GHALLA Sid Ahmed and her mother eke out a living in an isolated desert settlement, subsisting on five goats and a war pension. For 40 years they have lived in exile, barred from their land by a heavily patrolled sand berm that runs like a scar for 2,500km through a remote corner of the Sahara.They are the forgotten victims of one of the world’s last conflicts left over from the Cold War.There has been no fighting here for 24 years, since a United Nations (UN)-monitored ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario Front, an anticolonial resistance movement that sought independence. But there has been no peace, either, despite unfulfilled promises of a referendum to settle the status of the Western Sahara.Today, as change and conflict encroach from the wider region, the people here are once again agitating for a solution, warning of a resumption of war, as patience runs out."We like it here," says Ms Ahmed, 51, gesturing at their homestead and the desert beyond, "but it is very hard wi...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.