Skip to main content

Sahrawi protesters recount recent abuses

The people of Western Sahara have been seeking independence for decades and still suffer for their efforts.
Sahrawi women hold Polisario Front's flags during a ceremony to mark 40 years after the Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the disputed territory of Western Sahara on February 27, 2016 at the Sahrawi refugee camp of Dakhla which lies 170 km to the southeast of the Algerian city of Tindouf. 
SADR was declared in 1976 by the Polisario Front -- a rebel movement that wants independence for Western Sahara -- which fought a guerrilla war against Rabat's forces before a ceasefire in 19
Read in 

LAAYOUNE, Western Sahara — Though the United Nations’ peace mission in Western Sahara lies lifeless, the struggle of the Sahrawi people is very much alive.

As the indigenous Sahrawis strive for independence from Morocco, progress and setbacks are intertwined. In July came progress: Morocco’s highest appeals court ordered a new trial for 24 Sahrawi activists who had been arrested after a mass protest in 2010 at the Gdeim Izik camp. Yet on Aug. 21, political activist Sukain Jad Ahlu was leading a peaceful protest at the Fem El Oud beach when she was attacked by police and badly beaten.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.