Western Sahara

Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975. Decades later, tens of thousands of Saharawi people are still living in a state of siege and face appalling human rights abuses and repression.

In addition 165,000 refugees live on an inhospitable plain in the Sahara desert. Temperatures range from the scorching to the freezing, water is scarce, access to the outside world is difficult. The people of Western Sahara have been forced to live here, struggling to return to a homeland where they can determine their own future.

On 31 October 1975, Morocco and Mauritania invaded Western Sahara as Spain (the former colonial power) looked on. The Saharawi people were expelled from their homes by force, including the use of napalm. Most fled to the Algerian desert.

Mauritania withdrew its claim to Western Sahara in 1979 and left. But Morocco stayed. The Saharawi people declared their own Republic in exile, which is now recognised by 60 other states. Yet the world still refuses to uphold international law and bring the Occupation to an end.

We are campaigning for self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

We urge the UK government to:

  • press the Moroccan government to accept international law and repeated UN Security Council resolutions enabling the Saharawi people to vote on the independence of Western Sahara
  • press the Moroccan government to respect human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara
  • provide a clear and positive lead in the UN Security Council in support of the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination
  • stop all arms sales to Morocco, until there is a sustainable peace agreement for Western Sahara.

Latest news

War on Want events for Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2018

18 January 2018 - 2:00pm

War on Want is proud to be co-sponsoring an exciting array of events for Israeli Apartheid Week across the UK:

Remi Kanazi 2018 UK tour and Sounds of Resistance: Benjamin Zephaniah, Tamer Nafar, Remi Kanazi, DJ Hilwi, and more!

 

Read more

Israel's 'ban list' won't deter our work for justice

18 January 2018 - 10:30am

Written by Ryvka Barnard for Labour Briefing.

"Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions"

Read more

Join the conversation

The #WomensMarch2018 shows the strength of a resurgent women’s movement which – if it can find it in itself to evol… https://t.co/xXjovaDVkW 6 min 36 sec ago
It’s not just #Carillion – the disastrous effects of #privatisation are becoming ever clearer, with local councils… https://t.co/HbnzYBNRpX 2 hours 31 min ago
82% of wealth generated in 2017 went to the richest 1%, new @Oxfam report shows. This is not inevitable but part of… https://t.co/kL5a40ai8Q 4 hours 7 min ago