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Western Sahara

The fall of Gaddafi has led to a major loss of support for Polisario, the independence movement in Western Sahara, illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. Guma al-Gamaty, London spokesperson for the new national transitional council government, was reported as saying in early September: “The future of the Sahara can only be conceived under the sovereignty of Morocco”. Algeria is now the only neighbouring country friendly to Western Sahara. Meanwhile the president of Women’s Advancement for Economic and Leadership Advancement in Africa, Dr Basirat Nahibi, announced in September that an international conference on the struggle of the Sahrawi women for freedom would be held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 27-28 September. A new 11-minute film, Silent Sahara Rising, on the struggles in Western Sahara, made by Swedish production company Axiom Films, has been released . “Look at my shoes,” one young Sahrawi in the Sahrawi capital Laayoune says in the film. “We Western Saharans in this neighbourhood, we have no work, no rights.” Western Sahara’s population is 260,000 of which half are Moroccan migrants who entered since 1975. Silent Sahara Rising is viewable on YouTube: www.tinyurl.com/peacenews457

Topics: Western Sahara