Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Damn, Burundi know how to treat the girls (and SADR)

"We recognize SADR again? AWESOME."

Burundi's has diplomatic relations with SADR again. Burundi originally recognized SADR soon after in 1976, the same year the state was founded, but froze recognition in 2006. It just couldn't resist SADR's advances, though, so on Monday Burundi's foreign minister gave a SADR diplomat a note reestablishing relations. Rumor has it that she also sang "I'm Getting Back to Getting Back Into You" by the Silver Jews:
Baby won't you take this magnet
Maybe put my picture back on the fridge
I must've been crazy to let you get away like you did
Nice of Burundi to unfreeze relations, but boy is that a messed-up country. Rwanda gets more press for Hutu-Tutsi trouble, but Burundi has more than its fair share. I bring it up because I was reading in Dangerous Places, my go-to for travel porn, about all Burundi's roving bands of murderers.

Flickr photo from user enricod used under a Creative Commons license


  1. Will,

    Burundi isn't as sexy a conflict as Rwanda (no one made a movie about them), but thankfully, things are looking like peace. Between that and the LRA being dismantled, I sometimes think that things are going to be okay.


    P.S. - Happy you-know-what.

  2. Laroussi3:56 PM

    You're doing a great job with this blog Will (although I am not too fond of your Polisario bashing) and I am happy that Burundi has changed its policy towards SADR.

    Another interesting story reported at "Sahara Occidental" is that "dear" Khalihenna in 2005 admitted in a hearing with the reconciliation committee l’Instance équité et réconciliation, that war crimes were committed against Saharawis by the certain Moroccans.

    The confession was of course not intended to be made public, but the Moroccan news paper Al Jarida Al Oula somehow got hold of the declarations and published them.

    The story was written by Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet (banned from working in Morocco he writes for Spanish El Mundo) and can be found at ARSO in French or Spanish

    If you don't understand the French or Spanish you can always use Google's translation service.

  3. Burundi is looking better--my book was written in 2002. I just read the part about children stoning people while their parents cheered--chilling stuff.

    By you-know-what, do you mean my birthday? It is indeed my birthday! Hurray. My gifts are great so far.

    Laroussi, I was planning on writing about Ould Rachid today but it'll probably go up tomorrow. Fascinating stuff. Is Khalihenna not the Quizling we all thought him to be? What do you think?

    Also, I wouldn't call it Polisario bashing so much as Polisario tough loving.

  4. Will,

    You did know what.


  5. what a great blog!
    I am going to the refugee camps near Tindouf for four months, so im trying to learn as much as i can about everything concerning Western Sahara before that, and your blog is a great start!!

  6. Cool, I think everyone's interested in hearing what you think about Tindouf. Shoot me an email (contact info on the front page) and we'll talk more about it.

    Why are you off to Tindouf?

  7. Anonymous10:25 PM

    where's burundi in which continent?.
    and who's ali mrabat? he must be some sort a famous journalist known only by pro-polsario sadly he works with a racist newspaper.
    seriously guys what happen with judge (baltasar garzon) is he still a life and what about his opening inquiry on so called genocide committed in southern provinces of morocco or was it just another crappy story by polisario

    now (will) ginger here's a story for you before you go to bed , you seem to spend 24/7 on your website bitching about morocco ,what the deal with you , are you living on state benefit or getting paid by polisario.

    once upon a time morocco staged the biggest march to liberate his southern provinces from spain called ( the green march) on doing so spain agreed and made deal to hand over sahara . polisario were no where to be seen at that time when morocco liberated his southern provinces , until the algerian generals found out that polisario will be a good tool to use against morocco.

    so if you wanna know how polisario come up to exist you just have to read the history between the two neighbors ie (morocco and algeria)after their independence and plz avoid reading the (polisario history book).

  8. Anonymous11:49 PM

    Last anonymous you must really be a looser.

    You're trying to reflect things that you do on Mr. Will. But let me tell you that Will is above all that.

    You should at least respect the fact that he's so tolerant that he publishes your crap.

    I think Will is trying to teach you some lessons in democracy.

