Protests spread throughout Western Sahara
smara_23.02.16_a_610_200.jpg

Here's what happens to peaceful demonstrations demanding basic rights to work and a decent living in Western Sahara. As protests spread from El Aaiun to other towns, the Moroccan police responded with the usual ferocity.
Published: 25.01 - 2016 12:07Printer version    
Western Sahara Resource Watch has received reports about protests that took place in different cities inWestern Sahara throughout the weekend of 23 and 24 January 2016.

As ongoing protests in El Aaiun continued, Smara and Boujdour now also saw demonstrations on the same grounds as those in Western Sahara's capital city; Saharawis demanding their fair share of their own country's resources.

The photos included below are from Saturday's protest in Smara. Young Saharawis gathered with a banner saying "It's now time to benefit from our wealth". Like the protesters and hunger strikers in El Aaiun, they demand the right to work and to a decent living. The pictures show the Moroccan police's intervention;  plain-clothed and uniformed police officers disrupted the protest and went on to physically attack the participants.

Large parts of Western Sahara have been occupied by Morocco since 1975, in blatant disrespect of international law. Amid a climat of oppression of the native Saharawi people, Morocco proceeds to sell of Western Sahara's resources as if it is entitled to do so.

But it isn't. A United Nations Legal Opinion of January 2002 concluded that the wishes and the interests of the Saharawi people - as the sole, original inhabitants of the territory prior to Morocco's invasion - are the legal requirements for any resource-related activity to take place in Western Sahara.

In October last year, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights confirmed that the Saharawis are indeed particularly affected by poverty, and expressed its concern that Morocco still did not respect the Saharawis right to dispose of their natural resources. In particular, the Committee urged Morocco to respect the rights of the Saharawis to be informed and to give their prior consent to the exploitation of their resources.

Saharawis have protested Morocco's looting of Western Sahara for years. Recent demonstrations are primarily carried out by younger generations of Saharawis, who grew up on the fringes of society, bereaved of basic social and economic rights in their own land. While Saharawis are struck by poverty, the jobs created through Morocco's exploitation of Western Sahara's resources go mainly to Moroccan settlers. Saharawi youth is fed up with that situation, and is becoming more vocal - fully knowing how the Moroccan regime deals with dissent. Not lightly.



smara_23.02.16_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_a_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_b_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_c_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_d_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_e_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_f_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_g_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_h_610.jpg

5546smara_23.02.16_h_610.jpg

smara_23.02.16_i_610.jpg

    
News:

20.02 - 2018 / 20.02 - 2018EU Parliamentarians concerned over Commission's respect of rule of law
15.02 - 2018 / 15.02 - 2018Sweden to vote against new EU-Morocco fish talks
08.02 - 2018 / 08.02 - 2018Studies continue on Kosmos Energy's block
07.02 - 2018 / 07.02 - 2018Kosmos and Cairn have pulled out of Western Sahara
07.02 - 2018 / 07.02 - 2018Why WSRW refuses to take part in the EU's Western Sahara consultation
03.02 - 2018 / 03.02 - 2018Unison condemnation of the EU Commission from Western Sahara groups
02.02 - 2018 / 01.02 - 2018Siemens fails to respond Western Sahara question at AGM
01.02 - 2018 / 01.02 - 2018EU has sealed Western Sahara trade deal in violation of Court Judgment
31.01 - 2018 / 30.01 - 2018Polisario threatens compensation from EU and companies, warns Nutrien
31.01 - 2018 / 30.01 - 2018Vigeo Eiris reports untruly about UN human rights approval
29.01 - 2018 / 29.01 - 2018'Biggest importer' of phosphate rock is pulling out
27.01 - 2018 / 27.01 - 2018Senior socialist MEPs publicly slam EU-Morocco talks
23.01 - 2018 / 12.01 - 2018Glencore has left occupied Western Sahara
22.01 - 2018 / 22.01 - 2018German government not supportive of business in Western Sahara
15.01 - 2018 / 15.01 - 2018Denmark accepts continued EU fisheries in occupied waters
10.01 - 2018 / 10.01 - 2018EU Court advocate: Fish agreement invalid for including Western Sahara
08.01 - 2018 / 08.01 - 2018EU Commission eying new fish deal including Western Sahara
07.01 - 2018 / 07.01 - 2018Nutrien: The new giant on conflict minerals
20.12 - 2017 / 12.12 - 2017EU Commission visited occupied Western Sahara to authorize exporters
07.12 - 2017 / 07.12 - 2017Siemens: the Moroccan king's wind turbine supplier in Western Sahara




EN ES FR DE AR

Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
The Western Sahara oil curse

tn_san_leon_protest_camps_8_august_2015_610x200.jpg

Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.

WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy