Western Sahara : Sahrawis in Tindouf, main victims of an everlasting conflict

At the time when a new and nth informal meeting is being prepared, to take place between Morocco and the Polisario, on the 21st January, next to New York to try to reach a settlement to the Western Sahara issue, the Sahrawi populations sequestrated in the Algerian desert in Tindouf continue wasting away in general indifference and denial of their fundamental rights.
Deprived of the right to freedom of movement and expression, dozens of thousands of Sahrawis are waiting for a solution to a conflict which has lasted for more than 35 years. A conflict which overcomes them, considering the complicated inextricable and regional stakes opposing Algeria to Morocco about the Western Sahara. The scandalous situation prevailing in Tindouf camps, well controlled by the Polisario and the Algerian military forces, has made hundreds of idle young Sahrawis desperate.

Some choose to escape and return back to Morocco to get out of distress, but some others are afraid to be imprisoned and to suffer from the same destiny reserved to the Polisario dissident, Mustapha Salma. The former Polisario executive was in fact been arrested in September 2010 and detained in a secret place, for more than two months, simply for having dared to support publicly the autonomy plan for the Sahara proposed by Morocco.
Under the international pressure and thanks to the determined action exerted by human rights international organizations, Polisario and Algeria were obliged to release Mustapha Salma. But it was a concession intended only to calm down the media and international NGOs. Because the Polisario dissident, who was meanwhile returned back to Mauritania, has till now not been authorized to return to his wife and children in Tindouf. He is still waiting, like thousands of other Sahrawis, to be given his rights.


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