    I hope that you don't disappoint him. Please learn and take the benefit to your poor people and nasty regime. Charity starts at home and you should concentrate on the dire situation of your own country Morocco instead of wasting efforts on Western Sahara.

    Good luck and good night.

  9. Thanks for reading, most recent anonymous. I'm glad that you get the point behind leaving all comments, even the wackiest ones like Real-Sahara-Watch's, up. Even a broken clock is right twice a day and all that.

    I appreciated the bedtime story, mad Anonymous (aka Real-Sahara-Watch). While I think ginger is a sweet nickname, I'm worried that we might not have the special connection you insist we do--you should remember I'm not on the public or Polisario dole because you congratulated me on getting a job.

    One problem with your story, though: it's pretty easy to check when Polisario was founded and see that it was created before the Green March, unlike what you're saying. Why not just say that Polisario was created under Spanish rule but has no support from Sahrawis, so has to rely on Algeria? That's harder to disprove.

  10. Laroussi, the Kh. o. Errachid statement is translated here by ASVDH:


  11. Oh, and Brahim Sabbar freed after two years:


  12. Anonymous10:24 AM

    to the last anonymous stop nagging you sounds like an old lady , so if you have anything to say that make sense do so otherwise stop crapping about cause it stink.
    as for (will)is capable of defending himself after all he's defending polisario (slave traders) including you(lousy looser).

    The polisario is a rag-tag bunch of poorly equipped, half starving slobs. They have no significant military power, and any decent task force could take their entire supply infrastructure out in a matter of weeks.

    Who's zooming who

  13. Thanks for links, Alle. Khalihenna is such a character, and Brahim Sabbar's freedom is the best news out of Western Sahara in a while. Unfortunately, as you can see on the ASVDH site, Morocco has responded by beating up Mohammed Daddach.

  14. RASD's alphabetisation rate:

    male: 90%
    female: 90%

    Morocco's alphabetisation rate:
    male: 56,6%
    female: 31% (who was racist?)

    THIRTYONEPERCENT while KitschKing M6 spends 1,5€ MILION A DAY on the maintenance of its army in the occupied Western Sahara!!

    Morocco: 20% population under poverty line (who is starving?)

    maybe anonymous is illiterate as well (he just showed absolute ignorance on history).

    Judge Baltasar Garzón: you can read it on every (polisario?) news paper:

    El País: http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Garzon/abre/diligencias/delito/genocidio/Marruecos/Sahara/Occidental/elpepuint/20071030elpepuint_9/Tes

    Público: http://www.publico.es/028873/garzon/admite/querella/militares/marroquies/acusados/genocidio

    El Mundo: http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2007/10/30/internacional/1193771386.html

    ADN: http://www.adn.es/mundo/20071030/NWS-2539-Garzon-Sahara-Marruecos.html

    Libertad digital: http://www.libertaddigital.com/index.php?action=desanoti&cpn=1276316630

    Canarias 24 horas: http://canarias24horas.com/index.php/2007121742310/sociedad/garzon-admite-una-querella-contra-militares-marroquies-acusados-de-genocidio.html

    you just need to learn spanish (forget about it, much better to learn history of genocide Hassan II)

    AX 17:37h.

  15. fortunately not all Moroccans are OKKER's
    (Oppressed Kitsch Kingers Enjoying Repression) like RSW:



    just good news!

    AX 17:44h.

  16. Anonymous11:54 AM

    What last anonymous said about Polisario is exactly what Hassan II said in 1975.

    He said that it will only take him one week to finish the war and drink tea in the El Ayoun the capital of Western Sahara.

    He said that Polisario was just a group of nomads and his army could take care of them.

    But 33 years later Hassan II mission is still very much unfinished.

    Polisario liberated most of Western Sahara territory, imprisoned over 2000 Moroccan soldiers and captured a lot military equipments.

    The Moroccan had to build a wall to protect itself.

    At the same Polisrio defeated the Mauritanian army in the war.

    Morocco would not have survived if it did not get millions of Dollars from Saudi Arabia, arms from the US and France and intelligence from Israel.

    Polisario is till capable to teach Morocco another lesson if there is a resumption of hostilities.

