STOCKHOLM – APS.dz – Aminatou Haidar, president of the Saharawi Initiative against the Moroccan Occupation (Isacom), has denounced the silence and inaction of the international community in the face of the increasing violations by the Moroccan occupier in the occupied Saharawi territories, underlining that this state of affairs is at the origin of the war scenario in force since November 2020 and of the unprecedented repression of Saharawi activists.
In an interview granted to the Swedish foundation Right Livelihood, the emblematic figure of the Saharawi struggle affirmed that the war scenario in force in the occupied Saharawi territories since 20 November 2020 is due, “in addition to the violation of the ceasefire by Morocco, to the silence and inaction of the international community and the United Nations”.
“For those of us living under Moroccan occupation in the occupied areas, the situation is getting worse. At the moment, I am speaking from home and the police are outside, but my case is not unique. All activists and activists are besieged by the police. And, of course, this is to prevent any form of protest”, the Saharawi activist added.
She added that this is happening “in full view” of international organisations, including the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), which has its headquarters “a few metres” from her house but “does nothing”, she complained.
“They don’t call, they don’t ask about our situation and they don’t even greet us”, he added.
Situation worsens in occupied territories
Asked in the same context about the secret of the Saharawi activists’ perseverance and resilience to carry on despite this unbearable situation, Aminatou Haidar stressed that they draw their strength and determination from their conviction that they are defending their rights and a just cause, as well as from the support they have established at the international level and the new technologies that allow them to make their voices heard.
“The situation is getting worse, but at least now we have established international relations and our voices are being heard. Right now, I am sending this message from home through you, which was not possible before”, he said, noting that “thanks to these connections and the power of social media and the internet, Saharawis are finally being heard”.
Regarding the way in which Sahrawi identity is being attacked by the occupier, the Right Livelihood Alternative Nobel laureate said that “Morocco has used many methods to eliminate Sahrawi culture”.
“The Moroccan occupier has, among other things, banned Saharawi music, particularly revolutionary songs, in the occupied territories, completely erased Saharawi culture and traditions from school curricula, and produced documentaries and films promoting Moroccan culture,” she said.
According to the emblematic figure of the Saharawi struggle for independence, “the aim of these methods is to send the message to the outside world and to Moroccans that Saharawis are ‘similar’ to Moroccans”.
He pointed out, in this regard, that the Saharawis do not give in and continue to explain to their children that Moroccan culture is not theirs.
On the symbolism of the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Saharawi armed struggle and the creation of the Polisario Front, Aminatou Haidar said that these 50 years have certainly been marked by the loss of many Saharawi martyrs in the field of honour, but they have also been synonymous with many achievements and successes for the Saharawi cause.
“These five decades have led to the development of a modern Sahrawi society that attaches great importance to humanity, tolerance and the empowerment of women, who are respected and occupy leadership positions in all fields,” she said.
According to her, the motivation of Saharawi women, who fight alongside their brothers, comes in particular from their aspiration for freedom and the desire to fully enjoy their rights as full Saharawi citizens.
Aminatou Haidar stated that, as a human rights activist advocating self-determination, she is fully aware that she could face serious consequences, but she also understands that “the harshest sentence would be to remain silent and accept that (her) people are resigned to injustice”.