Western Sahara, bordering Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Atlantic Ocean, is the last remaining colony in Africa still waiting for its independence. Despite a rich history, the Sahrawi people today find themselves deprived of the fundamental right to have a land on which to live in peace and freedom. In one of the most hostile regions to human life across the planet, Western Sahara is also a rich country; its resources consist of large amounts of phosphates and abundant fish stocks among others.
After the withdrawal of Spain in 1975, neighboring Morocco illegally invaded the territory, forcing its indigenous population, the Sahrawi people, to live under occupation or face exile. Since then, the Sahrawi people have been divided between two lands. Those living in the “Occupied Zone,” endure an occupation violently imposed on them by the Moroccan government. Those who fled during Morocco’s initial attacks reside today in the refugee camps in the Algerian desert or within a narrow strip of barren land. This “Liberated Territory” of Western Sahara is flanked by a wall built by Morocco and armed with a standing military, electronic sensors, and buried landmines.