Renewed Interest in Decades-Old #WesternSahara Conflict, via @DionNissenbaum @WSJ

Renewed Interest in Decades-Old #WesternSahara Conflict, via @DionNissenbaum @WSJ

The fight for independence in Western Sahara is the focus of renewed interest. WSJ national security reporter Dion Nissenbaum visited the region. Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan

Under surveillance while reporting from Western Sahara—a ‘veritable news black hole’

Morocco all but bans outside journalists from working in Western Sahara, the disputed region in northwest Africa. The area is considered a “veritable news black hole” by the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders.

But the government earlier this year offered The Wall Street Journal rare access to Laayoune, the desert city in the portion of the disputed region of Western Sahara that is controlled by Morocco. Once there, a Journal reporter was trailed by what appeared to be undercover security officers on motorcycles while meeting with independence activists.

For most people in Laayoune, life is quiet. Western Sahara has few resources, save for some phosphorus mines and fishing off the Atlantic coast. Laayoune is home to the U.N. mission known as Minurso, whose peacekeepers say they aren’t allowed under an agreement with Morocco to officially meet with local residents.

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Origen: A Rare Look Inside a Secluded Desert Struggle – wsj.com