Friday, November 17, 2006

The refugees and the clock

Whenever I see pictures from the refugee camps, I think about the waste of time that the refugees are suffering from. Time is a rich resource that wise and rational people preserve. Regardless of the circumstances that created these camps, I feel that the clock has stopped at the time they were built. Pictures from the camps usually show people wondering around, bringing water, or playing cards. A classic image of confined refugee camps around the world and that have been criticized by some humanitarian NGOs.
Some sources highlight that the rate of educated children in Tindouf camps is elevated; however, confining refugees in closed camps creates a passive and inactive lifestyle that limits human power to take free decisions, move, build, innovate and enjoy life pleasures. It's a general fact that exists in refugee camps, not only in Tindouf's.
Although some refugees were able to leave to european countries or elsewhere, the majority is still stuck in the camps' timeless state. All the parties involved in the conflit share a responsibility in this situation, but apparently, it seems they are not really time fans.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

La Guerra Olvidada : when Moroccans and Sahrawis were fighting together

The scene is happening at the end of the 1950's. Troupes from the recently independent Morocco joined by sahrawi tribes are fighting the Spanish in the region of Ifni. Ifni was the residence of the General Governor of the Western Sahara territory. The forces made a series of incursions and even sieged the city of Ifni; however, the spanish army was later able to counter the offensive by use of airplanes and warships, weapons that their opponent didn't have.
Can we learn something from History ?
P.S: English and Spanish articles about La Guerra Olvidada in Wikipedia.
Picture link courtesy of

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The countdown: 6 months for Morocco and Polisario

On October 31st, the U.N Security Council voted unanimously for a 6 month extension of the MINURSO. The 1720 resolution urges both military parties, Morocco and Polisario, to engage in decisive discussions during the next 6 months. Also, the U.S delegate asked Morocco to present its announced Autonomy plan and to engage in discussions with all sahrawis, including Front Polisario.
An interesting point here is the call for the inclusion of all Sahrawi voices, including the Polisario Front. In fact, all Sahrawis whether they are living in Morocco, Algeria or elsewhere have the right to FREELY express themselves and say what they want. I mentioned before that I know sahrawis who want to live under the sovereignty of Morocco, and I know others who want to have their own independent country. You will find such radically opposite views in whole branches of the Sahrawi tribes, adding to the complexity of the situation.
I hope both parties will open their minds and rise to the level of people expectations by engaging in serious multi-party negotiations.
Picture courtesy of