LAND MINES AND WALL IN WESTERN SAHARA
Mines are weapons that are usually buried or hidden, they explode by contact or pressure from any object, animal or person, there are other ways of working principles.
What are landmines?
Landmines are one of the most developed types of mines in recent years, exploited by the pressure of very little weight. So anyone, including children, can become its victim.
How many mines in the world?
There are over 110 million mines laid and ready to explode in 64 countries and more than 100 million remain in storage. Asia and Africa are the continents most affected by the scourge of mines. For example, in Angola and Cambodia there are more mines than people. In Kuwait there are 280 mines per square km. A similar situation, although to a lesser extent, living in Central and South America. In Europe after 5 years of war in the Balkans, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have been seriously affected.
How many mines are produced?
About 100 companies in 50 countries produce weekly 50,000 mines. That is, each minute 5 new mines threaten peace on our planet. There are over 340 different models of antipersonnel mines. Currently difference between dumb and smart mines mines or between mines detectable or undetectable. However, all mines have the same effects.
How much does a mine cost?
Its price varies from $ 05 up to 30 the most expensive, although most of them can be bought for very reasonable prices.
Who are the main victims?
80% of the victims it is the civilian population, especially children and women. The mines do not differentiate between soldiers and civilians, between peacetime and wartime. Moreover, their readily available in the field and that remain active even many years after the end of the war, makes them a nightmare for people living in areas that have been or are the scene of armed confrontations. In Cambodia, for example, mines have killed and maimed more people in 3 years of peace in 15 years of civil war.
Social and economic consequences
The location and deactivation of mines, by itself, is a costly economically (the process of neutralizing a mine can cost between 200 and 620 euros). In time, de-mine an area equivalent to a football field, planted mine in an hour, is 3 months of work and in life for every 5,000 mines neutralized 1 person killed and 2 wounded.
The mines in Western Sahara
AN ALARMING SITUATION!
It is well known that the territory of Western Sahara have been exposed to a bloody and cruel war following the Moroccan invasion of that territory.
From the earliest days of this unwarranted occupation mines began to be a ghost in all parts of the territory, and thus was the first victim of mines in the first month of the invasion (November 1975), this led the beginning of the next crop that brought the Green March.
As a result of such explosion amputated the leg of a Saharawi citizen, and from this moment, amputations and countless other physical and psychological consequences became something regrettable, but common. At such times helpless Saharawi people fled in search of a safe haven. The use of mines has been rising ever. Also there are notable changes in the history of their use and management of the Sahara during the war. But in the early eighties began to be built in stages by the Moroccan army called a terrible wall of shame being massively mines used as a basic pillar of the Moroccan military system.
How many mines are in Western Sahara?
“We can say that we are the human group that has more mines per person on the planet.” None of the belligerents and the international body that would oversee the referendum never come, he knows the exact number of mines that harbor the territories of Western Sahara. Neither NGOs have a common factor. The more “advanced” in the studies cited about 100,000 mines. But the great paradox is that this figure, in technical terms, is neither the number of mines laid in a length of 100 Kms, of the nearly 2000 km of the wall! As this number does not represent even a tenth of mines that protect the wall. Some sources estimate that only this wall is more than five million mines in only in some types of minefields.
What would be really interesting to know the exact number of mines that are populating this region. No one would know to answer this question precisely. There are figures of about 7 million mines although other figures, as some estimate of the pentagon can reach up to 10 million of these terrible weapons. Note that some NGOs including the Western Sahara within the country Top Ten, this means that is within the ten countries most contaminated by mines worldwide together with Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia among others.
How many types of mines exist or have been used?
Unfortunately the Western Sahara has been since 1975 an experimental exposure of more sophisticated mines produced in the two hemispheres.
Mines have been used for various materials and types, among which we highlight mine plastics, wood, metal or even canvas variant weighing between 4 grams of explosives more than 14 kilos.
According to a recent study by _hecho this web site – it is estimated that the Sahara can be counted more than 53 models of antitank and antipersonnel mines, a sum that represents almost 20% of all types and models of known mines in history of humanity.
What are the countries producing landmines in Western Sahara :
In order of percentage (models):
• Italy is at the top followed by the former Soviet Union, Belgium, Egypt, USA and France.
• Other countries where mines are buried in the Sahara: UK, former Yugoslavia, former Czechoslovakia, Greece, South Africa, among others.
Spain is also two models of mines known also as known worldwide as reflected by different reports, there is a piracy network dedicated to the marketing, import and export clearance.
We have strong evidence that Morocco is actively linked to this network, despite the past 14 years of “ceasefire” within sight and under cover of the unsuccessful MINURSO.
Where are commonly buried?
Obviously it is impossible to say exactly where are these gadgets. There are rules of usage but often not respected and it is more difficult even know their status.
Several factors that influence their geographical location: Here we highlight some of the most common parts to find the mines:
• The whole front, flanks and depth of the wall. This is considered the most dangerous area.
