The Youth demand a war

Whether you look forward, backward, right or left, your eyesight catches the sand of Sahara and the barrenness of it. A discouraging image of the situation of the Saharawis.

By Søren Lund Nielsen

For 37 years they have been waiting for a solution for their country and for 21 years they have been waiting for a referendum for autonomy of Western Sahara which the UN pledged in 1991. The same thing is heard in the radio and being said in the TV. “The Resistance”. We want a referendum and we blame the Moroccans”. But the past, future and present collide in a situation constitution Westerns Sahara waiting position.

A ramshackle home-grown garden tells the whole story. In the scalding deserts grows almost nothing but sand and stone, yet some Saharawis have managed to establish gardens, some of them thanks to a former UNICEF project, others on their own initiative and will.

Tumana Ahmed Salama is 26 years old and starting growing her own garden 5 months ago, that after a good period now have got bad. The garden is a product of creativity and idealism. The impossible should be made possible and the limits must be pushed. Tumana is no longer watching TV or listening to the radio. It is the same all the time anyway, she says.  She is a part of that youth who have lived in the camps for their whole life, a youth for whom patience has run out, they demand a war.

According to a survey made by Polisarios youth organization Ujsario, where 3760 people were asked, 85 percent of the young believed that the time had come to skip the ceasefire that has lasted since 1991, where Minurso took over with efforts to obtain a referendum.

There is no doubt in Tumanas mind. Rather die in a war then die without having had a life. The president of SADR Mohamed Abdelaziz acknowledges the desire of an armed struggle, but believes that is the wrong way to go. He will go far to have peaceful negotiations. But the question is for how long time can be expanded. Mousa Selma, Secretary General of the Saharawi Youth, tells that it is standard procedure that Ujsario members eventually form a part of Polisario.

“So it is a question of time. In a few years the majority of the Polisario leadership will be from Ujsario and their preoccupations and their worries are existent. That is the fear of the future.”