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Camps of the Polisario front in Algeria
2001

In 1976 Spain abandoned the territory that it had occupied as colony from the beginning of the XXth century, leaving it in the hands of Morocco. But the Saharawis, the indigenous nomadic inhabitants of this Atlantic coastal region of Sahara, didn’t accept this situation, with no historical basis. Organized in the Polisario Front (from Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Río de Oro) they began a long guerrilla war against Morocco, based in camps in Tindouf, Algeria. For 30 years the Polisario has been expecting the referendum for self-determination in Western Sahara. But this referendum, proposed and supported by United Nations, is systematically hindered by Morocco.

During these 30 years some 160,000 Saharawis have been living in very bad conditions in those camps, in the Algerian “hamada”, the driest and most inhospitable area of the Sahara desert. They have manage it thanks to their nomadic culture, being accustomed for centuries to travel with their flocks on the track of the rainwater (“sons of the cloud”).

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