    Last anonymous if you're a brave Moroccan come to Western Sahara as a soldier and don't hide behind a Wall like a chicken.

  17. Thanks for the Afrol article, AX. I'm glad the pro-independence demonstrations in Assa were peaceful on both sides. Sad to hear about a man getting 2 years in jail just for replacing a Moroccan flag with a Polisario one, though.

    Most recent anon, I agree with you that Polisario would've beat Morocco in the 80's if Morocco didn't receive foreign assistance. Do you think Polisario could still beat Morocco militarily now, though?

  18. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Yes Will.

    Polisario is capable of beating Morocco now.

    The Saharawis are brave and have a just cause.

    What wins wars are not the numbers of soldiers or the sophistticated military equipments. But rather the belief in the cause, determination and readiness to sacrifice.

    All of these elements are present amongst the Saharawi and you can add to them that the Saharawis are defending their own homeland and the Moroccans are not.

    When Saharawis used to capture Moroccan soldiers in the battle the first thing the Moroccans would say is please don't kill me I am just looking for my bread.

    Do think Morocco would win with an army like that???

  19. Not with an army like that, no. But from the angry reactions of Moroccans on the internet and in real life to the issue of territorial integrity, I think they think they're defending their homeland too.

  20. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Dont' believe that Will.

    It's much ado about nothing.

    It suffice that MVI we're withdrawing and all the Moroccans will just shut up.

    Most of those who write on the internet such as RWS are just agents of the Makhzen (the system).

    Moroccans are very vocal and brave but only on the internet.

    Otherwise they could have kicked out the ass of MVI (although he might like it!).

    What is the King doing on a private visit to Paris.

    A media reporter mentioned that he was spotted at gay club.

  21. I worry about calling people like Real Sahara Watch agents of the Makhzen, in part because it seems so unlikely and in part because I think it's unproductive for discourse. He says we're paid off by Polisario and discounts what we say, we say he's with the Makhzen so his opinion doesn't matter. It's no good for helping Western Sahara.

    As far as Mohammed VI being gay goes, I didn't realize until now that those rumors extended beyond this blog. Obviously there's nothing wrong with him being gay,
    but it would make his government's vicious treatment of Moroccan and foreign homosexuals even more reprehensible.

  22. great analysis last anonymous!

    Will, just think that even French and US powerful armies have been beaten by shepherds...

    If I were Polisario I'd wait for the support Spanish right wing PP could give to them if they reach power after PSOE (they still have until 2012).

    I feel so disturbed saying so:

    1st: It would ascertain diplomacy's and UN K.O.

    2nd: I hate PP politics (but on the other hand I hate PSOE ambiguity on WS issues)

    I had a history teacher who insistently repeated that politics make strange bed couples... (I think she quoted someone else)

    Does anyone remember the Isla Perejil crisis (Laila for Moroccans)?

    When PP was in the government (1996 - 2004) they increased cooperation with Algeria (right side in the map, left side in the heart), dramatically decreased economical help to Morocco and refused also the fee augmentation for fishing in Moroccan waters. Fishing agreements were blocked (is the most powerful weapon Moroccans have to blackmail Europeans, not only Spaniards), but were blocked not only whit Spain but also with EU. This issue highly disturbed KK M6 (arrived to the throne just a couple of years before). Besides at the same time, Mr. Aznar publicly supported UN plan for WS self-determination.

    On July 2002 KK M6 sent a couple of gendarmes to put a Moroccan flag in Isla Perejil (near Ceuta) breaking the status quo in the island (it was uninhabited for 40 years even though Spain and Morocco claimed for its sovereignty).

    Aznar's government called back his ambassador in Morocco and after a couple of days saying to KK M6 to abandon the island (Spain, EU, USA, NATO) Spain sent the army, took back the Moroccans (the gendarmes were before substituted by 28 soldiers) and placed an Spanish flag in that stupid rock.

