The Lion of the Senate and one of USAs most influential Senators, Edward M. Kennedy (77) died from cancer yesterday. Kennedy has for many years been one of the staunchest supporters of Western Sahara in American politics.
In 2008 Edward Kennedy awarded The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award to the Saharawi activivist and former political prisoner Aminatou Haidar. Kennedy has also signed several letters form the US Senate to the President promoting the Saharawi cause. The latest letter, to President Barack Obama.
Western Sahara and the solidarity movement have lost an important allied in American politics. The Kingdom of Morocco was recently reported to be the 6th most active lobbyist in Washington. Kennedy will be sorely missed as a guardian against this pressure.
Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
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