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Western Sahara

Yearbook 1996

Western Sahara. The long-delayed referendum in V. could not be carried out in 1996 either. In January, the UN extended the mandate for MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) until last May. But when it was said that nothing had happened when it came to approaching the Moroccan government and the leaders of the V's liberation movement Polisario regarding a referendum in the area, the UN Security Council on May 29 decided to withdraw MINURSO. At the same time, it was decided to reduce UN troops in the area by 20%.

In April, Amnesty International condemned the "serious human rights violations" committed by "Moroccan security forces in Western Sahara".

In February 2011, protests and demonstrations were held in Dakhla. The reason was that Moroccan youth had the day before attacked Sahrawi shops and houses without the police intervening. The protests were aimed primarily at the occupation's failure to protect the civilian population from the assault by the occupiers. About 100 were injured during the protests, but most were scared to visit hospitals for fear of registration. That same month, the government marked the 35th anniversary of the creation of Western Sahara with delegations from many states and NGOs.

In early March, 500 demonstrated in front of the ministry in El Aaiun demanding the release of political prisoners. The demonstration was quickly disbanded by security forces. More than 50 were injured. In early April, new protests were organized by families of the political prisoners in the prisons of the occupying power. The protests were initially carried out once a week, but quickly expanded to 3 times a week. In May, the protests extended to several other major cities. The protesters were routinely beaten by the occupying power police.

The conflict plays a minor role in international politics, and leading Western nations are more interested in joining the Conservative regime in Morocco in the fight against terrorism and in exploiting the oil and gas deposits in Western Sahara than in pushing for a democratic one. development in the country. In this sense, the US and Western countries are blocking a solution to the conflict.

In April 2012, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2044 on the Conservation of Peacekeeping Force (MINURSO) in the country until April 2013.

On the 28-30. On October 2013, an African Solidarity Conference was held with Western Sahara in Abuja, Nigeria, with the aim of discussing the theme: "Liberation of Western Sahara: Ending Colonialism in Africa".

Seven Sahrawi men went on hunger strike on September 17, 2014 in protest of the torture they were subjected to at the Laayoune Jail. The strike ended after 5 days, with the prison authorities promising to improve the prison situation.

In December 2015, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling that invalidated the trade agreement between Morocco and the EU on agricultural and fishery products in so far as it concerns Western Sahara products. In its order, the court said that the trade agreement was fraught with failure, since it did not stipulate that the exploitation of Western Sahara's natural resources should be for the benefit of the country's own inhabitants. The Commission appealed the ruling. The EU de-facto supports Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Western Sahara in March 2016, and by extension, designated the country as occupied by Morocco. Morocco responded again by forcing the UN to close a number of MINURSO offices and throwing out a number of UN civilian employees.

In the autumn, Morocco applied for re-admission to the AU after having been outside for 25 years due to the organization's criticism of the country's occupation of Western Sahara.

In 2016, the occupation force continued its attacks on Saharui and on those who attempted to visit Western Sahara. Journalists, activists and human rights experts were barred from entry, and in April Spanish, Belgian and French lawyers as well as a Spanish judge were expelled. They had traveled to Rabat to represent Saharui prisoners.

 

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