Repression and Nonviolent Resistance in Africa’s Last Colony


Democracy Now

24 November 2016

“… it became apparent why the crowd descended on us when they did. Sultana and other Sahrawi activists had organized a demonstration in the city center. The mob that surrounded us prevented us from getting to the protest, which was violently attacked by Moroccan plainclothes police. Brave Sahrawi independent journalists who operate under extreme threat in Western Sahara managed to capture video, which they later shared with us. That day’s violent repression was all too typical.”

Western Sahara: the last colony in Africa – video


The Guardian

24 November 2016

Annexed by Morocco more than 40 years ago, Western Sahara is known as the last colony in Africa.  Iman Amrani visits the Dakhla refugee camp in Algeria, where the remote Fisahara festival is held. Women explain how they are using film activism to empower their community.


Open Letter to UN Security Council: The Status Quo in Western Sahara is Unacceptable

Huffington Post, Blog, 21 July 2016

The Western Sahara Civil Society, a coalition of civil society groups from Western Sahara and international supporters, has written a strongly worded open letter to the President of the UN Security Council calling on the Council to place on record the Western Sahara Civil Society’s strong belief that the status quo in Western Sahara is unacceptable…and stating that immediate action to resolve the conflict must be pursued (cont.)

Article and letter >>

Polisario elects its new leader, Brahim Ghali

ALGIERS, July 9 (Reuters) – Western Sahara’s Polisario independence movement has elected a former ambassador to Algeria, Brahim Ghali, as its new leader after the death of its chief, Mohammed Abdelaziz, who led the front through a war with Morocco and years of diplomatic struggle for self-determination.
Abdelaziz died in May aged 68 after more than three decades as leader of the Sahrawi Polisario Front and president of its self-declared Sahrawi Republic, with its base in southern Algeria since a ceasefire in 1991.


A wave of divestments over illegal resource exploitation in Western Sahara

Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), 27 June 2016

In recent months, several investment firms have relinquished their interests in companies that are involved in the natural resource exploitation of occupied Western Sahara.
Ever more investors are leaving the small handful of the companies that take part in the exploration, exploitation and purchase of non-renewable resources. Details of 21 such companies are provided in this article.

WSRW article >>

World’s largest wealth fund drops Cairn and Kosmos over Western Sahara

tn_cairn_609Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW)  28 June 2016

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has announced it has excluded Kosmos Energy and Cairn Energy from its portfolios because of their oil search in Western Sahara. Approx. 54 million dollars of shares were sold.
“The Council recommends the exclusion (of Cairn and Kosmos)… due to an unacceptable risk of the companies contributing to serious violations of fundamental ethical norms through their hydrocarbon exploration offshore Western Sahara,” the council said.

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OBITUARY: Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic 1948-2016

Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic 1948-2016
Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA), June 2016

With the death on 31 May 2016 of Mohamed Abdelaziz, Saharawi president, the people of Western Sahara have lost a major figure in their recent history.

He was one of the founders of their independence movement, the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro) in 1973, fighting first against the Spanish coloniser, then in 1975 battling the Moroccan invader. He has been at its helm since the inaugural Polisario leader, El Ouali Mustapha Sayed, died in action in 1976. (cont.)
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Friends of Western Sahara have been saddened to hear of the death of Polisario President Mohamed Abdelaziz

Mohamed Abdelaziz helped establish the Polisario Front in 1976

Mohamed Abdelaziz helped establish the Polisario Front in 1976

Following a long illness President Mohamed Abdelaziz died on 31 May 2016.
A period of 40 days’ mourning has been announced, at the end of which a new president will be elected by an extraordinary general meeting of the Polisario Front. In the meanwhile, the speaker of the Saharawi National Council (Parliament), Khatri Addouh, will act as interim leader of the Polisario Front.
This is the end of an era and could be a turning point, but for now we simply assess the enormous contribution made by Mohamed Abdelaziz in the course of the past 40 years. As a young man….(cont.)
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