In July 2015, UK-based charity Sandblast Arts launched Run The Sahara 2016, taking place at the end of February, next year, in the Algerian Sahara. This international solidarity race, known as the SaharaMarathon, supports the indigenous Saharawis of Western Sahara, the majority of whom are refugees based in desert camps near Tindouf in SW Algeria. Funds raised for the charity go to its Studio-Live music project in the camps.
Next year's race coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR,) self-proclaimed on February 27 in 1976. Recognised by over 80 countries world-wide, the government in exile, based in the camps, represents the collective aspirations of the Saharawis for independence in Western Sahara. The territory was colonised by Spain for a century, but upon its withdrawal was then occupied and forcefully annexed by Morocco in 1975. This sparked a mass civilian exodus and a 16 year long war with the Polisario, the Saharawi liberation movement.
News about Sandblast & Western Sahara