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| photostory Sahrawi |

ABOVE: Hamdi Jaafar Mohammed, 46, a Polisario Front soldier in Polisario-controlled Western Sahara.‘During the invasion, I was a young boy,’he says.‘I saw my neighbours being forced to leave, women and children walking and travelling in trucks. The Moroccans intervened in a barbaric way in occupying our cities. I fled with my brothers. It took more than one month of walking before we reached the camps. Many, many people died’; BELOW: Ihaka Sidahmad Embark, 34, a musician, in the 27th of February camp, Algeria. Embark was a member of a band in the Moroccan-occupied territory, but the group had to flee when the anti-government messages in their songs attracted attention. ‘The Sahrawi people are here doing nothing, just waiting for war,’ he says. ‘The message the world is sending us is that we must go back to war, then the world will say, “Ah, Western Sahara, we must do something for them!”’

January 2011 www.geog 29

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