    Even though I don't give a shit about Isla Perejil, I felt in that moment Aznar's gov. would not allow any more racketeering from KK M6... (the fish affair produced serious problems with fishing companies and fishermen).

    unfortunately, Zapatero didn't respect the Spanish official position and went to talk to Rabat (one of the worst things he's ever made). Nothing compared to his former boss Felipe González (the real Sahrawi traitor) who, according to Polisario, went to Chile to convince Mrs. Bachelet not to recognise RASD last January...

    what a long post!

    AX 19:39h.

  23. Hassan's war crimes? Garzón?


    that's a bomb!


  24. Thanks for the history, Sahara Libre Torino. But one more thing. Did'nt Aznar's government end after all the terror in Madrid trainstations? Those bombs were put there by a secretive organisation but some of those terrorists came from Morocco. Involvement of Morocco in the attacks maybe could explain some of Zapateros caution. Or am I a conspiracy fantast?

  25. Long post but a good one, Ax. Thanks for explaining more about Spanish politics on Western Sahara. I wish you could take PP's position on Western Sahara without dealing with its other politics.

    Van Kaas, I think you are being a conspiracy theorist. If Spain thought the Moroccan government was involved in the train bombings don't you think they would've responded?

  26. Well, in a bipolar system as Spanish (or even more the US), each party tries to take advantage of any minimal circumstance.

    I was living in Italy already but when I heard from the minister of internal affairs that it was an ETA bomb (several ETA bombs) I absolutely trust him. Even though French Le Monde and Italian Corriere della Sera were talking about Al Qaeda (whatever it may mean). It took a long period and many parliamentary commissions to stop with the PP promoted rumours of conspiracy between Zapatero's PSOE and ETA to avoid another PP victory.

    ETA still kills both PP and PSOE politicians in the Spanish side of the Basque country. But it was the very first time our Ministry lied about ETA. and it would have been the first time ETA wouldn't have recognised their own crimes.

    Your theory Van Kaas:

    the bombs were put a couple of days before elections. Polls said that PP would have win without any problem, and I feel it was right.
    I guess even Zapatero believed it. But: Aznar supported US/Brit invasion of Irak (3 milion ppl demonstrated in Madrid to stop it)but at that time Aznar had absolute majority in Senate and Congress (he acted like KK M6 --> dictator: "I'll do what I think is better to my country" He said with hypocritical attitude).

    At the same time PP based his campaign in beating ETA (PSOE talks about "dialogue").

    So you can imagine, 3 days before elections what a nightmare for PP was: if they would have admitted the Muslim track; electors would have changed PP for PSOE. So they preferred to lie, hoping the lie could remain "alive" until March 14th. But such a lie wasn't intended to live more than one day because evidences were found (Corans, different explosives than Eta's ones, etc).

    PP was so despicable that the "reflexion day" (day before elections) Aznar went to Palacio de la Zarzuela (King Juan Carlos I residence) to ask him to decree the "emergency state" and postpone the elections (knowing they would lose... night and day demonstrations took place in front of PP headquarters).

    So I think that Zapatero wouln't have win the power without the March 11 bombs in the trains, and I think that those persons who considered Aznar a terrorist knew perfectly the political result of this horrible action.

    Oh god, this post will be long too...

    I just don't understand that "Zapatero's caution" you said Van Kaas (niet roken hier)


    AX 22.46h.

  27. Will: "if Spain thought the Moroccan government was involved in the train bombings don't you think they would've responded?"
    But did they not? Such a response could very well be not intended as such for television broadcast. Not all responding is done publicly. But Zapatero brought the King to Cueta and Melilla, first time ever in history if I am not mistaken. A big protest followed, as anticipated, I guess. Only a few days later the Moroccans received a delegation of NATO. For tea, ofcourse.
    Maybe it is my fantasy but I see something happened: Spanish provocation, NATO alertness.
    What other kind of response would you else think of?
    Ofcourse, we should keep in mind the Moroccan government may be formed by different groups, and so could be the Moroccan secret services. And it is all very much speculation on my part indeed, for I really know not much about the subject.
    Sahara Libre Torino: I think Zapatero is very cautious for there is no direct Spanish accusation towards Morocco at all, and that is wise to my mind facing a secretative enemy like the organisation behind the Madrid bombings.
    Whoever that may be - it may very well be not a Moroccan gouvernmental organisation. But it could given the criminal record there.

