After the cease-fire agreement that was signed between the POLISARIO
front (Sahrawi independence movement) and Morocco under the UN
auspices. The peace accord resulted in the creation of the UN mission
for the referendum in Western Sahara known for its French
acronym-MINURSO. The MINURSO worked on keeping peace as part of its
mandate while overlooking its main duty represented in enabling the
Sahrawi people of their right of self-determination. The voting that
the people of Western Sahara were promised in 1991 did not take place
So, the Sahrawi people decided to take matters by their own, exploring
different types of resistance that amounted to civil obedience in the
Gdeim Izik protest. The concept of peaceful resistance differs from
that of civil resistance. The first is not of any relation to violence
and stands on peacefully driven styles that mostly depend on pacifism,
focusing on demonstrative stance, marches of denouncement , protests
that concentrate on the repetition of slogans, carrying of signs and
flags. And despite the violence that such acts may confront ,
protesters try to maintain their peacefulness by avoiding any
interchange of clashes with the security forces.
Within the pacific frame, Sahrawis stayed committed to peaceful
resistance when being challenged by the Moroccan occupation. Such
devotion is in accordance with the internationally drawn plan.
Thereby, the UN concern over the suffering that the Sahrawi people
undertake in refuge, and the level of frustration was felt by the UN
Secretary-General when visiting the Sahrawi refugee camps on March/
5th /2016. Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the region rang the alarm of an
explosion in the territory, specially after the emerging of signs of
the embracing of the second choice(civil resistance) in the occupied
part of Western Sahara. This comes as the Sahrawi question has been
going through a stalemate for over 25 years. The alternative option is
the opposite of the first one(peaceful resistance) as it excels with
its violent ideology.
Therefore, there were recently some leads of the alternating choice
when some young Sahrawis in the occupied territories chose to try
Molotov bombs in the streets and avenues of the occupied El Aaiun.
These youth grew up under Morocco’s oppression and were forced to
react. Ban has expressed his worrisome over the current situation and
pledged to do what he can to bring Morocco to the negotiation table.
However, the international wobble efforts do not seem to bring any
solutions. So, Is this the start of the militarization of the Sahrawi
Antifada like its Palestinian parallel? accordingly, forcing the
Sahrawi people to choose civil resistance instead of the peaceful?