Saharawi people commemorate 50st anniversary of Zemla Uprising (June 17, 1970)

Chahid El Hafed (Refugee Camps) June 17, 202 June 17, 2020 (SPS) - The Saharawi people  commemorate Wednesday the 50st anniversary of the popular uprising of Zemla against Spanish colonialism, in attempt to recover its inalienable rights to freedom and independence, three years before the outbreak of the armed struggle led by the Polisario Front.

Denying the Sahrawis the right to self-determination, Spain had developed a document describing the integration of the Saharawi population into the Spanish metropolis, saying Western Sahara is "Spanish province." The announcement of the Spanish decision was accompanied by a solemn festival June 17, 1970.

The measure prompted spontaneous reactions from the Saharawis part. Protesters led by Mohammed Sidi Brahim Bassiri brought a petition to the general governor of Spanish Sahara, in El Aaiun.

While dispersing the manifestation, Spanish Foreign Legion fired on the crowd, killing 11 protesters.

 Hundreds of Saharawis were arrested within days, among them Bassiri, who disappeared in prison, presumably murdered or tortured to death.

 Mohamed Sidi Brahim Bassiri paid his life like other Sahrawis, as a tribute for freedom and dignity. SPS