Western Sahara: Migration, Exile and Environment


Journal Article


Gila, O. A.
Zaratiegui, A. U.
De Maturana Diéguez, V. L.


Western Sahara: Migration, Exile and Environment




International Migration

Vol (No), pp

49, 146-163


There is historical evidence indicating migration has been a traditional response of Sahrawi societies to the changing challenges of environmental conditions, especially the climatic shift and severe periods of droughts. The disintegration of traditional society, together with modernization, the introduction of agriculture, and sedentarization, the process of urbanization and the implementation of new strict political borders that fractured the once open space they used to move within, modified dramatically the previous patterns of climatic periodic migrations. Although we have not been able to establish a clear link between environmental conditions and migration within Moroccan controlled Western Sahara, on the contrary the environment seems to play a crucial role in determining the rhythm and other features of the migratory flows abroad from the refugee camps on the Polisario ruled part of Western Sahara and Tindouf.


Gila, O. A., Zaratiegui, A. U., & De Maturana Diéguez, V. L. (2011). Western Sahara: Migration, Exile and Environment. International Migration, 49, 146-163. URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00665.x