Picture above (p.a.) Jone Trovåg and Jonas Strisland. Click the photo for high resolution version. Free use.
"We were hoping to meet with students in Western Sahara to learn about the suppression and discrimination they are facing while studying and after they finish their education", says Jonas Strisland to the Support Committee for Western Sahara. Strisland is the President of the Welfare and Equality Policy Committee of the Norwegian Student Organisation.
Together with Jone Trovåg, who until end of December was the president of the Student Parliament at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), the two had planned to travel to the terriory to raise awareness about the forgotten conflict.
Hwoever, at 04:30 thig morning, Norwegian time, the journey came to an end, as Moroccan police threw them back to further north in Morocco.
"We got no way to explain ourselves", Trovåg told.
"When the Saharawis have finalised their education, they travel back to the occupied territories, only to see that the employment opportunies are given to settlers from Morocco. This is the marginalisation that we wanted to witness", Trovåg told the Norwegian Support Committee.
"Companies like Sea Tank Chartering from Norway take part in supporting the occupation through its transports of fish oil", Strisland stated.
The shipping company on 23 January 2017 landed a large cargo of fish oil in France, which they had picked up in Western Sahara.
The two boarded a bus from Agadir at 11PM at night on 22 January. At 0430AM, CET, they were singled out in the bus they were in, and ordered to leave the bus bound for El Aaiun, Western Sahara.
First, they were told that the territory was unsafe for them.
"Four other Norwegians had ended up in the control at the same time as us. We were told that none of us were welcome further south", Strisland said.
In the same car escorting them northwards, there are four youth politicians from Green Youth and Young Liberals of Norway. They arrive Agadir around 9AM this morning.
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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