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Crossing the Divide

Crossing the Divide. One person's journey from the refugee camps in southern Algeria to Western Sahara to visit her father who she has not seen in over twenty years. (2008. Running time: 26 minutes)

'Crossing the Divide', made by United Nations Television and with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, follows the story of one person's journey from the refugee camps in southern Algeria to Western Sahara to visit her father who she has not seen in over twenty years. It offers a unique and emotional insight into this highly unusual UNHCR programme in one of the most protracted refugee caseloads anywhere in the world. Often referred to as the Confidence Building Measures, the programme enables people to travel hundreds of miles across the Sahara to spend time with their immediate family. However as the documentary shows, as ecstatic as the emotions can be at the start of the visit, the opposite is true when the five days have passed and families become separated once more.

Edward Benson, Visiting Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre (2009 - 2010), August 2011

[Crossing the Divide is the first of two films on this episode of the United Nations Television programme ‘21st Century‘, the second film ‘Ancestral waters: Philippine Indigenous Group Asserts Right to Sea and Lakes’ is also included here.]

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For more resources, see the Western Sahara Resource summary.

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Last updated Aug 18, 2011