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Sahrawi Dreams: The Western Sahara's ...
Tindouf, Algeria
By Ferran Garcia
24 Feb 2015

Sun, sand and patience abound for natives of the Western Sahara, many of whom have survived the last 38 years in the Algerian hamada thanks to international aid. In 1976, the independence movement, the Polisario Front, proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (RASD) in what is today called the Western Sahara just as Spain, the former colonial power, withdrew from the territory. This land has since been the subject of dispute between Mauritania and Morocco, the country which occupies almost all of it to date.

On 12 January 2007, Nicaragua joined the African Union and the 45 world nations which recognise the sovereignty of RASD. No European country either recognises the RASD as a sovereign entity, or the annexation carried out by Morocco. Meanwhile, 260,000 inhabitants of the Western Sahara are currently living in an effective no-man’s land claimed by Morocco. There, local institutions have no power and are not given any public assistance.

Neighbouring Algeria, a firm defender of Western Saharan independence, provides refuge to 160,000 Sahrawis in the desert surrounding the Algerian province of Tindouf. Isolated from the rest of the world, they depend on what the European NGO lorries take from the port of Oran to the south of the country. Here, a generation raised abroad is beginning to question how long it will be before a referendum is held. Many of these young men do not rule out returning to arms.

ARTICLE UPON REQUEST

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Western Sahara 12
Tifariti, Morocco
By tclava
28 Nov 2014

Soldiers line up in rank and file near Tifariti, in the Moroccan "buffer zone."

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Western Sahara 18
Bir Lehlu, Morocco
By tclava
28 Nov 2014

Bir Lehlu is a village in the part of the Western Sahara claimed by Morocco.

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Western Sahara 11
Bir Lehlu, Morocco
By tclava
27 Nov 2014

A soldier waves back to his colleagues during a counter terrorism patrol in the Western Sahara desert.

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Western Sahara 13
Tifariti, Morocco
By tclava
27 Nov 2014

Counter terrorism patrols are carried out regularly in the areas of the Western Sahara where Moroccan-claimed land borders Algeria and Mauritania.

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Western Sahara 20
Bir Lehlu, Morocco
By tclava
27 Nov 2014

A decorative light in the shape of the Western Sahara hangs in the desert near Bir Lehlu.

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Western Sahara 09
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
26 Nov 2014

Containers full of aid are lined up in the desert near the Rabouni refugee camp.

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Western Sahara 17
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
26 Nov 2014

A man stands beside his broken-down car in the Rabouni camp.

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Western Sahara 19
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
25 Nov 2014

A woman dresses in festive attire and waves a Western Sahara flag during a rally for the independence of the Western Sahara.

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Western Sahara 03
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
25 Nov 2014

A Saharawi military parade is under way in the desert near the 27 February refugee camp.

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Western Sahara 04
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
25 Nov 2014

Women join the parade in support of independence for the Western Sahara.

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Western Sahara 05
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
25 Nov 2014

A soldier carries a SPLA flag near the Rabouni camp near Tindouf, Algeria.

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Western Sahara 01
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
24 Nov 2014

The Smara refugee camp in southern Algeria is home to thousands of Western Saharan refugees.

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Western Sahara 02
Tindouf, Algeria
By tclava
24 Nov 2014

Women sift through clothing at a street market in the Smara refugee camp.

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For Clan and Country (1 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
19 Jul 2013

Fans arrive at Hargeisa Stadium ahead of the Somaliland Regional (aka Clan) Cup Final.

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For Clan and Country (4 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

Players of Hawd pose for the camera ahead of kick-off. In a repeat of last year's final, they play fierce local rivals Maroodi-Jeh for the highest prize in Somaliland sport.

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For Clan and Country (7 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

The referee keeps a close eye on the fierce challenges that fly in from all directions. After 90 minutes of hot, tireless action the game is deadlocked at nil-nil.

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For Clan and Country (8 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

Hawd's sixth penalty flies wide of the post, handing Maroodi-Jeh a second-consecutive victory. Last year Hawd were also beaten finallists.

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For Clan and Country (6 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

Maroodi-Jeh's jubilant players race to the touchlines in victory, as Hawd's beaten penalty-taker lays in anguish.

