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Luther College student is heading to New York City to speak to the United Nations

Posted: Mon, Oct 2, 2017 11:28 AM
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

There once was a time when Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, the United States and many other countries had colonies around the world.  If you think that time has entirely passed, you'd be wrong.

The United Nations says there are 17 colonies still existing in the world.  Included on the list is Western Sahara, which was once a colony of Spain.  It received independence from Spain in 1976, but neighboring Morocco quickly moved to claim the territory because of the valuable phosphates discovered there.  A 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and Western Sahara was supposed to include a vote for Western Sahara to become independent--but that has never happened.

This week in New York, the issue will be discussed again at the UN.  Luther senior Fatimetu Jatri Emhamed, who is a native of Western Sahara, will be giving a presentation to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, as she did last year, asking for the UN's help with peace efforts between the two countries.

When the United Nations was formed 72 years ago, there were more than 80 colonies around the world.  That number has now been reduced to 17, but nearly two million people live in those 17 countries.

(Photo courtesy of Luther College)