See also:
» 19.01.2011 - Moroccan report confirms "killing of 352 Saharawis"
» 29.10.2010 - 20,000 Western Sahara protesters "starving"
» 21.10.2010 - "Mass exodus" from Western Sahara cities
» 14.04.2010 - Sahrawis fed up with UN chief
» 03.02.2010 - New talks on Western Sahara in US
» 19.12.2007 - Protest over Sahrawi oil deal
» 05.06.2003 - Moroccan ex-Minister reveals Sahara scam
» 20.05.2003 - Sahrawis celebrate war, peace and independence

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Western Sahara
Society | Politics

Sahrawis prepare Polisario's 30th anniversary

afrol News, 19 May - Tomorrow, the Saharawi liberation front, Polisario, is to celebrate and commemorate its 30 years of existence in the Algerian desert refugee camps. The front, originally founded to oust the Spanish colonialists from Western Sahara, however deplores its continued existence.

Is it really an occasion for celebrations? Thirty years of war, fighting and without reaching the aim that 53 other African nations have reached; independence. Isn't it rather an occasion for asking; "What went wrong?"

Sahrawis will not let these troublesome questions ruin their 30th anniversary of fighting for their right of self-determination. Tomorrow, the normal 'tristesse' of the refugee camps in the Algerian desert - named after the main towns in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara to keep the memory alive - will be furbished into the "grande fête" of the heroes of the liberation struggles.

On 20 May 1973, the authoritarian rulers of Spanish Sahara - one of Africa's last colonies - for the first time were confronted with armed resistance. The Frente Polisario, aiming at liberating the Spanish colonies of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro, seemed to be in a good position to achieve its goals. Only in 1968, Spain had granted independence to its other African colony, Spanish Guinea (now Equatorial Guinea). In 1975, chances were enhanced by the Portuguese withdrawal from its colonies and the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

At the edge of independence, the Sahrawis were however stabbed in the back by their, now democratic, colonial masters. The New Spain wanted to decolonise, but in those chaotic days in Madrid, nobody knew how, and Moroccan troops were already entering the colony. Madrid therefore gave into Moroccans claims to Western Sahara and transferred the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in an agreement that since has been deemed contrary to international law.

Thus, the real war began and the Saharawi people were thrown into a wandering that has taken Biblical dimensions. As the Polisario had to evacuate most of the Saharawi territory to Moroccan troops and later settlers, the majority of the civilian population followed their political leaders into Algerian exile, during heavy attacks from Moroccan troops. The refugee camps, housing an estimated 150,000 Sahrawis, since then have been the home of generations.

Polisario's role has been that of a liberation movement, but it is also internationally recognised as the legitimate representation of the Saharawi people. Its longlivity however mostly reflects the long duration of the independence struggle. If Western Sahara was to gain independence, Polisario "might even disappear," Polisario top diplomat Emhamed Khadad told afrol News last year. Mr Khadad expressed a sincere desire for a situation where the existence of Polisario would not be necessary.

Tomorrow, Sahrawis and a large number of invited guests from all over the world will however commemorate these 30 years of struggle and pray for a political solution to the conflict, as renewed armed conflict seems more and more possible.

But they will also celebrate their victories, which have not been few. The exiled government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), composed of Polisario members, is recognised by the African Union (causing Morocco to stay outside the AU) and a long list of states. Polisario in 1978 defeated Mauritania, which now recognises SADR. The Sahrawis have been able to stand united for all these 30 years of hardship. These victories will be celebrated tomorrow.

Another victory of the Saharawi people is their ability to avoid extremism in spite of these hardships. Albeit their recent history is comparable to those of the Palestinians, there has never been any terrorism stemming from Saharawi citizens. Thus, even though Morocco now mourns its deaths after last week's terrorist attacks on Casablanca; no one will be able to argue that one should not celebrate the Saharawi independence struggle in solidarity with Rabat. There is simply no connection between the two events.

- Create an e-mail alert for Western Sahara news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at