Marathon runners brave desert to support refugees

STORY: The solidarity Sahara Marathon is part on an initiative to support the Sahrawi children living in the refugee camps around Tindouf. It kicked off at the Auserd refugee camp and ended in Smara.

“I wanted to show some solidarity with Western Sahara and its people and to show them the world hasn't forgotten them,” Australian runner David Field, 52, told Reuters before running his first marathon ever.

The 23rd edition of the solidarity run came a day after the celebration of the 47th anniversary of the proclamation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The run also includes 21km (13 miles), 10km (6 miles) and 5km (3 miles) races.

Morocco considers Western Sahara its own but an Algeria-backed independence movement dema nds a sovereign state.

For years most countries, including Spain, had advocated for an independence referendum to determine Western Sahara's fate.