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Morocco/Western Sahara: Gadaym Izik Riots Become a Volatile Political Crisis
Written by Tarek Amr On 19 November 2010 @ 23:18 pm | 16 Comments
In Algeria, Arabic, English, French, Human Rights, Indigenous, International Relations, Middle East & North Africa, Morocco, Politics, Protest, Spain, War & Conflict, Western Sahara
Western Sahara's 35-year-old struggle is once again making the headlines.
The former Spanish colony was annexed by Morocco in 1975 after “The Green March Demonstration”  in November of the same year. And, according to Reuters , it witnessed one of the worst violent events in years last week.
It all started when more than 12,000 people gathered in the Gadaym Izik camp, near Laayoune, in what was reported to be the largest protest in the 35-year clash over Western Sahara’s proprietorship.
According to blogger Cabalamuse, there are two different theories for the reason behind the Gadaym Izik's protest. :
However it is still possible that the reason behind the protest is “a mixture of this and that ,” noted blogger Hisham of the mirror:
Bloggers from both sides tried to present their own point of view.
Il suffit de regarder les vidéos qui arrivent à franchir le mur d’acier élevé par les forces d’occupation pour s’en convaincre : au Sahara occidental occupé par le Maroc, une véritable intifada est en cours. Comme en Palestine en 1987, les protagonistes en sont les chebeb – les jeunes, y compris les très jeunes – et les femmes. Un seul cri retentit sur les barricades bricolées par les insurgés : « Fuera Marruecos ! », Dehors le Maroc. Et s’ils le crient en espagnol, c’est parce que l’espagnol est leur langue de communication principale avec le monde extérieur, le monde tout court, autrement dit nous.
He continued his analogy by comparing how Spain handed Western Sahara over to Morocco, just like the British Empire handed Palestine over to Israel.
At the mirror, Hisham questioned the legality of the Western Sahara independence calls .
A call for independence must at least be based on a coherent argument. There is, however, a fundamental flaw in Polisario’s stance. It is something that makes the separatist plea highly suspicious to me. If we’re going to consider the Sahara and its people, why for example should we restrict that exercise to the relatively minuscule western part of the huge Saharan territory? The nomadic Saharawi population is a unique blend of Arabs and indigenous Berber tribes, that spans a territory that includes necessarily the whole of Mauritania and very large chunks of the Algerian, Libyan segments of the Sahara desert. The separatists would have been more convincing had they stopped playing the puppet role for regional powers’ obvious ambitions.
Spain and Algeria are two foreign countries who are being accused to be behind such ongoing unrest in Western Sahara , explained Cabalamuse:
Spanish claims that both Ceuta and Melilla are integral parts of the Spanish state, and have been since the 15th century, while Morocco denies these claims and maintains that the Spanish presence on or near its coast is a remnant of the colonial past which should be ended. And recently, Morocco has been accused of stirring up unrest in Melilla. And that's why some bloggers claimed that Spain might have a hidden agenda that makes its media support the independence movement in Western Sahara .
Nibras Chabab noted:
Meanwhile, the EU Ambassador to Morocco, Mr. Eneko Landaburu said , “The Spanish press made its coverage to be all in favor of the western Sahara Separatist group, the Polisario Front”. In response, Moroccan bloggers attacked the Spanish media for fabrication .
According to Maghreb Voices:
On the other hand, this blogger wonders how the Moroccan and Algerian diplomatic relations work :
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URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/11/19/moroccowestern-sahara-gadaym-izik-riots-become-a-volatile-political-crisis/
URLs in this post:
 “The Green March Demonstration”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_March
 according to Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A74C020101108
 Polisario Front: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polisario_Front
 there are two different theories for the reason behind the Gadaym Izik's protest.: http://cabalamuse.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/laayoune-plan-b/
 “a mixture of this and that: http://almiraatblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/western-sahara-my-dispassionate-viewpoint/
 compared the situation in Western Sahara to that in Palestine – with an analogy between what he called the Moroccan occupying forces and Israel: http://solidmar.blogspot.com/2010/11/sahara-occidental-occupe-fuera.html
 some bloggers claimed that Spain might have a hidden agenda that makes its media support the independence movement in Western Sahara: http://www.nibraschabab.com/?p=5499
 Mr. Eneko Landaburu said: http://www.moroccoboard.com/news/34-news-release/4924-euwestern-sahara-morocco-intervened-to-contain-a-dangerous-situation
 attacked the Spanish media for fabrication: http://www.maghrebvoices.com/2010/11/spanish-news-agency-photo-raises.html
 Palestinian children injured during an Israeli air assault in Gaza in 2006: http://www.topix.net/world/morocco/2010/11/western-sahara-gaza-child-used-in-propaganda-war-by-elite-media-in-spain
 wonders how the Moroccan and Algerian diplomatic relations work: http://www.moroccoboard.com/viewpoint/68-hassan-massiki/4911-western-sahara-algerias-unofficial-declaration-of-war
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