Western Sahara

Music a potent weapon in the Saharawi struggle

Talking about music might sound strange for people who live in refugee camps and are deeply burdened with many other problems needing to be voiced.

But the huge role music played in the Saharawi people's struggle for independence leaves me with no choice e but to try to talk a little about the magical role revolutionary songs are playing in my people’s daily fight for self-determination.

Western Saharans condemn EU-Morocco fisheries deal

Human rights conditions in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara remain dire according to activists, even though the territory is once again open for business to European fishing companies.

Despite Moroccan pledges to improve conditions for Western Sahara's indigenous Sahrawi, head of the Sahrawi Centre for Media and Communication Mohamed Brahim said the situation is getting worse under Moroccan rule.

“Nothing seems to be improving,” Brahim told Green Left Weekly from Laayoune.

Incitec Pivot blacklisted by Swedish gov't pension fund in win for Western Sahara

In a divestment valued at 256 million euros, the Norwegian government pension fund has blacklisted Australian company Incitec Pivot and the US/Canadian company Potash last year due to their phosphate imports from occupied Western Sahara.

'We will never give up our struggle' ― a voice from the Saharawi refugee camps

Minetu Larabas Sueidat is a young Saharawi woman living in refugee camps in Tinduf in the south-west of Algeria. Western Sahara, the land of the Saharawi people, has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. In 1991, the United Nations brokered ceasfire between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front that supposed to include a referendum on self-determination, which has still not occurred.

Western Sahara: The UN remains 'blind, deaf and dumb'

After 40 years of struggle, in the place known as “Africa's last colony”, human rights abusers continue to be given a free hand by the international community.

As Western Sahara's independence movement, the Polisario Front, commemorated four decades of struggle on May 10, news broke of a Sahrawi activist who died in a Moroccan prison three days earlier.

Venezuela raises aid for occupied Western Sahara

Severe water shortages in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic may become less frequent due to a Venezuelan government initiative to provide training to Sahrawi technicians.

SADR claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, most of which is occupied by Morocco. SADR administers about 20% of Western Sahara.

On February 14, the Venezuelan environment ministry said 10 technicians from SADR will be trained in hydro-geology and drilling at Venezuela’s National Hydraulics Laboratory.

Morocco jails Saharawi activists for peaceful protests

Moroccan authorities have sentenced Western Saharan political prisoners to long jail sentences. The the prisoners had already spent two year in jail waiting for a trail. Amnesty International had called the trials flawed from the outset.

Eight Saharawi were sentenced to life in jail for peacefully demonstrating for the people of Western Sahara to be given a vote of self-determination, as promised by the United Nations. A further four activists received 30 years, seven received 25 years and two got 20-year sentences.

Western Sahara: Wesfarmers agrees to stop using stolen phosphate, but doubts remain

Over the past three years Christian Super, a not-for-profit industry fund, has engaged in dialogue with Australian company Wesfarmers over its sourcing of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. Phosphate is used in its production of agricultural superphosphate.

“Western Sahara is a disputed territory where human rights abuses have been reported,” said Tim Macready, chief investment officer for Christian Super. “Companies doing business in this area may unwittingly aggravate the conflict or become complicit to oppression.”

Western Saharan activist: ‘We will be free, but we need help’

Western Saharan human rights campaigner Malak Amidane is touring Australia in May to raise awareness of the brutal occupation of her homeland.

Sahrawi human rights campaigner to tour Australia

Sahrawi human rights advocate and trade unionist Malak Amidane will visit Australia this month to share her experience of campaigning for justice in her homeland.

Previously a Spanish colony, Western Sahara was invaded by Morocco and Mauritania when Spain withdrew in 1975.

Today, 80% of the territory land is controlled by Morocco.

Amidane will meet with politicians and union leaders to lobby for greater support for Western Sahara.

She will also present a public lecture in Adelaide on May 3 at 5pm, at the University of Adelaide, Lower Napier, room G03.

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