As it was expected to occur according to various Saharawi human rights activists and residents of the camp, Moroccan authorities had, early this morning, sent troops and police to forcible dismantle the Gdaim Izik camp, where more than 25,000 Sahrawi have set up tents to claim their human rights in the Western Sahara and the respect of their right to self-determination.The brutal intervention in the camp started at 06:00 AM local time this Monday, November 08th, 2010 and Moroccan military forces have been arriving in the area since yesterday to dismantle the camp. The military forces, gendarmerie and auxiliary forces are accompanied by helicopters flying over the area and launching flares that explode in the air to create panic among the residents as well as tear gas.
According to the latest reports, at least one Saharawi civilian has been killed and hundreds injured in the clashes as a result of the military and police brutal intervention. Several media sources have quoted witnesses as stating that Moroccan security forces targeted women, children and elderly people.
On October 30th, 2010 WFDY Comrade Tiago Vieira, President was Comrade Tiago was denied entry to assess the situation in the protest camp near El Aaiun in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. Equally several journalists, three Spanish regional MP’s and Izquierda Unida MEP Willy Meyers were all detained at the Morocco frontier over the weekend as they tried to visit the camp to witness first-hand the reality on the ground and were forcibly returned to Spain. Morocco has refused to allow international journalists or independent observers access to the camp in El Aaiun.
To prevent an escalation of this potentially tragic situation, WFDY calls upon the international community and all its member and friend organizations to exercise pressure on the Moroccan Kingdom to stop its military offensive against Saharawi civilians, lift the military blockade imposed on El Aaiun and the rest of the Saharawi cities and to allow full access to media, NGOs and international observers into the territory.
We also call upon the UN and the international organizations to urgently intervene to protect the defenceless civilians from the hatred and xenophobic acts committed against them by the Moroccan settlers and the security apparatus. Moroccan veto to the press and the international observers to avoid witnesses to its intervention illustrates the need to integrate Human Rights Monitoring to the MINURSO mandate.