Sahrawi Times, Issue 3 - 23 Dec. 2016
As the year 2016 ends, it is rather very unfortunate that the global mechanism which is supposed to maintain international world order is still facing a lot of dysfunctionality. The very ones who are supposed to be protected by the international communities are hitherto the victims of a conspiracy of international negligence and silence.
If not of great organizations like the Danish Refugee Council which is doing it possible best with a strong and purpose driven compassionate leadership team in both Tunisia and Algeria to uplift those who have been neglected and sideline by geopolitical cartels who have forgotten the essence of justice. If justice has been their continual onus, we will for over 25 years today had at least the ‘Referendum’ in Western Sahara that was supposed to take place after the Cease-Fire-Agreement signed between the Polisario Front and the Oppressive regime of King Mohammad IV over the illegal occupation of Western Sahara.
While many are getting ready for the festive holidays, some others of our kind are still trapped for over 40 years today in very inhospitable and inhumane conditions in the Sahara Desert part of Tindouf. The people of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR- popularly known as the Western Sahara). Separated from families with a ‘wall of shame’ and the landmines thereto, more deadly than the ‘Berlin Walls’. The Sahrawi people live in both Refugee Camps of Tindouf, and in the occupied territory of Western Sahara under the brutal aggression, oppression, repression and arrogance of the government of the Kingdom of Morocco. We still remember the unfortunate October 9, over November 8, 2010 incidence of mass injustice perpetrated against the Sahrawi protest group of Gdeim Izik by the Moroccan authorities.
Gdeim Izik - a protest camp in Western Sahara which was established on October 9, 2010 with primary objective to protest against the ‘ongoing discrimination, poverty and human rights abuses experienced by Sahrawi local citizens’ in the occupied territory. When the protesters demanded the independence of Western Sahara as acknowledge by the United Nations Security Council Resolution that established the MINURSO office to organize a ‘Referendum’ for self-determination over Western Sahara in a very peaceful way, the protesters were confronted by violence and brutality of the Moroccan security forces which led to the dead of a 14-year-old Nayem Elgarhi whom no one had spoken about. Great casualties, injuries were sustained by Sahrawi people.
The aftermaths of the protest were therefore, marked by unlawful imprisonments of Sahrawi peaceful protesters, and the dismantlement of the camps by November 8, 2010. Political activists such as Noam Chomsky narrated the incidence of Gdeim Izik to constitute the start of the Arab Spring. It is very sad to understand that, much is spoken of the Arab Spring and the consequent Arab Winter, but nothing is spoken of the Gdeim Izik detainees who are being tortured in Moroccan prisons just because they decided to exercise some basic human rights such as the rights to self-determination and autonomy. For how long shall we suffer such conspiracy of negligence and injustice? The Sahrawi political prisoners will appear before Moroccan judges next 26th December 2016, after they have been fed with poisonous substances as they await their unlawful trials in prisons for 6 years today. Till when will these mess come to an end?
The ‘referendum’ just like in many other geographical spaces is a powerful solution to ending all forms of injustice against minority groups and those under the spelt of colonialism. Africa, will never be free until the last colony is decolonize. It is time we stand and seek justice for the protesters of Gdeim Izik. We demand that they be free and free Western Sahara. (SPS)