Trump Has Suggested Building a Giant Wall in the Sahara — but It Already Exists

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(MEE) — It stretches for nearly three thousand kilometres beneath the Saharan solar, patrolled by navy personnel and surrounded by landmines.

The Moroccan Western Sahara Wall is without doubt one of the longest separation obstacles on the planet, by some measurements second solely in size to the Nice Wall of China and positively the longest in north Africa.

However its existence has escaped the eye of US President Donald Trump, who advised, in response to Spanish media reports this week, that Madrid ought to “construct a wall” throughout the Sahara to cease refugees reaching the Spanish mainland.

Josep Borrell, Spain’s international minister, stated that Trump made his feedback to a Spanish delegation within the US in June, telling him: “The Sahara border can’t be greater than our border with Mexico.”

That the Moroccan Western Sahara Wall has escaped the eye of Trump, is curious.

The president, a famous fan of separation partitions, pledged throughout his 2016 election marketing campaign that he would construct a “massive, lovely border wall,” alongside the 1,100km border that america shares with Mexico. Work on this mission has been complicated by funding disputes and opposition in Congress.

What’s the ‘wall of disgrace’?

Western Sahara is a former colony of Spain, recognized in its imperial days as Spanish Sahara. The European nation’s presence ended there in 1975, within the final days of dictator Normal Franco’s life.

The Moroccan Western Sahara Wall was constructed because of the battle between the Sahrawi individuals of Western Sahara, who’ve fought and campaigned for self-determination, and Morocco, which claimed two-thirds of the Spanish Sahara as its personal within the Inexperienced March of November 1975 and insists its sovereignty can’t be challenged (Spain not has any involvement in affairs within the area).

The construction runs for two,700km (round 1,700 miles), separating Moroccan-occupied areas of the Western Sahara from areas managed by the Algeria-backed Polisario Entrance, which needs independence and which received the territory it controls – largely barely liveable desert – from Mauritania within the battle that adopted Spain’s exit from the area.

To these residing close to the barrier, which has minimize via communities and separated households, it’s merely referred to as the “wall of disgrace”.

The construction, which consists of six large sand obstacles, or berms, was constructed between 1980 and 1987. It’s guarded by Moroccan troops, and in response to the United Nations Mission for the Referendum In Western Sahara (MINURSO) Mine Motion mission, is strewn with landmines. Residents report that a number of locals have been killed because the ceasefire reached between Morocco and the Polisario in 1991.

Following that ceasefire, the UN believed it might be capable of oversee a referendum on Western Sahara’s independence inside six months. Practically three a long time later, Sahrawis, who virtually all reside beneath repressive situations within the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara or in refugee camps in Algeria, are nonetheless ready.

The battle between the Polisario and Morocco has been called a “forgotten war”, or a “cold war”. Western Sahara is sometimes called “Africa’s last colony”.

Manuel Devers, the authorized adviser to the Polisario Entrance, informed MEE in February: “I wish to emphasise, the Western Sahara will not be a disputed area, it’s a territory that has a border with Morocco. It isn’t disputed, it’s occupied.”

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Spain: We’re Not Afraid

So will Spain comply with Trump’s options and construct a wall within the Sahara?

An estimated 33,000 individuals have landed on Spanish shores through the western Mediterranean to date this yr, in response to the Worldwide Group for Migration – triple the variety of arrivals throughout the identical interval final yr – following a crackdown on the central Mediterranean route between Libya and Italy

However Spain is unlikely to take Trump up on his suggestion.

Borrell, a critic of anti-immigration sentiment in Europe, informed Spanish media that he didn’t help Trump’s concept to construct a wall alongside the US-Mexico border.

Trump additionally appeared unaware of the sensible and diplomatic logistics which may face Madrid, ought to it resolve to comply with his concept.

The Sahara stretches for some four,800km, masking elements of 11 nations over which Spain has no jurisdiction, together with Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Mali, Eritrea and Tunisia.

Its solely regional territories are the 2 tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, on the north coast of Africa, surrounded by Morocco. Between them they comprise lower than 30 sq. km and are seen as entry factors to Europe by these determined to succeed in the continent.

Razor wire partitions encompass each. Spain’s new socialist inside minister has stated that the nation will now do “everything possible” to remove the “anti-migrant” fences.

This displays a modified stance in Madrid. As Borrell informed informed the Washington Post in June: “All people in Europe is being affected by this virus, fears of immigration… This isn’t the case in Spain.”

By Nadine Dahan Republished with permission / Middle East Eye / Report a typo

This text was chosen for republication primarily based on the curiosity of our readers. Anti-Media republishes tales from a lot of different unbiased information sources. The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t mirror Anti-Media editorial coverage.

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