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  • Tent burns after Moroccan security forces broke up the tent camp on the outskirts of Western Sahara's capital, Laayoune November 8, 2010.

    Tent burns after Moroccan security forces broke up the tent camp on the outskirts of Western Sahara's capital, Laayoune November 8, 2010. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 July 2019

Moroccan forces killed a woman from occupied West Sahara and injured dozens during a demonstration. Morocco occupies West Sahara since 1975. 

Moroccan occupation forces killed a young Saharawi woman and injured many others during the weekend for protesting Morocco's occupation of West Sahara


43 Years of 'Green March': Morocco's Occupation of West Sahara

The Saharawis took to the streets after Algeria won the African Cup of Nations to express their happiness when Moroccan police started attacking them. 

"As soon as we are happy, the Moroccans destroy everything!” a protestor said. 

"Thousands in the streets, we are all in the streets, we are celebrating the victory of our brothers and demanding our independence. There are no human rights, there is occupation! They killed this girl, one more in the long list murders, do you think someone is going to do something? Nobody sees us, nobody helps us! They will kill us all in one way or another, this can not continue,” said another demonstrator. 

The Saharawis also complained that the United Nations mission for Western Sahara (MINURSO) did no step in while the policy was cracking down on them and they said that the U.N. organization never intervenes when Moroccan forces violate the ceasefire and attack Saharawis. 

There is 10 to 15 Moroccan occupation personnel for each Saharawi, not counting the settlers. The population has no means of defense against the repression to which it is subjected and has been resisting non-violently since the ceasefire of 1991, pending the referendum promised but boycotted by Morocco.


Morocco Maintains 'Excessive Control' on Western Sahara: UN

Morocco occupies Sahara since 1975. On Nov. 6, 1975, a mass demonstration was held by Morocco to force Spain to hand over the disputed province of Spanish Sahara to Morocco.

In October 1975, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Morocco’s claim over sovereign Sahara. Ignoring the ICJ's ruling, King Hassan II of Morocco ordered an illegal invasion. 

The Frente POLISARIO (Popular Front of Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), a rebel organization which waged a guerrilla war against the occupation.

In 1991, the Organization of African Unity (currently, the African Union) and the United Nations jointly brokered a ceasefire between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco. A referendum for Saharawis to exercise their right to self-determination was agreed upon but the people of Western Sahara are still waiting for its implementation.

The U.N. Security Council adopted resolution 2.240 in 2018 to grant a six-month transitional period to hold a referendum in Western Sahara.

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