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
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
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
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
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.