• steppes or on different rocky areas.
• Former military concentrations (settlements or abandoned shelters, etc.)
• Elevations and plains.
• Former roads and / or unused routes.
• Equipment, material, tanks and other means taken out of service.
• wadis or river mouths.
• Lots of old military battles.
• Places that have been used for maneuvers.
• Some areas of pasture.
The incidents, victims and the remedy
The most tragic aspect of this are the countless incidents that often occur on both sides of the wall built by Morocco in the Sahara. Usually in all regions of the world, these victims are children, as we have defined the ICRC in its reports, including women and other civilians are a very vulnerable group. These incidents often occur in remote areas, so that the arrival to the nearest hospital can lead to hours or even days.
So are frequent severe bleeding also the scarcity of means of transport and lack of personal distress, which hinders the reception of primary care. When these victims come to these centers in Morocco, for example, do not receive the attention it should deserve a person affected by this scourge.
A close case in our recollection was that of Aueimir Mint Hjeiba girl, who was in the vicinity of the wall in the region Twezgui when a brutal accident happened in March 2004. His family with very modest means spared no effort to cure the little girl, but funds were requested to change to correct the situation were impossible to achieve by his father, so all I could do was sit back to wait for time to decide for the life of this creature.
Keep in mind that this incident took place in Moroccan territory itself, whose foreign minister told the ICBL that “the Moroccan government’s priority is dealing with victims and take charge of their rehabilitation …” perhaps not Morocco more propitious to start defusing mines, and cooperate with the UN and POLISARIO rather than waiting for victims to offer treatment sometimes belie the facts of these.
Some ONGs Saharan took their case seriously and began to seek help. Thanks to the Landmine Victims Association of Switzerland by a medical commission in charge came and took the initiative. Hjeiba moved to had no choice but to amputate his leg because he had spent a long time without proper attention.
There are several and similar case pending receipt of the earned interest of relevant countries, civil society in general, the various international ONGs, of a vital local infrastructure, from someone who attends, because only then can solve anything, on the contrary, this situation will remain suffering day after day.
Where is the problem of Saharawi case?
This problem is accentuated when the international community itself unjustifiably ignores the Sahara conflict, also unconcerned about the serious effects caused by mines and other objects to be exploited.
The various international agencies are showing no interest in the countless sequels that cause these impacts on local people and citizens of neighboring countries.
There is a debutant local Saharawi movement for mine action work, so it leads to cooperation with various NGOs for a joint campaign against this inhumane and terrible weapon, still in oblivion important task of raising the civic movement International know the true reality of the situation.
The fact that currently the world public opinion, including the upper echelons of the UN and various NGO’s remain indifferent to the fate of the Saharawi civil population, in addition to being trapped by a system of daily repression, is also bound to permanence in a single geographic framework for the millions of mines around them, this is just adding fuel and throw oil on the fire, exposing thousands of people to imminent danger, largely non-compliance with human rights as its name suggests must include all humans, therefore, should be aware of the situation and ensure compliance.
What are the walls?
The walls are a gigantic building well-fortified, mined and guarded by a powerful army of more than 160,000 troops, hundreds of tanks, millions of mines, barbed wire and other military obstacles.
These walls were built by the Moroccan army in the Saharawi territories militarily occupied by it since 1975, basic aim expansionist ideas, and the forcible possession of lands that have always been outside, in addition to realizing the fait accompli . The occupation force. But these walls today represent a real violation of the most basic rights of people and a clear affront to international law.
When did the walls?
With the departure of Spain’s territory in 1795 began to wage a war that pitted the Polisario Front with its neighbors to the north and south: Morocco, which invaded the territory in the north – and Mauritania, who did the same from the south – In 1979, Mauritania, on the verge of bankruptcy, makes peace with the Polisario and renounces its claim over the territory, act improperly seized by Morocco to expand their occupation of all Saharawi territories. This act was condemned by the Polisario time as well as international bodies.
The Polisario intensified their attacks in self defense, the Alawite kingdom was on the verge of chaos, thus, the Moroccan army after being thwarted in all their tactics aimed at occupying the Western Sahara is forced to look for a “magic solution” from their point of view. Hassan II on an assessment of the politico-military conflict again commits another supposed solution as a last resort, this was the creation of criminals “wall of shame”. How, when and where they came up first.
The preparations and the beginning :
A task force named Larak and organized by Colonel Ben Othman, who had come down from central Morocco, took place in southern Abattih Tantan in August 1980 and headed Janfra Ras, a hill overlooking the vast plain between the mountains of Zini and Smara amazing with a mission: to protect the builders of a giant ring-shaped wall to defend the Sahara of past defeats … Clear the field and with tens of thousands of soldiers defending hundreds of excavators, bulldozers, squads of sappers and engineers began to erect a barrier that months before seemed a preposterous fiction but it certainly came true in our day and causing grief remains and countless desolation and despair.
