Occupied territories

Western Sahara is a territory that lies under the occupation of the kingdom of Morocco. Since the invasion in 1975, through the Green/Black March, the Moroccan government has imposed a system of military occupation and pressure whose objective is the territorial annexation, grabbing and plundering of the natural resources of the Saharawi people, violating the International Law.

The Kingdom of Morocco controls 80% of the territory of Western Sahara, thanks to a wall of 2700 km, mined and militarized, which divides the territory in two and prevents (impide) thousands of Saharawis from returning to their land, and controls, in turn, the Saharawi population living in the occupied territories.

The Moroccan military apparatus in place in the territory watches over and protects the plundering of natural resources, so its presence is very visible in the main cities of Western Sahara (coastal areas, tourist centers and roads), where repression, human rights violations and discrimination of the indigenous Saharawi people is constant. Moreover, the occupied territories of Western Sahara have become an isolated space from which it is almost impossible to enter or leave. Numerous expeditions of journalists, political groups, lawyers or activists have been expelled by the Moroccan authorities when they tried to enter the territory, some of them under serious threats and aggression. The international media are prohibited from entering and operating in the occupied territories, which exacerbates the isolation, censorship and media silence on the serious situation of human rights violations that exist.

The Saharawis are, today, a minority in their own land, surpassed by the Moroccan settlers who have either settled there permanently or inhabit it for extended periods as seasonal workers. Los colonos que se establecen en el Sáhara Occidental lo hacen, principalmente, por razones económicas, ya que la vida allí es más barata que en Marruecos. Settlers who set up in Western Sahara do so mainly for economic reasons, as life there is cheaper than in Morocco. They are also attracted by the job opportunities generated by the industries created by the Moroccan exploitation of Saharawi resources, a situation that is now becoming more attractive due to the current renewable energy projects.

For decades, the systematic violation of human rights and repression have been constant in Western Sahara. The defense of the cause and the expression of the Saharawi identity in the occupied territories is forbidden and strongly repressed by the occupying forces, with the existence of rules dictating which names are or are not acceptable, restrictions on access to housing, on traditional dress or language (the Saharawis speak Hassania and the Moroccans speak Dariya). The civil and political rights of assembly, expression, demonstration and movement of the Saharawi people are systematically violated.In addition, the use of new technologies by the population has resulted in abuses of digital rights that violate/infringe (vulneran) the right to privacy of Saharawi women, especially human rights defenders, who are spied on and controlled in virtual communication spaces.

Western Sahara is a territory rich in abundant natural resources such as sand, fish, phosphates and renewable energies, as well as a prosperous agricultural sector and possible oil deposits. The economic, social and cultural rights of the Saharawi people are violated through the systematic plundering and grabbing of their natural resources, which directly affects their right to development and implies a lack of access to employment opportunities, housing and basic services such as health and education.