One fine morning, the faithful lackey, who has hitherto identified completely with his master, leaps on his oppressor and slits his throat. RV

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Laayoune, Morocco - Clashes after muderous raid on Gdeim Izik protest camp.


8 Nov 2010 - Dramatic minute by minute reports, including amateur video footage from Saharawi residents in Laayoune on the online SaharaLibre site show images of burning buildings and groups of chanting protesters facing heavily armed Moroccan riot police, following the violent dismantling of Gdeim Izik protest camp outside the city, in the early hours of the morning. The protest camp reportedly came under a barrage of tear gas, flames and high temperature pressure hoses at around 6am. Allegedly Moroccan forces surrounded and systematically destroyed the tents where thousands (reports suggest up to 20,000) of men, women, children and elderly Saharawi civilians had been camped for the last three weeks or more, demanding an end to the social and economic exclusion they suffer in their own homeland, and the exploitation of their natural resources for Moroccan and international gain.
According to sources on the ground, the protesters were left with little choice but to return (many on foot) to the capital Laayoune, some 15km away. The Moroccan actions allegedly triggered the violence and protests that have subsequently broken out in the streets of Laayoune. Unconfirmed reports claim that at least seven people have been killed, including a 90 year-old man, who has not been seen since the dismantling of the protest camp earlier this morning. The same reports also claim that the port, the post office building, the regional television station building and other district government buildings are in flames. Spanish newspaper, El Mundo and newswire service Europa Press, confirm reports of the confrontations in the city, as Moroccan soldiers in armoured vehicles attack Saharawi defending themselves with sticks and stones. The security forces are said to be searching the city, house-by-house, and arresting many Saharawi civilians.
A spokesman for the Moroccan administration, Khalid Naciri, confirmed that security forces had dismantled the camp, alleging that the ‘illegal activity’ of some protesters was ‘preventing the Saharawi from abandoning their installations’ thus leaving the authorities no choice but ‘to take action’. The Saharawi human rights organisation, Sahara Thawra, whose website has ominously been taken offline in the last few minutes as it reported with live updates on events, affirmed earlier that ‘everyone is being attacked, children, women, men, the elderly. It is a one-on-one struggle against all Saharawi citizens. They are destroying the tents and part of the camp is burning.’ The head of communications for the committee in charge of the protest camp, Omar El-Mumeiry, speaking from Laayoune, said ‘we don’t know many more details because communications have been cut with those left inside the camp’.
As the violence escalates beyond control in the capital Laayoune, Saharawi sources and supporters worldwide are urging the international community to take immediate action to restore order and prevent further loss of life. Reports coming out of the territory are confused and alarming. By maintaining silence, the UK government and its European counterparts are not only implicitly condoning the actions of the Moroccan army and security forces in their brutal repression of this protest, but are indeed complicit in it.

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