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Gdeim Izik protest camp
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The Gdeim Izik protest camp (also spelled Gdayam Izik) was a protest camp in Western Sahara, established on 9 October 2010 and lasting into November that year, with related incidents occurring in the aftermath of its dismantlement on 8 November. The primary focus of the protests was against "ongoing discrimination, poverty and human rights abuses against local citizens".
Gdeim Izik protest camp

The Gdeim Izik protest camp in late October 2010.
Date9 October – 8 November 2010
LocationWestern Sahara
MethodsDemonstrations, protest camp, rioting
Casualties and losses
Fatalities
18 Morocco police officers dead
Injuries
173 Morocco officials
1200 Sahrawi protestors
While protests were initially peaceful, they were later marked by clashes between Sahrawi civilians and Moroccan security forces. Some referred to the protests as the Third Sahrawi Intifada,[1] following the First and the Second Sahrawi Intifadas.
Political activist Noam Chomsky has suggested that the month-long protest encampment at Gdeim Izik constituted the start of the Arab Spring,[2][3] while most sources consider the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia on 17 December 2010 to be the actual start.[4][5][6][7]
Events
The protest started on the night of 9 October 2010, when a group of Sahrawis erected the protest camp 12 km. south-east of El Aaiún, the administrative capital of the Moroccan-administered Southern Provinces in the disputed territory. The number of protesters increased rapidly in the first weeks from a few hundred khaimas (traditional tents) to several thousand coming from other towns of Western Sahara and southern Morocco.
By the first week of November, the Gdeim Izik protest camp's population was estimated at around 5,000.[8] The primary objective of the camp was to protest against "ongoing discrimination, poverty and human rights abuses against local citizens",[9] but later some protesters also demanded independence for Western Sahara.
On 24 October, a vehicle trying to enter the camp was fired upon by Moroccan Army forces. As a result, 14-year-old Nayem Elgarhi died and other passengers were injured.[10] According to the Moroccan Interior ministry, a bullet was fired from the vehicle forcing the security forces to return fire, with a final toll of one dead and three injured.[11] However, according to the Polisario front, there were no weapons in the vehicle. According to SADR's Occupied Territories and Communities Abroad Ministry, while the youths were bringing food, water and medicines to the protest camp, they were chased by the security forces since they fled El Aaiún.[12] Elgarhi's family denounced the boy's secret burial, demanding a trial for the officers who shot him.[13]
Dismantlement
On the early morning of 8 November, the protest camp was dismantled by Moroccan police forces, with 3,000 arrests. According to the Moroccan Interior Ministry, no firearms were used and the civilians on the camp were deployed "as human shields".[14] Confronting them was a group of young protesters that used stones, knives and propane tanks.
Further riots
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The riots later expanded to El Aaiun and other towns like Smara and El Marsa.[citation needed] In El Aaiun, protesters took to the streets in the morning, as there were no communications with the protest camp and they had no information about their relatives and friends in the camp. The protesters, some waving SADR's flag, were joined by the residents of the camp who were reaching the city in attacking government buildings, banks, cars and shops, and clashing with the police forces. In the afternoon, with the return of the forces deployed in Gdeim Izik, pro-Moroccan protesters demonstrated in the city.
International reactions
International organizations
Countries
Aftermath
According to Moroccan authorities, the dismantlement of the Gdeim Izik camp and the posterior protests resulted in 11 deaths and 159 wounded[31] among the security forces and 2 civilian deaths among protesters[32] (one of them, Babi Hamadi Buyema, who was carrying Spanish citizenship,[33] was reported dead after being repeatedly run-over by a police car[34]).
