For more than 40 years, the Sahrawi refugees have lived “stored” in the camps, marked by despair and helplessness, highly dependent on foreign aid, and in very difficult conditions.
All this, despite the enormous efforts of the Sahrawi authorities to provide the population with decent conditions for life in the camps.
This situation has, in its origin and foundation, in the policies of our successive leaders, and of the International Community itself. It is evident that, in relation to the situation of the refugee population, Spain has a main role to play as the “administering power” of the Territory, a status that it has never lost, and must ensure the situation of the Saharawi population.
However, on the part of the State, its official aid for cooperation has always been an instrument of foreign action used to “calm consciences” and has never been accompanied by a political strategy aimed at the ultimate objective of decolonization.
Furthermore, it is clear that the effectiveness of aid dissipates if it is not linked to strong political pressure for the resolution of the conflict and the end of the occupation. We cannot, in any way, be content with caring for the victims of the conflict.
Is our cooperation / humanitarian action consistent with the political background of the Saharawi cause?
In the absence of a political solution, don’t we run the risk that cooperation will become an element of maintenance and reproduction of the conflict, instead of contributing to its resolution?
Doesn’t cooperation perhaps contribute to maintaining the status quo (complicit aid), offsetting the effects of the occupation on the refugee population while extracting direct economic interests from the occupation?
Are we perhaps, even with our best intentions, creating a structural dependency on aid?