Western Sahara : The ace up the sleeve of the Polisario Front: the thousands of refugees in the camps

The differences between the forces of the Moroccan army and the Polisario Front are abysmal. If the former have a total of 195,000 active soldiers and 150,000 more in reserve, the latter have only a total of between 6,000 and 7,000 combatants.

However, the Sahrawi armed forces have an ace up their sleeve, and the outbreak of the conflict this November has caused it to start using it: the hundreds of thousands of refugees living in camps in Tindouf, Algeria. The total population in these camps is more than 170,000 people.
This is what Fatimatu Bachir explains to ElNacional.cat, a 23-year-old Sahrawi woman who lives with her grandparents in the Auserd camp and who in her free time dedicates herself to teaching Spanish to the elderly. « There are thousands of young people who have signed up to be with the [Polisario] Front. They have already opened several military schools because many young people have left their studies and jobs. Virtually all those over the age of 18 are they have pointed. There are also girls, « he explains.
« From now on, all the military regions are mobilized. Military schools have been opened, which are being filled with people and where express training is being offered so that they can join the battlefield as soon as possible. » , told EFE along the same lines a military official who preferred not to be identified for security.
The UN, disappeared in combat
Bachir justifies the need to escalate the conflict in the light of the passivity of the international community. « It is sad that in 30 years Spain, as an administrative power, and the UN have not been able to fulfill their duty, » he said. « The so-called MINURSO [United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara] has done nothing to prevent the daily torture and imprisonment of Sahrawis by Morocco in the occupied territories, » he criticizes.
In fact, MINURSO is the only one of the 16 UN peacekeeping missions that has never been able to enter, in its case Morocco, to analyze and examine human rights violations. « We have been very patient and we have been deceived a thousand and one times. As for Spain, we have understood that its politicians work for Mohammed VI, but it does not explain the hatred they have for us. Especially the PSOE, » he said.
« In 30 years this is the first time you notice and feel that we are doing something to achieve our freedom. Both the Sahrawi people and the Polisario Front are tired of this situation and that is why we have made this decision. This war nobody wants it but it is the only way out they have left us, ”he says. For the young Sahrawi, there is only one option that would prevent war: for Spain to decolonize the territory « as Portugal did with East Timor. » « Or this war will continue until we see a free Western Sahara, » he said.
Elnacional.cat, 22 nov 2020
#WesternSahara #Polisario #Morocco

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