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News Archive 2009
News Archive 2008

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Morocco slammed for Sahara travel ban
Daily Mirror - Western Sahara campaigner Aminatou Haider brought worldwide attention to her country's plight by going on hunger strike.
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By Tom Parry
Daily Mirror
26 January 2010

By remaining in Lanzarote airport for 32 days in protest at the Moroccan government's refusal to recognise her home address, she got an issue which the world mostly ignores pushed nearer to the front of the UN's agenda.

Just how little importance governments like Britain give Western Sahara can be seen here.

Now Human Rights Watch is calling for Morcco to end its effective ban on foreign travel for activists like Haider.

Since August last year the authorities have launched a crackdown, turning back Saharawis (the native population of Western Sahara) at air or land borders.

Human Rights Watch believes the measures are part of wider repressive measures to break the back of the independence movement.

Morocco does not recognise Saharawis rights to sovereignty of the long strip of desert territory which also borders Algeria and Mauritania.

Most Western Sahara citizens live in refugee camps near the southern Algerian military city Tindouf.

They are separated from the mineral-rich coast by the longest continuous stretch of landmines in the world.

Meanwhile both Morocco and Algeria are under pressure to break the diplomatic deadlock over Western Sahara.

Morocco is said to be offering limited autonomy for what it regards as a region, while the Polisario freedom movement wants a full referendum.

World leaders fear the region could become a hotbed for al-Qaeda extremists if the issue is not settled.



News archive:
14.04 - 2010RFK and HRW call for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
10.04 - 2010Morocco to appoint a Polisario deserter Ambassador to Spain
09.04 - 2010Morocco must end harassment of Sahrawi activists
05.04 - 2010Worldwide appeal for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
06.04 - 2010Moroccan crack-down against group of Saharawi activists
04.04 - 2010Appeal by political prisoner's mother
02.04 - 2010Health Sahrawi political prisoners on hunger strike deteriorating
16.03 - 2010Emprisoned Saharawi activist wins human rights award
05.03 - 2010First EU-Morocco summit: Donít forget human rights in Western Sahara
05.03 - 2010Take action for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
24.02 - 2010European Parliament's lawyers declare EU fishing illegal
12.02 - 2010Parties to Western Sahara dispute commit to further UN-backed talks
09.02 - 2010Parties in Western Sahara dispute to hold new round of talks tomorrow
28.01 - 2010Morocco slammed for Sahara travel ban
23.01 - 2010Peak phosphorous: mankind's latest threat
18.12 - 2009Activist's "victory" over Morocco puts Sahara back on world agenda
18.12 - 2009Activist heads home after ending hunger strike
17.12 - 2009As UN Council meets on Western Sahara, ill Haidar is freed
17.12 - 2009Western Sahara hunger striker taken to hospital
05.12 - 2009AU calls on Moroccan authorities to allow return of rights activist

Africa's last colony Since 1975, three quarters of the Western Sahara territory has been illegally occupied by Morocco. The original population lives divided between those suffering human rights abuses under the Moroccan occupation and those living in exile in Algerian refugee camps. For more than 40 years, the Saharawi await the fulfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
Trailer: Western Sahara, Africa's last colony


Have a look at this teaser for the upcoming documentary "Western Sahara, Africa's last colony". Coming soon.
Book: International Law and the Question of Western Sahara


To our knowledge the first collective book on the legal aspects of the Western Sahara conflict. Available in English and French.