Polisario front demands that United Nations fulfil promises to allow Saraui people their own country

The Saraui people of Western Sahara (Western Africa) demand that they have the right to their own country. The United Nations has promised a referendum but as so often happens, UN directives are diluted and forgotten with time and political influence. Now, 25 years after the beginning of the fight for independence, the Saraui people demand a referendum to free themselves from Moroccan rule. The Polisario Liberation Front began operations against the Spanish in May, 1973. The Spanish left their colony and divided it between Morocco and Mauritania, without consulting the local population, which quite predictably took up arms against Morocco in 1975. Only in September, 1991 was a ceasefire signed between the Polisario Liberation Front and Morocco, despite the fact that the Saraui Democratic Arab Republic had been proclaimed in 1976. Fifteen years of conflict gave rise to a ceasefire but ten years of peace have not yet created the independent status of the Saraui people, who number at most 220,000, including emigrants. Unlike certain other Islamic social groupings, the Saraui give a great relevance the position of women. Women are in the front line of the Polisario Liberation Front and are not as discriminated against as in other Islamic societies. Sooner or later, the UNO will have to address the Saraui question. Like it or not, if East Timor can form an independent republic, breaking away from Indonesia, certainly the Saraui people can form their own republic, defend their own frontiers and set up their own government. It is a question of political will-power.


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