The Trade Union of Saharawi Workers in El Aaiún, occupied Western Sahara, started a general strike this morning, denouncing the “policy of segregation applied by Morocco” and the “plundering of Saharawi natural resources”.
The workers started demonstrating in front of the Department of Mines and Energy on Smara Boulevard in Western Sahara's capital El Aaiún at 8:45 this morning.
It wasn’t long before the Moroccan police fiercely intervened to disperse the gathered protesters. According to eye-witnesses, 14 people got injured in the event. Western Sahara Resource Watch has received names of the injured Saharawis.
The strike was agreed upon during a recent extraordinary meeting of the Trade Union, which aimed to assess the situation of Saharawi workers and pensioners, with particular attention devoted to the Fosboucraa workers.
“The Moroccan government’s policy of impoverishment and racial segregation in the occupied territory of Western Sahara has become unbearable: the Saharawi workers’ basic human rights are violated, the natural resources are plundered and the MINURSO has failed to organise a self-determination referendum for the Saharawi”, the assembly concluded.
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.
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.
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