1. Links regarding the history of Westsahara
2. Archeology Project Westsahara
Dr. Mark Milburn, one of the founders of the Archibald William Milburn Foundation, has promoted archaeological sites (among others) in the Westsahara in 1978 at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He was able to do research in the Western Sahara, when the Western Sahara was still a Spanish province. This particularly connects him to this area. He is one of the few people who undertook archaeological activities before 1975 in this area.
The population of the Western Sahara, the Saharan people, founded the Polisario in 1973, in order to become an independent nation, as the United Nations had demanded from Spain in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, the neighboring countries Mauritania and Morocco also reported territorial claims on the very „raw material-rich area“. Although, according to the judgment of the International Court of Justice, these claims were not justified, Spain under General Franco in the „Tripartite Agreement of Madrid“ abolished the administration of the Western Sahara to Morocco and Mauritania in November 1975.
Immediately the armies of the two neighboring states marched into the Western Sahara. The Frente Polisario organized the resistance. The military successes of the Frente Polisario forced Mauritania back in 1979 to withdraw from the war. Morocco continued its attempt at conquest, despite heavy losses, and used napal bombs, poisoned wells, and slaughtered the livestock which were necessary for life.
Polisario founded the „Democratic Arab Republic of Sahara (DARS)“ in 1976 and was recognized by Mauritania and many other countries. Morocco, however, pulled up a barrier of up to ten meters high. 1,200 km of high-tech parts have since been divided into the Western Sahara – barbed wire, infrared and explosives secure the wall. At the beginning of 1990 there was hope for the Saharawi people. The United
Nations worked out a peace plan, a free and fair referendum
Provided. 1991 was on UN mediation between Morocco and the Polisario
A truce agreed with a later referendum. Until the year 2000, the vote adopted in the UN Security Council was adopted
Moved five times. To this day, Morocco is blocking this peace plan.
Meanwhile, a second generation is growing up in the refugee camps, fed by NGOs with dairy powders, legumes, foodstuffs. Practically everything there is in the camps comes from outside !!! The Spanish population has a great conscience about the people in the refugee camps and organizes a training camp for the youth and much more. There are astonishingly well-educated young people in the refugee camps, mostly multilingual. Algeria and Cuba are also concerned about training, as well as associations and foundations in Europe. But the returnees have to be „at home“ in the refugee camps mostly to the idleness and the world economic crisis sharpened the situation to a large extent!
Very praiseworthy is the regime of the Polisario in the camps, which in many aspects is „at the height of the time“, the whole cultural area of women is administered. Religious fundamentalism is alien to them, faith is privacy, in divorces the woman keeps the tent, girls and boys are taught together.
Archaeologists have been invited by the Ministry of Culture of the Democratic Arab Republic of Sahara (DARS) for several years. Dr. Stefan Kroepelin, University of Girona, Prof. Soler, University of Basque Country, and Dr. Andoni are working under this patronage Sáenz de Buruaga and some other universities in Europe at the rich sites in the so-called free zone in the Western Sahara.
The founder of the foundation was invited to participate in this large-scale project because of his 30 years of work in the Western Sahara.
The founders of the Foundation have the impression that the archaeological researches in the Western Sahara, this „hopeless“ people give a kind of self-confidence or identity and contribute to the stabilization of the peace process in this region.