About the Western Sahara War Archive (WSWA)
This website aims to inform and to organise data about the latest stage of the last
colonial war in Africa, which started on 13th November 2020 in Western Sahara.
Is this a meaningful task in a society overloaded with news and data, in which some of
the most profitable corporations belong to the media branch? More than five decades
ago, some regretted that the market demand for facts had set up a fact-producing
industry, in which journalists were now replacing scholars. As expected when so much
capital is poured into one branch, the unit cost of this particular good, news, tends now
to zero. It is consensual, however, that something went wrong along the process. Since
the “monstrous event” (which was the monumental label given by erudite historians of
the 1960’s for what are now just ordinary fake-news in social networks) this branch of
the industry has surely progressed in a peculiar way.
Yet, all this noise follows narrow paths. The control of the past by the ruling interests is
today increasingly more blatant in what is not shown than in what it is made up by them. When a fresh new war is being waged at less than 3,000 km from Lisbon and not
a single second of it is being broadcasted by one single European mainstream media,
then, really, something must be done. Professional historians used to allege archive’s
restrictions and the necessary time-lag for not engaging in the History of today, which
could never be an “objective History”. The speed at which official documents are
released, the mass of data which is now in open access thanks to information leaks
during the i-net years and, especially, the urgency of explaining plain things in a distorted world overcame this old argument. In less than three months the ongoing
Sahara War has already produced thousands of documents. And as for the time lag
required by historians – which many wanted in fact to be social distance – , it seems that fewer and fewer are now opposing the opinion of one of them, that “History is always contemporaneous”.
Anyway, some red lines must not be crossed if the goal of this site is to contribute to
elementary fact finding and the archiving of war documents;
– WSWA can not guarantee the truth of the contents it broadcasts; but it must be always
able to identify its sources. No information will be published without tracking its
author and therefore one’s respective responsibility;
– this site is not connected to any official service of the conflicting parties. Therefore,
we feel free not to stick to official documents and to add available and reliable non-
official sources, such as press clips, oral sources or audiovisual material;
– There is no such thing as unbiased and objective information, especially when it
comes to wars. To pretend there is it is often the first step to start diffusing propaganda.
Bias and commitments are part of every conflict and must be recorded as such, like
everything else. This is why WSWA is open to file scholar and non scholar
Our task for now is just to show and to record. We sincerely hope that with this site it
may be easier to explain and to act.
EDITORS AND COPYRIGHTS HOLDER:
Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto
FLUP – Via Panorâmica s/n 4150-564 Porto
Western Sahara War Archive is a website of the CEAUP project African territories
and policies, workgroup for African Foreign Policies and Political Parties.
The copyright of all data analysis of this site, including all mappings are assigned to