Reports of siege as El Aaiun protests continue
2512ocp_protest_17_december_2016_600_200.jpg

As protests against Morocco's denial of the Saharawis' social and economic human rights have become daily news in occupied Western Sahara, eye-witnesses report a police siege targeting the hunger striking Saharawi graduates.
Published: 18.01 - 2016 14:46Printer version    
Sources on the ground state that the Moroccan security forces have blocked the entrance to the El Aaiun flat where a group of more than a dozen unemployed Saharawi graduates are carrying out a hunger strike since 12 January 2016. Sympathizers are not allowed to enter the building. In addition, a convoy of military vehicles is reportedly stationed near the place, and there are rumours that the police is planning to remove the hunger strikers by force. The siege is said to have started in the early hours of Monday morning, 18 January.

For months, unemployed Saharawi graduates in El Aaiun have been staging peaceful protests against discriminatory employment practices by OCP, Morocco's state-owned phosphate company. They demand an end to the systematic marginalization of Saharawis in their own country. The group, operating under the name OCP Skills Sahara, calls for the right to work, particularly in view of Morocco's exploitation of Western Sahara's natural resources. Without exception, the demonstrations, now occuring almost daily, are met with violence on the part of the Moroccan security forces.

Footage of yesterday's protest El Aaiun, the capital city of occupied Western Sahara, is included below.

What started as off as regular demonstrations accelerated into almost daily protests, triggered by OCP's promise last November that it would create of 500 new jobs in the phosphate plant in Western Sahara, Phosboucraa. It quickly became clear that most of these new positions would not be accessible to Saharawis, as the qualification criteria are simply out of reach to them. Saharawis today live as a marginalized minority in their own land and often cannot afford higher education. During the 40 years occupation, Morocco has not established a single university in Western Sahara.

Saharawis have long lamented that they've been systematically replaced by Moroccan settlers ever since OCP took over the phosphate mines following Morocco's violent annexation of the larger part of Western Sahara.

In October last year, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights stated that the Saharawis are indeed particularly affected by poverty, and expressed its concern that the Saharawis right to dispose of their natural resources was still not respected. In particular, the Committee urged Morocco to respect the rights of the Saharawis to be informed and to give their prior consent to the exploitation of their resources.

The photos below were taken at yesterday's protest in El Aaiun. Protesters chanted slogans on human rights and the right to work, and called for an "end to Morocco's policy of systematic marginalisation of Saharawis".

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_2_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_3_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_5_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_4_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_7_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_8_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_10_610.jpg

ocp_protest_17_december_2016_9_610.jpg

    

Top
News:

16.07 - 2018 / 16.07 - 2018EU vessels return home in absense of new EU-Morocco fish deal
06.07 - 2018 / 06.07 - 2018EU Parliament backs self-determination - split on EU Court ruling
05.07 - 2018 / 05.07 - 2018Berlin sceptical - misguided by EU Commission
03.07 - 2018 / 03.07 - 2018Saharawi groups object to EU's Western Sahara trade plans
03.07 - 2018 / 02.07 - 2018This is how the European Commission will violate the CJEU ruling
29.06 - 2018 / 29.06 - 2018Morocco now demands twice the money for EU fishing in Western Sahara
25.06 - 2018 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
23.06 - 2018 / 23.06 - 2018Maersk drops transports of conflict rock from occupied Western Sahara
21.06 - 2018 / 21.06 - 2018EU Parliament critical of Commission’s Western Sahara approach
18.06 - 2018 / 16.06 - 2018Polisario initiates new law suit against EU-Morocco fish deal
18.06 - 2018 / 18.06 - 2018Polisario takes EU Council to Court over aviation deal with Morocco
18.06 - 2018 / 18.06 - 2018New book on the plunder of Western Sahara
14.06 - 2018 / 14.06 - 2018Commission misleads EU states on Polisario talks, documentation shows
14.06 - 2018 / 14.06 - 2018Here, the EU Commission is lying about WSRW - and 93 other groups
11.06 - 2018 / 11.06 - 2018This is how the Commission proposes to deal with Western Sahara trade
08.06 - 2018 / 08.06 - 2018Saharawis demonstrated in front of EU Commission
28.05 - 2018 / 28.05 - 2018Wave of investors blacklist Nutrien over Western Sahara controversy
24.05 - 2018 / 17.05 - 2018Exclusive: Here are the Moroccan groups that the EU consulted
22.05 - 2018 / 17.05 - 2018EU Commission closes eyes to Western Sahara judgment in Parliament
03.05 - 2018 / 03.05 - 2018Camel researchers move event from Western Sahara to Morocco




EN ES FR DE AR

Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies

tn_law_hammer.jpg

It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.

WSRW.org News Archive 2018
WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy