Andrew McConnell



Mohamed Lamin Mohamed Dadaia

Age: 64
Polisario Soldier, pictured in Tifariti, in Polisario controlled Western Sahara.


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I was born in the city of El Aaiun in 1945. I remember much of there, the festivals, the times we went to the sea. I miss it. We were friends with the Spanish, we lived and worked with them and we learned a lot from them, some of us even entered their army. When we heard about the plans to give our land to Morocco and Mauritanian we decided to counter-attack. Spain sold us, I found it very hard to take, after that I lifted the gun. The Spanish left quickly with their luggage then the Moroccans entered El Aaiun in one day. They broke everything, the markets, houses, we thought we would all be killed.

I joined the Polisario on 2nd May 1975. We knew the land very well and knew when to attack. We studied the wall well, we would blow-up part of it at night. The Moroccan soldiers were not like us, they didn't want to die whereas we wanted to die for our land. In one operation sixteen of us crossed the wall and attacked Moroccan jaimas (tents) on the others side, during this I was shot in the leg.

When a liar gives you a promise do you believe him? The UN said that they would give Sahara self-determination and we believed them. We didn't ask for the UN to come and stop the war but they gave a promise. They have saved the Moroccan occupation while all the time Saharawi people suffer and are imprisoned and discriminated against and even tortured. The Sahrawi people fight everyday here, everyday is an injustice in the camps.

We cannot move all our people into the liberated because there are many mines here, all types, it is very dangerous. There is nothing here and we are very far from everywhere and there. I hope we can find international help for all the people to come here. I am just a soldier, when the ceasefire was signed I was very angry. I was in the middle of an operation and we got the call to stop. We will take our freedom from Rabat, all Saharawi believe that we can only have independence through force, but, we are in the political world now and can't simply go back to war tomorrow. I am waiting for the day the Polisario say we can go back to war. I have waited a long time to lift my gun again.