In the Tindouf camps, the youth are no longer the only refugees demanding the departure of the current Polisario leaders. Women have also joined the protest movement to express the same claims. The Polisario leadership, led by Mohamed Abdelaziz, is decried, more than ever before, by large segments of the Sahrawi population of Tindouf. In the past, only young idle people dared to venture on this mined field, but since the advent of the Arab Spring, broader sections of the population have rallied the ranks of protesters and dissenters. The Sahrawi women, who have been repressed and silenced for so long a time, decided to take their fate in their own hands.
To this end, scores of militants and housewives have set up an association dubbed “the Coordination of Sahrawi women for regime change”. The purpose of the young organization is to militate to do justice to the Sahrawi woman through deep reforms which can be materialized only with the removal of Abdelaziz and his acolytes.
The Coordination asserted, in a recent release, that time for change has come. The despicable silence imposed for a long time on Sahrawi women can no longer be tolerated. To keep silent comes to be accomplice in the crimes that have been committed daily by the Polisario leaders for nearly four decades. The slogan “go away” is present everywhere: on people’s tongues, on walls, on the banners lifted during demonstrations and even on the pathways leading to the Polisario headquarters in the Hassi Rabouni camp. The repeated uprisings in the Tindouf camps are the expression of the disgust and despair of the Sahrawi refugees, who have lost any confidence in their leaders, the Coordination said in the release.
After long years of vain expectations and hope and after they realized that no change would be coming soon, the Sahrawi young people and women decided to revolt against their leaders. For them, these leaders did nothing to bring them out of the dead end, limiting themselves to reject any solution that is likely to put an end to their forced exile and to their ordeal in the Algerian desert. For these numerous protesters, the only means to get out of this deadlock is to provoke the immediate departure of the Polisario irremovable leaders who handle the refugees with an iron fist. It is in this perspective that the Coordination was created by the Sahrawi women, who have one sole wish: to be able to return to Sakia El Hamra and Oued Addahab and end once and for all 38 years of suffering under the grip of Mohamed Abdelaziz and his armed militias.