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30 de agosto de 2013 | | | | | | |

“Without land, there is nothing”

The Long Struggle of Saharawi Women for Self-determination at the International Meeting of the WMW

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The self-determination of the Western Sahara introduced by the Saharawi women at the International Meeting of the World March of Women in Sao Paulo, Brazil, could be the main theme of the movement’s next international meeting. Real World Radio interviewed one of its delegates.

During the 9th International Meeting of the World March of Women (WMW), being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, “solidarity tents” are organized every day where women from different countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America talk about their situation and that of their colleagues. These are situations of war, conflict, violence and submission to neoliberal capitalism.

On Thursday 29th August, Chaba Siny from the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic participated in the tent. The Saharawi people have lived for 37 years under Moroccan domination, after they imposed their control over the Western Sahara once Spain left the area it had colonized, in 1975.

It is a long story build on pain and suffering, told Chaba Siny.
She mentioned the daily struggle of her people for Independence and self-determination. She also mentioned the struggle of the Saharawi women that have to resist the Moroccan oppression and to put up with terrible living conditions. So they ask for humanitarian aid.

The Saharawi people lives in refugee camps and despite they have managed to organize their daily life, with their ministries, their civil society, their houses, they need international solidarity, which Chaba acknowledges and thanked. But, she said, her people cannot continue living on humanitarian aid for ever. Algeria, for example, granted the southern part of its territory. Chaba welcomed the solidarity of countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Panama and Uruguay that recognize the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and host Saharawi students. She talked about the need for Saharawis to have rights and land. “Without land, there is nothing”, she said.

For a right to a self-determination referendum

Chaba came to Sao Paulo this week to share the situation of the Saharawi women, which live in a state without territory, like the Gipsies or the Palestines.

The Saharawis live under constant threat of torture, violence and pressure from the Moroccan state and its allies. They have very little access to water, energy and health. Sometimes, in the summer, when temperatures reach 50°C, they are short of oxygen.
“We are women of the world, our fight for equality depends on the world”, said Chaba.

Even though the United Nations has a Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO),Morocco continues to pressure and crackdown the Saharawi people with the support of countries like France, which vetoed a UN international sanction against the country.

The main goal of the Saharawi peoples’ struggle is gain their right to self-determination.

Chaba said they hope the people in Sao Paulo would help them. Finally, a woman from Democratic Republic of Congo stood up to propose that the upcoming international meeting of the WMW be held in Western Sahara.

The Saharawi activist considered the proposal and said she hoped to be able to do it in a “free Western Sahara”.

Photo: Radio Mundo Real

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