WESTERN SAHARA

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Presence of Mundubat in Western Sahara

Mundubat started working in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps in 1996. Since the beginning, we have worked on projects in the health field, mainly in the Wilaya of Ausserd, where we support the Regional Hospital and the dispensaries located in the different daïras. A Health Team, made up of medical personnel and volunteers, travels to the region several times a year to provide support to Sahrawi health professionals and carry out primary care interventions, all in close collaboration with the Sahrawi Health Ministry.

In the educational field, Mundubat has participated in material donation, infrastructure renovation and teacher training projects. Finally, in the field of humanitarian action, we prioritise the distribution of staple foods, as well as hygiene kits and other consumables necessary to life in the camps. Since 2012, we have also supported the work of Sahrawi human rights advocates working in the territories occupied by Morocco in Western Sahara and organise awareness-raising and political advocacy campaigns and activities, in constant coordination with other organisations that support the Sahrawi cause.

The decolonisation of Western Sahara continues to constitute a piece of unfinished business on the international agenda. Peace in the Sahel (one of the most sensitive regions on the planet) depends on a definitive solution being found to this situation, a solution that must necessarily be based on a self-determination referendum sponsored by the United Nations, which includes the option of independence.

The resumption of the armed conflict in November 2020 poses many unknowns and has opened up scenarios that seemed to have been taken off the table during the 29 years that followed the signing of the ceasefire. The proposal to include monitoring of the human rights situation in the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has served to increase the political importance of what had become a fairly inconsequential annual event. The inclusion of human rights monitoring, which Morocco refuses to accept (to the extent that it even expelled the civilian contingent of the mission in 2016), is structurally vital to the articulation of actions in different areas.

The Sahrawi struggle against the illegal occupation by Morocco is currently being fought on many interconnected fronts that all have an impact on each other. The diplomatic, legal and social fields together make up a scenario of ongoing conflict between Sahrawi aspirations to freedom and social emancipation and the violent repression carried out by Morocco. Since the signing of the ceasefire in 1991, the most important clash has occurred in the diplomatic arena. In relation to both bilateral relations between Morocco and the Polisario Front, and the subtle game being played at the heart of various multilateral organisations (the UN, the African Union), the Sahrawi position has gained legitimacy and international recognition, although this is not enough to put an end to the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.

Closely linked to the diplomatic battle, the use of legal instruments, such as mechanisms of political pressure, has increased and will constitute a key element in the future strategy of the Sahrawi people. In this sense, the ruling issued by the European Court of Justice on the non-applicability of the agreements signed between the European Union and Morocco to Western Sahara constitutes the most significant landmark to date in this struggle, due to its historical importance and the support it provides to the position adopted by the Polisario Front.

In response to the criminal repression carried out by the illegal Moroccan occupation and the complicit information blockade set up by the mass media, Sahrawi civil society organisations have developed a strategy of peaceful struggle that, based on the right to self-determination, demands respect for all human rights. The future of the Sahrawi people as a nation will depend, to a large extent, on the intensity of this strategy, what it is able to achieve and the maintenance of the minimum conditions necessary for continuing the struggle.

The Sahrawi people in the Tinduf refugee camps in Algeria continue to live in highly precarious conditions, due to their status as exiles in one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet. Their absolute dependence on international aid, through which certain international organisations aim to exert pressure on the Sahrawi institutions to encourage them to accept the Moroccan solution to the conflict, increases the level of vulnerability of over the 150,000 Sahrawi refugees.

Mundubat prioritises the following sectors:

  • Support for political advocacy and awareness-raising in defence of the rights of the Sahrawi people. This support is provided through campaigns designed to tell people about the situation in the different territories, seek specific aid and commitments from public institutions to help put an end to the occupation, ensure the defence and protection of human rights and denounce their continuous violations in the Occupied Territories, along with the situation of vulnerability to which those living in the refugee camps are exposed.
  • Nutritional support. Distribution of breakfast in kindergartens, coupled with the training of educators and families regarding nutritional issues, the promotion of healthy hygiene habits and the provision of basic hygiene articles to improve the precarious living conditions of refugees.
  • Strengthening local capacities for defending human rights, by supporting organisations working in the Occupied Territories and accompanying them in their work to promote rights and to denounce attacks on human rights advocates, detainees and political prisoners.

Campamentos saharauis

  • Media Luna Roja Saharaui (MLRS)
  • La Asociación de Familiares de Presos y Desaparecidos Saharauis (AFAPREDESA)
  • La Asociación Saharaui de Víctimas de Violaciones Graves de los Derechos Humanos (ASVDH)
  • La Comisión Nacional Saharaui de Derechos Humanos (CONASADH)
  • La Asociación por la No Violencia Activa (NOVA)
  • La Unión Nacional de Mujeres Saharauis (UNMS)

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