According to the Polisario Front, 36 Sahrawis were killed, 723 wounded,[35] and 163 were arrested.[36]
Governmental changes
On 26 November, Mohammed VI made several changes of walis (civil governors), including Mohamed Jelmouss. The former wali of El Aaiún was appointed governor of the Doukkala-Abda region,[37] but was dismissed from that post soon after. He was replaced by Khalid Dkhil, member of the CORCAS and son of a mayor of Dakhla during Spanish colonization era, marking the first time that a Sahrawi was appointed governor of the Laayoune-Bojador region.[38]
Smara youth clashes
On 29 November, clashes between Moroccan and Sahrawi students at the Moulay Rachid high school resulted in at least 29 injured, according to SADR's Ministry of Occupied Territories and Communities Abroad,[39] while sources in the town affirm that 36 had been treated at the Smara regional hospital.[40]
Trials
A group of mainly young Sahrawis were arrested after the protests and were accused of the murder of the 11 Moroccan auxiliary Forces killed before the dismantlement of the camp. They were tried in a military court and 25 of them received heavy jail sentences. Some reported being tortured by the Moroccan DST.
List of the Gdeim Izik trial prisoners:[41]
  1. Enaâma Asfari: Sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 30 years
  2. Ahmed Sbaï: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life imprisonment
  3. Cheikh Banga: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 30 years
  4. Khadda El Bachir: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 20 years
  5. Mohamed Tahlil: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 20 years
  6. Hassan Dah: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 30 years
  7. Mohamed Lamine Haddi: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  8. Abdallah Lakhfaouni: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life imprisonment
  9. Abdallah Toubali: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  10. Elhoucine Ezzaoui: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  11. Deich Eddaf: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  12. Abderrahmane Zayou  : Freed on 17 February 2013
  13. Mohamed Bourial: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 30 years
  14. Abdeljalil Laâroussi: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life in prison.
  15. Mohamed Elbachir Boutinguiza: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life in prison.
  16. Taki Elmachdoufi  : Freed on 17 February 2013)
  17. Mohamed El Ayoubi  : Freed on 17 February 2013)
  18. Sidi Abdallah Abman: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life in prison
  19. Brahim Ismaïli: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life in prison
  20. Mohamed Mbarek Lefkir: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  21. Babait Mohamed Khouna: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  22. Sid Ahmed Lamjayed: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life in prison
  23. Mohamed Bani: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to life in prison
  24. El Bakai Laarabi: sentenced on 17 February 2013 to 25 years
  25. Mbarek Daoudi: Arrested on 28 September 2013; waiting military trial in Rabat.
Legacy
Poets Hadjatu Aliat Swelm and Hossein Moulud have written about life at the protest camp.[42]
See also
References
  1. ^ Elliana Bisgaard-Church. Sahrawis campaign for independence in the second intifada, Western Sahara, 2005-2008. "In what has been called the beginning of the third Sahrawi intifada, on 9 October 2010 activists created Gdeim Izik camp in al-'Ayun as a form of protest against Moroccan occupation." [1]. 27 November 2011.
