Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Today's the 32nd anniversary of the Green March

Lame. I learned that from a Time article about Spanish-Moroccan tensions, via of commenter and Western Sahara associate Justin Knapp. Harassed Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet is quoted as thinking the Ceuta and Melilla saber-rattling isn't that big of a deal:
Still, Lmrabet is skeptical about the brouhaha. "This isn't about foreign policy — it's for domestic consumption," he says. In his view, the Moroccan government gains something from the ongoing tension with its neighbor across the Mediterranean. In September parliamentary elections, only 37% of eligible voters went to the polls. The low turnout — the worst in the country's history — was widely interpreted as a sign that voters felt irrelevant to the political process. "It's not unusual for Morocco to whip up nationalist sentiment when it wants to create a distraction from the country's real problems, says analyst Amirah-Fernández. "But it's not a good sign."


  1. Will,

    And notice who that journalist is... stirring the pot again, Ali?


  2. Laroussi6:59 AM

    I think Ali Lmrabet and Amirah-Fernández have good points.

    The main audience for the Moroccan propaganda is currently not the international community or the Spanish government, but the Moroccans.

    Nationalism is a often used spear to avoid discussion about real matters. Instead the rulers try to focus on external enemies.

    Western Sahara has long been used as such a propaganda arm.

    Now Morocco's rulers even compare Ceuta and Melilla with the occupation of Palestine, according to Spanish daily El País.

    "The decolonisation remains a current issue in some rare places in the world like the occupied Palestine, the cities of Ceuta y Melilla and the Mediterranean islands" (referring to the Spanish rocks outside the Moroccan coast), Prime minister Abbas el Fassi said in the Moroccan quasi parliament on Monday.

    They do have a curious conception of international law, the Moroccan rulers. Palestine is occupied (we all agree on that), so is Ceuta and Melilla they say, but they consider Western Sahara as "liberated"... and of course any debate about the latter "fact" is illegal.

    Somehow Morocco completely has missed the seemingly small but very important principle that it is the people in the colonized territory that has the right to decide its future, not anyone else.

    And this is the "democracy" that EU supports and wants as favoured trading partner? No wonder the world looks the way it does when "real politic" still seems to be the leading word in most international relations and is put ahead of fundamental human rights.

  3. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Hi Will

    Moroccans and Many people even historians don’t know that what called „ Greek March” ( and Saharawis called „black March” ) have never reach Western Sahara. This March ended in Tarfaya. Geographically situated in the deep south of Morocco mostly populated by Saharawis tribes.
    What get into WS is Moroccan Armed tanks and Army vehicles.

    Concerning Ceuta and Mellila. People there want to be Spanish citizens and the Moroccans know well about that. they ( and many others) in Morocco are sure that if these 2 cities will Moroccan they will back down for centuries…


  4. umm hey will ..... so i just dropped by to check your blog ... and i am deeply sorry for what i am about to say but i think you could help me .... we have the model united antiosn conf ... and i am a moroccon delegate and i have to support morocco invading the western sahara although i personally do not ..... could you pleas help me by giving names of some sites from your extensive research on this issue regarding the moroccon policies and why they do not wanna leave western sahara ... and well the stuff they are saying in the united nations about it ... i will be deeeply thankful to you ...

  5. That is good news, Laroussi!

    Butterfly, send me an email. I'm happy to play devil's advocate.

  6. Anonymous4:34 PM

    to you miss blue butterfly


    are you still day dreaming , thinking over time , laughing till your cheeks claps ,sleeping
    confused get dot com

  7. What is that supposed to mean?

  8. Laroussi7:20 PM

    Here are more news from Norway and here. This time of the worse kind. But there is also a great video clip with Rabab Amidane. Frustrating, but with a clear and strong message. An important testimony.

  9. Anonymous9:25 PM

    amidane family arrested...


  10. Anonymous3:53 AM


    Frank Ruddy
    U.S. Ambassador (ret.)
    *Former Deputy Chairman
    U.N. Peacekeeping Mission (MINURSO)
    For Western Sahara

    World Affairs Council

    Juneau October 31, 2007
    Anchorage November 2, 2007

  11. Laroussi5:13 PM

    Here is the speach of Ambassador Frank Ruddy.

  12. Anonymous12:47 PM

    An American wedding in the Saharawi refugee camps

    14/11/200- SPS


    Two American citizens from Wisconsin (USA), Ben and Jessie Lenz celebrated their marriage in the 27 of February School Camp (Saharawi refugee camps), in solidarity with the Saharawi people.

    The parents and friends of the couple came all the way from the USA to attend the wedding organised following the Saharawi traditional ways.

    Along with dozens American guests, the couple was dressed in traditional clothes and was received by the Saharawis in a traditional tent.

    The ceremony was animated by the musical band of the Cultural Centre Marty "Ennaaja", which organised a musical night and classical dances on the honour of the bride and groom.

    The American couple stressed in a statement to SPS, their "love for the Saharawi culture”, indicating that they will "continue working and praying for the Saharawi people’s freedom".

    They further estimated that "this initiative is a step forwards in the strengthening of the ties of friendship between the American and Saharawi peoples".

  13. Awesome to hear about. The Lenzs are good people.

  14. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Hi Will

    hope no news is good news

  15. Laroussi5:14 PM

    There are lots of stories. Go visit ASVDH, UPES or Vest-Sahara. The latter speaks about a somewhat strange change in position by the Norwegian government.

    They will no longer talk about Western Sahara as occupied in order not to "unilaterally influence or advance the outcome of the peace-efforts, or, the process of self-determination".

    I wonder if they will stop calling the Palestinian territories occupied as well...

    Politics. Bah!