Western Sahara

In the colonial division of the continent, Western Sahara fell to Spain. During the 60s and 70s, most of these African territories accessed their right to self-determination and independence. The Sahrawi people should had enjoyed a self-determination referendum, but in 1975 a series of circumstances blocked the process. Morocco wanted their territory and pushed an unstable Spain with dictator Francisco Franco about to die.

In 1976, Spain abandoned territories that composed the former colony of Western Sahara

The Spanish management failed to meet its obligations and left the territory, ceding it illegally. Thus began a war between Morocco and the representative of the Sahrawi people, the Polisario Front, which lasted until 1991, then UN responsible for resolving the conflict, established a peacekeeping mission (MINURSO) to hold a referendum, but the query remains stagnant today. The Sahrawi population under war, fled eastward and settled in different camps near the Algerian city of Tindouf, where they live since. Many of their relatives remain in the territory occupied by Morocco, separated by a wall of 2,700 kilometers, which undergo constant human rights violations.

 

Present

This occupied territory since 1975 and Sahrawi population still expect in refugee camps the return of their lands, Western Sahara. The support of the population in exile has been through of International solidarity and humanitarian aid provided by different governments and civil society organizations overseas, but the situation has been seen more as a problem of humanitarian aid as a violation of human rights. Keep in mind that the condition of refuge circa forty years has brought poverty, dependence on humanitarian aid which has suffered numerous restrictions and serious consequences on the health of the population. The lack of a political solution and incessant blocking the referendum generated a worsening of the living conditions of refugees in itself and in extremely adverse conditions in Algerian Hamada.

40 years after circa 200,000 people, mostly women, children and young people expect the long awaited referendum and longing to return to his land.