Monday, July 28, 2008

Wahda camps closed--Moroccan government's first smart move in a long time

At times it seems like the Moroccan occupation is deliberately trying to screw up. Rather than win Sahrawi hearts and minds, it wounds their hearts and acts like they don't have minds. So when they actually do something right, it's surprising. When it actually helps Sahrawis, it's even better.

The dismantling of the Wahda camps is exactly that. The camps were constructed after the 1991 Settlement Plan was signed. They were built to house Moroccans from the south of Morocco who were forced into Western Sahara to vote (unfairly) in the referendum. Many of the people shipped in were ethnic Sahrawis.

Conditions in the camps were so bad that Alle at Western Sahara Info calls the camps another Tindouf. The poor conditions seem to have radicalized the imported population--Sahrawi activist Ali Salem Tamek was one of the Sahrawis brought in 1991(not actually true), and Wahda Sahrawis participated in the 2005 Intifada. Morocco's decision to stop this politicizing was wise, but I don't think they'll be able to win back their former pet Sahrawis any time soon.

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:42 AM

    "Sahrawi activist Ali Salem Tamek was one of the Sahrawis brought in 1991" to the Wahda camp.

    I though he lived in Assa, in the south of Morocco?

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  2. You're right! Thanks for keeping me honest.

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  3. Anonymous5:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Mr honest!
    why you hide information?
    is not true that moroccan gouvernement has a 10 years plan to finish with all the non healthy habitat(or houses) beside cities?
    so layoune is simply one of the other big moroccan cities to benefit of this plan, don't give 10% of the info, you are right! people of the al-wahda was suffring for 9 years there!
    what about the retained people in Tindouf 32 years! exactly my age, i'am saharawi unionist, tell polisario to deal with this

    (sorry i repeted the comment as i made some mistakes)

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  5. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Dear Anonymous
    You have made “another mistake”
    Laayoune is not Moroccan city , have never been and will not
    It just a Western Sahara Capital
    Saharawis have never been Moroccans and will not be ( even if they want to be like you do!) .
    and to be satisfy they are not Algerians also and will not be even if they will stay in the refugees camps for 100 years… ( you know why the saharawis are staying in the refugees camps in Algeria. If not I can explain you because My family like many others have been bombarded by Napalm and phosphoric bombs by Moroccan army in the earlier 1976…)
    so if you are really a “real Saharawi” you should ask for Western Sahara independent. Then we “Saharawis “ will have our sovereignty, own land like Moroccans and Algerians do, then we welcome to be a part of the “ Maghreb union state” if others want.
    As a Saharawi you will be treated in Morocco as a second-class or even ten-class citizen. In Algeria also will be only a refugee. So if you will accept that. other “real” saharawis “ will not
    I used “ real saharawis” because the majority of the people living now in Western Sahara are not originally saharawis mostly coming from deep Moroccan and have no relationship with Western Saharawis. Even in WS now the saharawis are minority. They are occupying second-class or less jobs.
    Conclusion: Saharawis should work together to be free. NO for Morocco No for Algeria No for Mauritania. Only free Western Sahara.
    Enjoy your time with “one hump or two hump”

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  6. Anonymous1:10 PM

    please dont beilve in the " Wahda camps" close. this is done just to celebrate the K6 Annivesary now..
    only moroccans from the aramy and other services are the lucky men...

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  7. Anonymous2:21 PM

    hello:
    I think that you had betrayed by Morocco probaganda. they did not closed the mentioned camp. they only expulsed its inhabitans. Do you know what they had done.? they gave to every family a part of land near layoune or boujadour and told them to build a house, and they did not give them any other thing .imagine that those poor people have not the price of constricution:? what they will do.? the gov did not give them a house but only a part of bare land. thank you

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  8. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Majority of the lands are illigaly given because already owned by Saharawis during the spanish period and most of them have papersfor that some of them even are living in the refugees camps.

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