Sahara Libre!: A Roundtable Discussion on Western Sahara’s Struggle for Liberation (26 March 2024)

Sahara Libre!: A Roundtable Discussion on Western Sahara’s Struggle for Liberation (26 March 2024)

March 26, 2024 | 11:00AM Western Sahra | 12:00NN Algeria Refugee Camps | 7:00PM Manila | 6:00PM Jakarta

On the UN’s maps of remaining non-self- governing territories in Africa, there is one last remaining colonial question left– the case in question is Western Sahara. It was during the last months of 1975, that the Saharawi people’s aspiration to independence took a serious blow. The territory’s colonial power, Spain, abandoned Western Sahara without finalizing the process of independence, as the UN had demanded. Instead, it allowed Moroccan military forces to invade the territory, in violation of international law and a decision from the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Moroccan forces met resistance from the Saharawis, who had organized under the liberation movement Polisario. After 16 years of armed conflict, the two parties entered into a ceasefire agreement in 1991. According to the agreement, a referendum on independence in Western Sahara was to take place in 1992. The solution was in line with the over 100 UN resolutions calling for the respect of the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination. 

In 2020, after 18 months without a UN special envoy and no progress towards a referendum, Moroccan forces clamped down on a Saharawi protest in a part of Guerguerat that is located outside of the Moroccan occupied area, and in a zone where military presence is strictly forbidden under the terms of the ceasefire agreement. Polisario considered the truce violated and the agreement with Morocco terminated. Armed conflict resumed after 29 years.

The ILPS Commission 10, and Solidarity Rising is organizing a roundtable-discussion to dive deeper into the Saharawi people’s pursuit of independence. Examine the role of Morocco in barring Western Sahara’s realization of independence, as well as imperialist powers like the United States supporting the colonial claims of Morocco over Western Sahara. 

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