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date: 30 March 2020

Haidar, Aminatou locked

  • Stephen Zunes


Western Saharan nationalist and human rights advocate, is the most prominent figure in the ongoing nonviolent resistance movement in Western Sahara in support of human rights and in opposition to Moroccan occupation of the country. Widely known as “the Sahrawi Gandhi,” as of the early twenty-first century Haidar serves as president of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA). Born in 1966, she currently lives in El Aaiún in occupied Western Sahara and received her baccalaureate degree in modern literature. She is divorced and the mother of two adult sons.

The kingdom of Morocco, which claims Western Sahara as an integral part of its territory, has occupied most of the former Spanish colony since 1975. The Polisario Front, the nationalist movement which had initially battled Spanish colonialist forces, waged a guerilla war against the Moroccan occupation until a cease-fire agreement in 1991 A series of United ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of African Biography.

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