  28. Well Van Kaas, that's true that not only King Juan Carlos made his first visit to Ceuta and Melilla recently. Zapatero made an official visit in 2006 (1981 was the last presidential visit).

    But between Morocco and Spain relations are always tense: Zapatero has multiplied the economical aid to Morocco (but on the other hand visits Spanish enclaves in northern Africa).

    "I give you something but don't bore me about sovereignty" they told to the just arrived Mohamed, who seemed to be more open minded than his father but it was just a make up (otherwise it's impossible to think on Perejil crisis). Note that both King and Zapatero visited Spanish northern Africa enclaves after July 2002.

    Spanish gov knows that Morocco is THE enemy: after Perejil Island crisis, Spain increased a lot its military expenditure, aware of the delicate situation with the southern neighbour.

    In this matters fantasy is an attitude and maybe you are right. But I agree with Will in the sense that if Spanish gov had ever suspected Moroccan gov. involvement on March 11 it would have started a new war with Morocco.

    More info about Spanish enclaves in northern Africa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plazas_de_soberan%C3%ADa


    AX 01:11h.

  29. Anonymous8:16 PM

    (will) plz call off your dogs.

    (sahara libretorino)the new kid in the bloke , what's with you some sort of new hand made polisario walky talky bitching about morocco.
    i know you speak arabic words you just don't know it , cause 25% of spanish langua is made up of arabic words , most of your cities and villages have arabic names , in fact the famous spanish dish (paella) is arabic its means the leftover ,so plz don't try to lecture us about our history.
    i just been to your website and boy! not even a single feedback , maybe because its full of polisario history book flavored with algerian propaganda and garnished with spanish media ie (el mundo,el pais,.....).
    as for genocide , i can dig some nasty truth about your country what they did to sahraoui people and what sort of weapons they used against rif people in north of morocco the forbidden weapons called(chemical).
    now pp and aznar if you do some digging you'll found out he was in favour of autonomy and pp always use the conflict when there's an election in spain , and try to have some manners cause you sounds like you suffering from moroccophobia.

    to the last anonymous what the heck you just a kid who need to cleanse his back side before you join cause you stink.

    (van kass) stay out of weakipidia and get a hobie.

    ginger put leash on your ....

  30. sahraoui torino, please stop lying :

    1: Morocco controls most of the sahara (2/3 and the other 1/3 is as a no men's land)

    2: Moroccans will dye for their sahara

    I'll add a thing, now in the sahara there is more moroccan from the north than moroccan sahraoui so :

    3: sadr won't ever be reality

  31. SO funny Anonymous!

    Paella: from Latin "patella" is a rice dish (strangely Valencia is a big rice producer, I've seen no rice production in Morocco though).

    My mother tongue derives from Latin. There's a little influence of Arabic indeed, but not a 25% dear!

    I remember from the school: all the words beginning in AL-

    Almohada; Almirez, alcantarilla,

    as the name of the Spanish cities... most of them were founded by Romans (even those in Al-andalus, Andalucía) but you are right that many cities have Arabic-derived names or in some cases Arabic adapted from the original roman names (as Sevilla).

    I really appreciate the heritage every civilisation has left in Spain (as well as in other countries, I'm not a national-chauvinist) Iberians, Greeks, Celtics, Fenicians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and Jews... I appreciate this strange mixture.

    I love the Alhambra; the Mezquita of Cordoba... and the human rights!

    you speak nonsense: why do you say "plz don't try to lecture us about our history" I was writing about Spanish politics (just if you allow me to).

    Or you don't have read my posts (nor my blog) or you are kind of dyslexic: I've never supported Spanish Sahara but Sahara Occidental/RASD. I've never supported any kind of colonisation, and is for that I'am DEEPLY ANTI CORRUPTED M6 (not moroccophobic at all).

