial powers.’’
Phosphate Over 10% Moroccan exports come from Western Sahara. RESOLUTION 1803: "PERMANENT SOVEREIGNTY OVER NATURAL RESOURCES" Adopted by General Assembly resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962 “ The exploration, development and disposition of such resources, as well as the import of the foreign capital required for these purposes, should be in conformity with the rules and conditions which the peoples and nations freely consider to be necessary or desirable with regard to the authorization, restriction or prohibition of such activities.’’ “ Violation of the rights of peoples and nations to sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources is contrary to the spirit and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and hinders the development of international co-operation and the maintenance of peace.”
Western Sahara Bu Craa mines - 1,700,000 tons extracted/year. High quality phosphate – 75 to 80% anhydrous phosphate 107 km – long conveyor belt, the longest in the world, used to transport the extracted phosphate to the Saharan coast
At the Laayoune coast Transported and marketed as Moroccan Office of Cherifiana Phosphate. Main importers: European Union And even India – Tata chemicals.
Phosphate production in Western Sahara
Yearly export 1.2 billion USD! World’s phosphate prices
Morocco is now…
The fifth largest exporter of phosphate and phosphoric acid.
3rd largest producer in the world.
Largest exporter of phosphoric acid.
Fish stock Western Sahara accounts for more than half of Morocco’s fish exports. Possible deposits of natural gas and oil. Exploration is still on… Omega 3 from Western Sahara
That’s not all …
Yet the UN has ‘no mandate to intervene’… but just to condemn!!!
No saharawi universities.
Curriculum – Moroccan version.
Not allowed to voice the Saharawi identity.
No right to protest.
Frequent raids in houses.
Discrimination in classes.
The refugee life
Many fled their country in 1975.
1,65,000 live in the desert across the border to Algeria.
Dependent entirely on foreign humanitarian aid.
and yet the world chooses to be silent…