Thursday, June 12, 2008
If you were occupying Western Sahara, how would you win Sahrawi hearts?
The Moroccan administrators of Western Sahara and the Sahrawis who work with them aren't exactly experts at winning Sahrawi hearts and minds. The frustrating status quo continues in Western Sahara, but authorities seem more interested in antagonizing Sahrawis over stupid things than in convincing them Moroccan rule is a pretty good second choice to independence.
Play Devil's Advocate (or Stephen Levitt) and think about what you would do if you were trying to keep Western Sahara quiet.
The first thing I would do is crack down on the harassment and assault of Sahrawis, especially students, by Moroccans. All it does is convince Sahrawis they can't live freely with Moroccans and force them to rely on one another, creating the kind of tight-knit ethnic groups Moroccan authorities should avoid.
What would you do to keep Sahrawis under occupation happy, or at least not unhappy enough to demonstrate?
Flickr photo from user Saharauiak used under a Creative Commons license