How the West was Won

We have heard about all the protests and demonstrations taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Yemen, but there’s one area that hasn’t received nearly any attention. I’m speaking specifically about Western Sahara.

I think it is important to talk about Western Sahara because of the attack on the Gdim Izik tent camp on November 8, 2010. You can read about the attacks here and here.

Violent confrontations broke out early on 8 November when Moroccan security forces forcibly dismantled the Gdim Izik tent camp, which had been set up in the desert a few kilometres from Laayoune in early October by Sahrawis protesting against their perceived marginalization and a lack of jobs and adequate housing.

The people living in the Gdim Izik tent camp were there to stage a protest demanding their independence from Morroco. Not surprisingly, the Morrocan government responded with violence, which led to thirteen deaths.

Is it possible the Western Saharan protests inspired the current demonstrations and protests?

Morroco is concerned that all the recent demonstrations will result in unrest in Western Sahara. “Morocco has offered limited autonomy to Western Sahara,” but that may not be enough for Sahrawis. They want total independence. If Tunisia and Egypt can do it, why can’t Western Sahara? After all, isn’t that where it all began?

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