Saharawi Democratic Republic
Saharawi Republic has been in news for the last few days. Moroccan occupying forces broke up a peaceful demonstration by Saharawi people in the capital El Aauin. This sit in demonstration was going on for the last few weeks and western media never reported on it. Last week Moroccan forces moved in broke up the protest. According to Polisario Front more than dozen protesters were killed.
Saharawi republic aka western Sahara was a Spanish colony . It borders Morocco , Mauritania and Algeria. Saharawi people who are distinct from neighboring countries have been fighting against colonization for a long time. Their independence movement is known as Polisario Front. Saharawi Republic is also known for it's mineral riches. Algeria supported Polisario with arms and training. In 1975 Spain decided to withdraw unilaterally in the midst of collapsing European colonies in
in Africa. In Spain too Franco dictatorship came an end and the new democratic government did not have any interest in colonies. However multinationals had interest in Africa and Saharawi republic. In addition Polisario was seen as a pro Soviet liberation movement along with it's backer Algeria. Morocco and Mauritania were seen as allies by west. With the tacit support of west including Spain, Morocco and Mauritania invaded Saharawi republic in 1975 and carved up the country.
Polisario continued it's struggle for independence. After protracted struggle Mauritania withdrew and Morocco annexed the rest of Saharawi republic. Morocco sent tens of thousands Moroccans to colonize the republic and soon the capital El Aauin had a majority Moroccan population. Moroccan forces carried out mass oppression of the Saharawi people. Thousands fled into exile in Polisario administered part of SADR and Algeria and since then living in refugee camps. Polisario continued with the struggle until 1991 when a ceasefire was agreed between Moroccan forces and Polisario. Since then UN sponsored talks have taken place with little progress.
SADR is a member of OAU and recognized by many Arab countries. More than 80 countries have recognized SADR. Polisario wants referendum within the Saharawi people to decide on the future of SADR. Morocco with the support of west refuses. Only solution to the Saharawi problem is a free referendum supervised by UN. Before that all the Saharawi exiles should return home and Moroccan colonizers should go home. Morocco's intention is to colonize SADR and make the Saharawi people the minority. Western countries and multinationals are supporting Moroccan occupation for ideological and economic reasons