After staggered constructions in six tranches, the great wall was finally closed in April 1987 ring, with his arrival to the Atlantic Ocean by war. The Pharaonic work closely so the Western Sahara.
Some observers emphasize that it was unprecedented for a similar work, while engineers, sappers and giant bulldozers worked day and night, while forty thousand soldiers guarding the site. Rather than its technical complexity, the construction was a challenge because of its size.
What are their military objectives?
According to the Moroccan version:
• Depriving the Saharawi fighters closer to the cities.
• Protect the cra Bu deposits as well as fishing resources.
• Create a concentration of forces on each covering one unit to another.
• Robbing the Sahrawi the element of surprise due to the use of sophisticated means of detection, such as radar and other obstacles such as, fences, stone walls and sand, among others.
• Hindering any offensive Sahara, at the same time provide opportunities for appropriate response.
• The creation of these walls will lead to many forces and Saharawi agglomerating means for opening step. Structure and composition Structure: four or five kilometers a campaign is deployed, usually of infantry (about 100 men), each of these units makes a section (30-40 men).
These units are usually of infantry and can also find other weapons such as paratroopers or other commands. Every 15 km radar data provided kick to the artillery batteries, ahead are minefields, barbed wire …
The walls are composed of:
• The walls of sand are some walls built steadily throughout the device “defensive” Moroccan, they become in parts of seven, one after another. Has a height of three meters.
• The wall of stones: these walls first appeared on May 2, 1987 after the sand could not prevent the passage of the Saharan. Its role is to reinforce the walls above. The height of this wall is 80 cm and may reach 1m.su role is to reinforce the spaces between the units.
• The wire: they are in front of the whole Moroccan wall mainly off the support points (PA) and compared with observation points (OPs). It is a high wire and sometimes reach up to 12 strands of wire.
• The anti-tank trenches: they dug for the purpose of impeding the advance of tanks and other vehicles of the enemy, these excavations are on the (PA) the (PO) and hidden among the stone walls.
They usually have a depth of 1m to 1.5m long and can measure from 1.5 to 2 meters. Explosive Obstacles:
They settled at first in front of the front edge of the wall up sometimes at a distance of 1.5 km in parts.
The whole front wall is covered by minefields and antitank mines, which do not differentiate between who puts his foot on these causes, and over every year hundreds of victims, usually innocent people, plus the fear and panic frequently cause.
These mines are also often on the flanks and in the depth of entrenched units. On this wall can be found all known minefields as designated tactics, in addition to this, thousands of these mines have incorporated an anti-lifting device, (For more information see the danger of mines).
The wall and civil effects
Improperly or a beginner, although you can see the outbreak of some awareness about the effects and consequences that this construction leaves the pioneers of this sentence are some Italian and Spanish partners have spoken a few times in front of the eastern part of this work .
“… and meanwhile, a country split in two and thousands of families supporting over thirty years of separation, exile and repression. This is the sad, more heartbreaking is the heritage of a people whose only crime is defending his FREEDOM AND EARTH. “
Is it possible to compress the effects of this horrible wall built over 25 years in a leaf? Here are the most telling effects.
This wall has the following basic objectives: expansion, annexation and the implantation of settlers:
– Severe violation or more than 28 articles of the Constitution.
– Methodical violation of basic human rights of persons, (under the occupation on the one hand, and refugees on the other.
– The permanence of the wall
– Requires the continuity of exile, separation of families and stagnation of social continuity, cultural and family Sahara and the entire area to its west is torture, humiliates, subjugates and viola.
– The wall is the main obstacle (physical or mental) versus self-determination referendum for the Saharawi people, this wall is a barrier prevented a view of the political stabilization of the area, prevents boost the Arab Maghreb Union, African Union and other regional and international organizations.
– It is important to emphasize that this aggressive obstacle passes very close to west along the southern border of Algeria, in addition to illegally cut few kilometers of land Mauritanian …!.
• Ecological and Environment:
– The construction of the wall meant the clearing of thousands of trees in a desert …!
– Contamination by mines and unexploded even explode.
– Deprived of urban expansion, construction of cities, villages, schools and hospitals.
– Was practiced by Moroccan soldiers and officers irrational hunting (law of closure)
– Exploitation of the few building materials (stones, sand etc.).
– Deprived of the use of fertile land, of the few sources of water and so on.
– Guardian is the methodical plundering of Saharawi natural resources, soil and the rich maritime resources.
– Veda trade to and from the Western Sahara … It is a clear violation of international legality.
– This wall gives a population group (west wall) only three infernal possible transition options: Morocco to the north, west the boats and the Atlantic Ocean and east and south wall, 160,000 soldiers, millions of mines radars, fences and even dogs. It is the most open-air prison in the world. It’s a makeshift border and innovate.
Today all the work of the Moroccan army is directed to your reinforcement, in the majority of the cease-fire violations – As agreed – are violated strongly on this wall. All this occurs at the time that the international community remained stunned silent about the consequences that arise as a result of the construction and permanence of the Wall .