Ali El Aallaoui, PhD., Analyst & Researcher in Geopolitics of North and West Africa, El Aaiun Western Sahara
The Saharawi are a people of nomadic origin whose traditional range lands were mainly located in so-called Western Sahara. The emergence of the Saharawi as a people claiming the independence of this territory, which they consider as their national territory, is the consequence of colonial history and the long process of decolonization, which is still incomplete.
Following the departure of the Spanish regime under Franco in 1973, the occupation of the territory in 1975 by the Moroccan and Mauritanian armies dispossessed the Saharawi of their land for a second time. This dispossession has continued since, with the Saharawi fighting and denouncing such an occupation, both within Western Sahara by passive and active resistance (including demonstrations severely repressed by Moroccan occupation forces) and outside the territory, by a war waged until 1991, and since then by negotiation.
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