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For Clan and Country (12 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

The trophy is held aloft as the sun sets over Hargeisa. "This game is huge for Somaliland," says minister of sport Abdi Saeed Raigal as a handful of stones clatter the stadium's corrugated roof. "Every year we will get better and better."

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For Clan and Country
Hargeisa, Somalia
By Serene Yordi
18 Jul 2013

Somaliland is the breakaway Somali state seeking independence after decades of bloody civil war and terror. Its capital city Hargeisa is booming, and expats are returning to start businesses after years in exodus.

But Somaliland is still deeply riven across clan lines, that often spill into violence which threaten its image as the peaceful antithesis of terror-torn Mogadishu, from whom the state clamours for independence.

Football may be the answer. And this year's year's 'Regional', aka 'Clan', Cup Final, which pitted two tribal groups from Hargeisa against each other amid a chaotic atmosphere in the capital's 15,000-plus capacity stadium, wasn't just a chance to play out tribal rivalries in peace. It was a statement that Somaliland can police itself and promote sport without help from Somalia, the UN or any other outsiders.

"Somaliland is desperate for recognition," says Jamal Alon, a British-Somalilander who helped organise this year's final. "It's days like this that show it can be recognised through football, and sport in general.

"This is Mo Farah's birthplace so there's tons of sporting talent here. Come to Hargeisa, see the city and bring your scouts!"

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For Clan and Country (2 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

Security is tight as stick-wielding policemen keep punters in check. Previous years' finals have seen tribe-driven violence and stone-throwing.

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For Clan and Country (5 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

The women's stand is awash with colour, as girls and older women in traditional dress wave national flags and scream support for their team.

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For Clan and Country (3 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

The crowd, which doesn't swell to full-capacity until the second half, watches as the game slips into sudden-death penalties.

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For Clan and Country (9 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

It's a tough day for Hawd's exhausted players, who also lost last year's final to their cross-town rivals.

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For Clan and Country (10 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

A presenter reports pitch-side after the match. Last year's final drew just one local crew while this year seven TV stations covered the game - a sign of progress off the field in Somaliland.

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For Clan and Country (11 of 12)
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By mcseaniew
18 Jul 2013

Maroodi-Jeh's captain receives the winners' trophy from Somaliland justice minister Hussein Ahmed Aided. "I'm supporting both teams," he says. "I'm the minister of justice - I have to be even-handed!"

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Gorongosa Villagers
Gorongosa, Mozambique
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
04 May 2013

Around and inside Gorongosa live around 250,000 persons that continue struggling to survive from a hard daily life after decades of civil war that came after independence from Portugal

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BARCELONA: AGAINST INDEPENDENCE OF CA...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Editor's Picks
13 Oct 2012

Massive demonstrations took place all weekend in Barcelona, Spain, with national sentiment taking the stage in a protest against the independence of Catalonia, followed by a noisy rally as demonstrators rode the #Globalnoise wave of rallies worldwide.

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Climbing up to the press podium, a woman bears her breasts to the crowd.

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain. - Seis mil personas, según fuentes de la Guardia Urbana han participado en la concentración de este viernes al mediodía en la plaza de Catalunya de Barcelona con motivo del 12 de Octubre dia de la Hispanidad. La Plataforma de España y Catalanes. ha reunido a miles de personas con banderas catalanas y españolas que se sienten tambien españolas, con el lema unitario de 'Cataluña somos todos. De España y catalanes.

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Rally Against The Independence Of Cat...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
12 Oct 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Six thousand people, according to sources from the city police, participated in a Columbus Day rally on Friday afternoon, October 12, at the Plaza de Catalonia in Barcelona. The platform of unity brought together Catalonians and Spaniards with the motto "We are all Catalonia."

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"Catalonia, New State Of Europa"
Parliament of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Francesc Xavier Subias Salvo
27 Sep 2012

Barcelona, Spain. About 400 people from the National Assembly of Catalonia (ACN), gathered at the gates of Parliament to demand the independence of Catalonia on Thursday, September 27, 2012. Parliament members inside gathered for the second day of the annual Debate on General Policy, where only 21 members objected to a referendum for an independent state, to be voted on in the next election. Behind a banner with the slogan, "Catalonia, new state of Europa," demonstrators chanted for independence and waved Catalonian flags.