Tomaso Clavarino

Tomaso Clavarino

Tomaso Clavarino is a freelance journalist and photographer who focuses on the aftermath of conflicts, human rights and social issues. He is based in Italy and his works have been published by several media outlets worldwide such as Newsweek, Washington Post, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Vice News, Corriere della Sera. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Prix Bayeux Calvados for War Correspondents and in 2014 he was prized by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for his in depth work on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.

Forty years in exile

When twenty-three years ago Bechir agreed, like all his fellow soldiers in the Saharawi People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), to put away his weapons and bring to an end a twenty-year war waged against Morocco for the liberation of Western Sahara, he still had some doubts as to the wisdom of this decision. He knew that the diplomatic route would be full of obstacles and pitfalls, but he hoped that the commitment of the international community could lead to concrete results, without more bloodshed.

But since 1991, the year of the UN-brokered ceasefire that should have paved the way to a referendum for the independence of this part of the desert, nothing, literally nothing has changed for the Saharawi people.