    I have some Moroccan friends here in Italy Anonymous, the difference is that they are open minded + littered = anti occupation

    If I like Algerian or South African positions is just because they are ethical: countries which have suffered occupation and genocide that now are (logic) ANTI-IMPERIALIST, Cases like morocco are an exception to every ethic (Sahrawi helped Moroccans to fight against Spanish and French powers).

    ADVISE: read the letter Thabo Mbeki sent to your KK M6 in 2004: it's a lesson of honesty!


    (I really hope this lecture will open your eyes)

    AX 12:43

  32. SAAD:

    I have a new for you, I'm sure it will make you happy: RASD IS REALITY!!!

    I know that your people lives in a rotten regime, but believe me, more than 80 countries have recognised RASD from 1976!!

    Isn't that incredible? Sure Saad it's not a lie! you can read it on foreign newspapers;

    Kitsch King wanted to be an "imperialist" but he mistook historical period. Nowadays those like him are just known as CORRUPTED GENOCIDES (that sounds less poetic I know),

    Sahrawi land is 3/3 of Sahara Occidental, remember that is you KK M6 regime which occupies 2/3 contrarily to the International Law and the most elementary ETHICS

    AX 13:05h.

  33. Anonymous12:25 PM

    (sahara torino) now you sounds like a member of(KKK) so what's your beef with morocco it feels like you have a personal problem with morocco , even polisario have manners when they address their enemy.
    as for the letter from (south africa) yep i did read it longtime ago , now you tell me what polisario achieved since south africa recognised them , in fact just recently (SA) was a member of security council they even held a presidency of the security council
    for a month and guess what !they been slapped left and right and this time by the russin as well.

    the fact are there.
    never ever been any country called western sahara prior to the invasion of spain and it'll never be.

    polisario wouldn't exist if it wasn't for algeria the latter tried every trick in the book for the last 30 years with no prospect.

    now the sahraouis who born before 1975 do have a right to reclaim their spanish citizenship ,if i was a polisario i will be worried cause within a year the camps will be empty where's that leave polisario applying for a visa to burundi.

    oh! an other thing (cadiz Seville , cordoba , Granada , Toledo , .............)they all arabic names spoken with spanish flavour.
    ginger what you cooking ......

  34. sadr is reality??? hahaha. for burundi?
    how come it's a reality before any vote from sahraoui?
    are burundi chosing for them?, are you chosing for them ?. that what you call autodetermination...

  35. Sevilla: from the Roman Hispalis; that Hispanic Arabs pronounced Ishbiliya (they didn't pronounce P). then Sevilla.

    Granada: etymological origin discussed: or from Arab Gar-anat or from Latin Granatum.

    Toledo: first written form Toletum found in Tito Livio writings (roman historic).

    Córdoba: etymological origni discussed: greek, fenicium, caldeum, (no arabics).

    Most of Spanish cities were founded by Iberians or Romans, arabs arrived too late (711) to found cities. Anyway arabs in Spain were not intollerant moroccans; history says that hispanic Christians, hispanic Jews and hispanic Arabs all they lived in peace and harmony. Would you have known something about history (included the fact of being oppressed by french and spanish during colonial era), you'd be one of those clever moroccans that support self determination right of Western Sahara.

    OR... do you want to invade also Spain by telling KK M6 has any right on it?


  36. Saad, Burundi is just recognizing SADR as the government-in-exile for Sahrawis. The party it represents, Polisario, was chosen by a majority of Sahrawis before the 1976 invasion. It's the same as if any other country was invaded, its government fled, but was still recognized by other countries.

    Speaking of recognition, how's recognition of Moroccan occupation going?

  37. will stop being romantic and be realistic, or i would say honest.
    polisario is an army nobody voted for them, if they weren't supported by algeria,lybia,cuba...you won't have this blog, maybe you would have a blog about zimbabwe and their dictator who is destroying the country,Mugabe another friend of sadr ....

    well about moroccan position, we are supported by usa, France and another great democracies, don't try to fool me, mister romantic

  38. El-Ouali3:09 PM

    Fact 1: Countries recognising moroccan sovereignity over western sahara: 0
    Fact 2: Countries recognising the SADR: 81
    Fact 3: Who supported Morocco in the war?: France, USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, apartheid South Africa...