International protests follow Western Sahara repression

Thousands demonstrated in Madrid Nov. 13 against Morocco‘s recent crackdown on protesters in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. Violence escalated Nov. 8, when Moroccan soldiers and police attacked a protest camp that had been established to mark the 35th anniversary of the territory’s annexation by Morocco. The camp at Gdeim Izik, some 15 kilometers outside the regional capital Laayoune (El Aaiun), had grown to over 20,000 since being established on Oct. 9. Western Sahara’s independence movement, the Poliario Front, is demanding a UN probe of the repression, claiming 36 protesters were killed, with hundreds injured and more than 160 detained. Morocco denies the claims, while asserting that eight members of its security forces were killed. The clashes occurred on the day that Morocco and Polisario held their latest round of UN-mediated talks near New York on the future of Western Sahara. (Reuters, Nov. 15; Green Left Weekly, Nov. 14; AP, Nov. 13; Sahara Press Service, Nov. 12)

See our last post on the struggle in Western Sahara.

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