The Western Sahara is the last African country that has not yet achieved formal and substantial independence. According to ONU, the international status of Western Sahara is that of a territory to be decolonized, included in the list of non-autonomous territories. Today Morocco represents a country that illegally occupies the Sahara.
TINDOUF REFUGEE CAMPS
Under the Moroccan bombardment circa 200,000 Sahrawis chose the way to escape from the Algerian territory, in the western area, near Tindouf, on a desert plateau covered with stones and sand, 500 meters above sea level. The camps are structured in 4 provinces (Wilayas), 25 municipalities (Dairas) and 3 residential schools.
The most distant tent city is located about 160 km from the center and the others are reachable within a radius of 30/60 km. The wilaya and the adira have names of cities and places of Western Sahara, occupied by Moroccan troops, to emphasize the close link with their land of origin.
There is a disenchantment among the Saharawis: the various delays and the slowness of the ONU have led many people to lose confidence in the United Nations. The current situation is a stalemate and the referendum seems to be far away.
There is no doubt that this reality is mainly due to the lack of will from Morocco. Morocco is being comforted by some countries that not only don’t want peace but also they hinder the respect of international law. Among these there is France, which continues to put political pressure on international bodies such as UNHCR or WFP (World Food Programme) to reduce the rations of food to be distributed among Sahrawis within the refugee camps.
The media outflow of systematic violence in the occupied territories, the peaceful resistance that its victims continue to support and the widespread activity to raise awareness of the Sahrawi cause, carried out by the Polisario, seem to be, today, the only real possibility to restart the process to peace, which the United Nations, in these 30 years, have not been able to manage, crushed by the pro-Moroccan position of France and by international war and economic interests.
LIFE WITHIN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
With the invasion of 1976 and the entry of troops into the territory, the Moroccan monarch started the process of denaturing the Sahrawi identity, marked by countless violence and systematic violations of human rights and by a campaign of denigration of the Polisario Front. While trying to eliminate all signs of Saharan identity, a policy of populating the colony was pursued, so as to give a different configuration to Western Sahara: a population loyal to its king. Moroccan settlers were recruited thanks to an economic incentive and to the prospect of land recovery. In the occupied territories, the military police have created a real regime of terror. One of the greatest violations taking place in Western Sahara is, in fact, the disappearance, kidnapping of Sahrawis in general.
The two boxing schools were built respectively in the village where the arrival of the Sahara Marathon is located and the second one in the village where the Marathon starts.