Western Sahara: The Last Colony by Andrew McConnell

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Balal Mohammed Lamin, 51, Polisario soldier. Pictured at Mehaires Military Base, in Polisario controlled Western Sahara (Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic): 'I was born in Smara in 1958. I joined the Polisario in 1975. When the war started I believed in only one thing; to liberate the whole of Western Sahara. After the ceasefire I spent all my time waiting for the war to start again. Once during the war four friends were travelling in the jeep in front of me when a mine exploded, all four were killed. I saw them all die and I couldn't do anything. Once during a firefight with Moroccans my gun was shot out of my hands. That is twice I felt very lucky to be alive. I was a mine expert in the war and we used to always blow up the wall. We would go in the dark and lift the mines and clear the area up to the wall. Then we would put explosives in the wall and blow it up then all our soldiers would enter the wall. The wall was like a grave for the Moroccans.'.