It often happens that those who first visited the Sahrawi refugee camps population, in the face with such a brutal and unexpected reality is surprised not to have heard before. As not wanting to take their own ignorance, they attack the media as responsible for this oversight and invisibility of such extreme situations. Not available on the Sahara that is euphemistically called ” news blackout “, but well use it rather than take the shortcomings of one. I spend a lot of aid workers, filmmakers and intellectuals who come each year excited and naive FiSahara a new edition of the film festival held since 2003 in the Algerian hamada in the desert of deserts, where they live in extreme conditions about a quarter million people since 1975, when his land, Western Sahara was illegally occupied by Morocco after nothing honorable abandoning Spain, which administered it until then.

Andrew Mlangeni, a historic movement against South African apartheid, cellmate spokesman Nelson Mandela and perhaps its ethical and moral legacy, something has happened. In your case it could be understood, South Africa is far and surely that means your country will give priority to other issues and their nearly 90 years costs imaginársele devouring websites or other alternative means to keep abreast of all the thousands of conflicts, by Unfortunately, in the world are given.

Only then snapped includes scolding reporters that was passed to her the day she arrived as a guest at the Dakhla camp, where these days the eleventh edition of FiSahara held.

“I see many journalists and photographers at these events, but we never see then reflected in the media,” he said in his first press conference for the incessant flashes of flashes and the snap shots of the cameras. And dared to most: ” the Sahrawi people are living in exceptional circumstances that have to be seen throughout the world, why are the media here,” he said in a friendly tone and sulky little face.

In short, Mlangeni adopts a friendlier tone. Even softens the speech prompted him to say to the rush of being in front of camera much coming from around the world, who recommended the young refugees to take up arms and resolve once the Sahrawi conflict jammed on so many fronts.

In the darkness of the tent, in the starry desert night, a few hours later face to face with this reporter, qualifies his words: ” The Sahrawi people have to be prepared for everything, also to return to arms if it continues to ignore their right to self-determination. ” Speaks from experience. The movement in which he participated against the apartheid regime in South Africa who led his friend Mandela, was also forced to resort to violence when all doors were closed and solution paths.

The memory of Nelson Mandela and his model of reconciliation that could apply to the conflict between Sahrawis and Moroccans for almost 40 years, plans throughout the intimate conversation. On his right wrist, Andrew Mlangeni wears a metal bracelet, possibly silver, engraved with the number 46664, which led his friend Madiva during his years in prison.

“Sahrawis have to be very thankful to Algeria for having left this place; as we thanked Tanzania that left us a little bit of jungle from where we could organize our struggle, ” begins compare. ” We were able to cut down trees to build houses and grow food to survive, but the Sahrawis are in this place of great hardness and suffering and yet they have managed to survive,” says admiringly.

“We are now celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa and the end of apartheid, thanks to the great role of our leader Mandela, and the Sahrawi may also do some time.”

In addition to the strength and determination of the movement that led Mandela, the struggle against apartheid had much international support and a lot of pressure against the regime that practiced fiercely, including economic boycott by the major world powers. “You have to exert more pressure on Morocco,” said road as possible, ” to withdraw and searchable forms that are not too humiliating.” But he sees this possibility as easy, at least in the short term: ” any country that occupies another and benefits from those resources that are not yours, such as fishing or mineral, it is difficult to move him from there “

It appeals to both Africans conflicting parties to find common ground: “Morocco and Western Sahara African countries are no African country to occupy another African country,” says stressing repetition.

” Twenty years ago over Morocco agreed to make the referendum, and it was they who called for peace and are now the ones who do not follow it. And they have added over two thousand Sahrawi settlers were to alter the outcome of the census, ” she recalls. And making possible match: ” South Africa and Nigeria, the two most economically important countries in Africa have a different view on how you see Morocco, and should lead this pressure.”

Although boycott against the racist regime of South Africa also brought suffering to the black majority by the jobs that were lost when many international companies withdrew from the country, they saw it as a lesser evil than necessary, ” we request even knowing we were going to hurt, but we were prepared to suffer. That suffering was necessary because, as Mandela taught us freedom is not easily conquered, not going to give you the in a gold, they must know how to fight for it in all circumstances. And not only fight for our own freedom, but also for our succeeding generations. If you are here Sahrawis in the camps do not get it, then their children will get it. ” And looks back: “We said we wanted in 1952 and be free and we meant and had to wait until 1994 The Sahrawi people are prepared for the same. “

Share Andrew Mlangeni what has often been said that Mandela not only South Africa but changed to restore the dignity of the black race also changed the world into a place a little better. In this regard recalls that ” when we get freedom was thought to have a bloodbath but we did not take revenge, drafted a constitution that is an example to the world and recognizing the rights of all communities, black and white. Many countries are inspired by the South African constitution. ” ” Absolutely yes, Madiva also change the world and therefore the world is considered a universal leader, an icon in Spain and I know what it is.”

The example of the film Invictus, which is designed these days in Dakhla camp serves to philosophize about what things can still be done to make the Saharawi struggle not to fall into the chronicity of conflict and there is no other solution that legitimate resource of violence against the occupying power. “Culture is a good way, and festivals like this that I’ve had the honor of being invited are very useful for the further remembering.” But the fact is that South Africa also had the very important aid in the world of international art and culture, with the Saharawi little problem. “True,” he confesses, ” I do not see the involvement of filmmakers and musicians worldwide fame in this cause and that we had; but I think [back almost to the starting point ] which media do not talk enough so that artists will find out and then can influence him. ” And it can not end but is remembering back to his friend. ” In the movie [ Invictus ] all players fought with heart and because they wanted to meet Madiva “.