Conflict in Western Sahara

Dolmen, WS - photo by NPJB on flickr

An urgent message reached me this morning in Paris, from a concerned world citizen regarding Western Sahara.  With all the travels and themes being focused upon here on my small corner of the internet, much has been happening in a rarely reported on region of the world known as Western Sahara. This region, located below Morocco, once a colony of Spain, has been known as a non self governing territory by the UN since the 1960’s.  It has also been partially occupied by Morocco, despite the fact that there is a government in exile (located in Algeria) known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) who also claim rights to govern the non-nation.

The full story is of course more complex than my few lines lifted from wikipedia, ciaworldfactbook, news reports, etc.  But what really warrants extra attention at the moment, and prompted the message of concern this morning, are the violent clashes between protesters and Moroccan authorities in Western Sahara. Those taking to the streets to demand more rights, more services, and more recognition from the authorities have been met by police brutality. An unconfirmed number of deaths have been reported over the past week alone.

Back in the 90’s, a peace agreement had been signed, promising a referendum on statehood. A promise that never came true. Now the international community pays limited attention to what is very much everyone’s responsibility as member states of the United Nations and people who believe in human rights for all.

More on this, soon.


  1. November 12, 2010

    Wow Mark, you’re gonna single-handedly solve the world’s crises in no time!

  2. Anne Treseder
    November 13, 2010

    Olivia Mattis introduced me to your website. Parabens! I very much appreciate your reporting on Aristides de Sousa Mendes, and now, on Western Sahara. Muito obrigada, and Viva Timor-Leste!

    • bicyclemark
      November 14, 2010

      Hello Anna, thank you for your comments. It has been a pleasure and inspiring to learn more about Sousa Mendes and hear from those involved over the past weeks. Timor Leste has also of course been a topic that is never far from my mind and heart as well. Best regards from Amsterdam.

  3. luiz paulo
    November 17, 2010

    There are so many conflicts that are forgotten by the UN who remembers Zimbawbé, Congo and others as there is no “interest in solving” there will be no peace

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