The recently formed “Youth Movement for Change” has declared the creation of its military wing in order to defend itself against attempts by the Polisario to disband the group. The movement, established in the past few months in the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria for Saharwi refugees, is calling for Polisario’s leadership to make way for younger members in light of rampant corruption.
Protesters and security forces clashed in the Western Saharan capital of Laayoune following peaceful protests by supporters of the Polisario Front who were calling for self-determination and the expansion of the UN mission in the disputed territory. This comes at a time when Morocco has been moving towards oil extraction in the Atlantic off the coast of Western Sahara, and the UN seems to be moving to monitor human rights abuses through MINURSO. Continue reading
A new group calling itself the “Youth of Change” movement has appeared in the Tindouf camps for Sahrawi refugees in southwestern Algeria. The group has released its first statement vowing to fight for freedom and dignity in the face of corruption and exploitation by the Polisario Front. Continue reading
Morocco has renewed French petrol company Total’s licence to prospect for oil off the coast of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the territory following Spain’s withdrawal in 1975. A UN-brokered ceasefire was reached between Morocco and the Polisario Front, on the condition that a referendum about self-determination be held. No referendum has been held to this day, and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination say that Morocco is strengthening its control over the region by granting oil contracts. The Polisario Front considers the licences granted to French Total and American Kosmos to prospect for oil illegal. Continue reading
Algeria has recently confirmed its support for Western Saharan self-determination. The issue has been a dark spot on Algerian-Moroccan relations for decades. Morocco considers the territory, a former Spanish colony, to be a part of its southern lands, and has denied Sahrawi attempts for a referendum on self-determination. The Polisario Front and representatives of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic are based in southern Algeria.