  2. ^ ""The Genie Is Out of the Bottle": Assessing a Changing Arab World with Noam Chomsky and Al Jazeera's Marwan Bishara". Democracy Now!. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  3. ^ Bernabé López García (7 February 2011). "Las barbas en remojo". El País. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  4. ^ Engelhart, Katie (27 May 2011). "Why We Should Prepare for the Arab Spring to Fail". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  5. ^ Mayer, Catherine (24 April 2011). "The Slap that Triggered the Arab Spring "Was Impossible"". Time. TIME Magazine. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  6. ^ McLaughlin, Eliot (26 April 2011). "Collective courage fuels protests across Arab world". CNN. Archived from the original on 3 June 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  7. ^ Day, Elizabeth (15 May 2011). "The slap that sparked a revolution". The Guardian. London. The Observer. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Quand des militants sahraouis montent le procès de notre reporter – JeuneAfrique.com". 10 November 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Mass exodus" from Western Sahara cities. Afrol News, 21 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Western Sahara: Donald Payne Expresses Concern over Killing of 14-year-old Boy in Western Sahara by Moroccan Soldiers". AllAfrica.com. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  11. ^ "Youth killed, several wounded in W. Sahara". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 25 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Western Sahara: one killed and seven wounded near camp of exodus in El Aaiun". SPS. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Are close military siege around Saharawi camp protest". TodaNoticia.com. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  14. ^ Isabelle Mandraud (16 November 2010). "Western Sahara conflict flares again as refugee camp is broken up". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  15. ^ The African Union concerned by the incidents in El Aaiún and the resulting loss of livesArchived 6 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine African Union, 10 de Noviembre de 2010
  16. ^ "Situation of Western Sahara" (PDF). European parliament. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  17. ^ "UN Security Council 'Deplores' Sahara Raid". Euronews. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  18. ^ "M. Ksentini qualifie de "génocide" l'attaque marocaine contre des Sahraouis au camp de Gdeim Izik" (in French). El Moudjahid. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  19. ^ "Comisión de DDHH de la Cámara de Representantes de Colombia condena la violencia ejercida por Marruecos" (in Spanish). SPS. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Parlamento cubano condena agresión marroquí contra pueblo saharaui" (in Spanish). Juventud Rebelde. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  21. ^ "SADR and El Salvador establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level". SPS. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Canciller Martínez apoya solución pacífica y negociada en el Sahara Occidental Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de El Salvador, 29 de Noviembre de 2010
  23. ^ "Bernard Kouchner dénonce "les incidents très graves" au Sahara occidental". Le Monde (in French). 9 November 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Human Rights Issues-Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the situation of Saharawi citizens who, in protest at state activity, have established refugee camps and are under threat of intervention from the Moroccan army and police forces". Dáil Éireann. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  25. ^ "Preoccupazione del Ministro Frattini per gli scontri nel Sahara occidentale" (in Italian). Ministero degli Affari Esteri. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  26. ^ "Senado mexicano exhorta al gobierno a que se pronuncie" (in Spanish). La Crónica de hoy. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  27. ^ "Nicaragua "lamenta y condena" violencia en campamentos saharauis" (in Spanish). El Universal (Caracas). 17 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  28. ^ "Comunicado de Prensa". Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores – Panama. 15 November 2010. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  29. ^ "Statement by the South African Government on the latest events in the Occupied Territory of Western Sahara". Department of International Relations and Co-operation – Republic of South Africa. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  30. ^ "South African condemns recent Moroccan oppression and expresses solidarity with Saharawi People". SPS. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "Aujourd'hui Le Maroc – Actes de vandalisme to Laâyoune : les mis en cause to la prison locale" (in French). Aujourdhui.ma. 15 November 2010. Archived from the original on 10 December 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  32. ^ Crisis Watch database-Sahara OccidentalArchived 3 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine. International Crisis Group, 1 December 2010.
  33. ^ Certificado nacionalidad Babi Hamadi Buyema Issuu.com, 12 November 2010 (in Spanish)
  34. ^ "Asesinado un español en la masacre en Sáhara Occidental". Afrol News. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  35. ^ Deadly clashes reported in disputed Western Sahara. CNN, 10 November 2010.
  36. ^ Polisario demands UN council probe of Sahara clash. Reuters Africa, 15 November 2010.
  37. ^ "HM the King appoints several walis and governors". MAP. 29 November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  38. ^ "The king of Morocco replaces governor in Laayoune by a Sahrawi". Todonoticia.com. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  39. ^ "About 29 Sahrawi students injured in assault by Moroccan settlers". SPS. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Los saharauis denuncian la violencia que emplearon colonos marroquíes en Smara" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  41. ^ "Listes des prisonniers politiques et leurs groupes". ASDHOM. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  42. ^ Berkson, Samuel; Sulaiman, Mohamed (2015). Settled Wanderers. London: Influx Press. pp. 44, 48.
External links
Last edited on 3 January 2021, at 17:26
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