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'Eleven dead' in clashes in Western Sahara camp


Darlene_Ihnfsa

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A raid by Moroccan security forces to clear a protest camp in Western Sahara has left 11 people dead, the region's pro-independence movement says.

The Polisario Front also says more than 700 people were wounded in the raid, while another 159 are missing.

The Moroccan authorities had earlier confirmed at least five deaths after Monday's clashes.

The camp near the territory's capital, Laayoune, was the biggest protest against Moroccan rule in 35 years.

Polisario accuses troops of using live ammunition, tear gas and water cannon against thousands of people at the camp.

The protests later spread to the streets of Laayoune.

A senior Moroccan official in Laayoune told Reuters news agency that about 160 people had been detained after being "caught red-handed in acts of vandalism".

The violence overshadowed the start of UN-mediated talks on the territory, which was annexed by Morocco in 1975.

Western Sahara

 

_49851637_western_sahara_bern_304.gif

 

  • Seized by Morocco in 1975 after Spain and Mauritania withdrew
  • Polisario Front seeks independence but Morocco is only prepared to grant autonomy
  • Territory rich in phosphates, fisheries and possibly offshore oil
  • Polisario fought a guerrilla war against Morocco but a ceasefire has been in place since 1991

 

The Gadaym Izik camp was set up about a month ago outside Laayoune as a protest by displaced Sahrawi people about their living conditions. It was home to more than 12,000 people.

Also on Tuesday, France has said it regrets the "surprising" decision by Morocco to turn away on Monday French MP Jean-Paul Lecoq, who wanted to travel to the area, and it has demanded explanations from Rabat.

 

 

Deadlock Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, is the scene of Africa's longest-running territorial dispute.

The phosphate-rich territory was annexed by Morocco after Spanish settlers left in 1975. Polisario fought a guerrilla war against Morocco until the UN brokered a ceasefire in 1991.

Rabat now offers to grant it autonomy, while Polisario is demanding a referendum on full independence.

The talks between both sites have been deadlocked for years, and the last meeting in February 2010 ended without any movement in the dispute.

 

 

source BBC.CO.UK

 

 

According to spanish press, journalists are not allowed to be near the area, so not many news come from there, other than some stuff people affected had managed to upload on internet.

 

 

'protest camp'?, i've always been told that it is a refugee camp.

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Morocco 'raided Western Sahara camp to sabotage talks'

 

 

 

A prominent human rights campaigner has told the BBC she believes the clearing of a protest camp in Western Sahara by Moroccan forces could be classed as a crime against humanity.

Aminatou Haidar, nicknamed the "Gandhi of Sahara", said Morocco was deliberately escalating the clashes.

It was a tactic to block UN-sponsored talks on the territory, which was annexed by Morocco in 1975, she said.

At least eight people died in the violence on Monday.

Moroccan authorities have not reacted to Ms Haidar's comments - Morocco's London embassy told the BBC it was not entitled to comment on recent events in Western Sahara.

The region's pro-independence movement, the Polisario Front, said 11 people had been killed.

The Gadaym Izik camp was set up about a month ago outside Laayoune, the capital of the disputed territory, as a protest by displaced Sahrawi people about their living conditions. It was home to more than 12,000 people.

Polisario said Moroccan troops used live ammunition, tear gas and water cannon against thousands of people at the camp.

It overshadowed the negotiations between the two sides in New York, which ended on Tuesday with no breakthrough.

'Calculated' Ms Haidar, who is in Portugal meeting local supporters of the Sahrawi people's campaign for self-determination, said it was not by chance that the violence had escalated when they did.

Western Sahara

 

_49851637_western_sahara_bern_304.gif

 

  • Seized by Morocco in 1975 after Spain and Mauritania withdrew
  • Polisario Front seeks independence but Morocco is only prepared to grant autonomy
  • Territory rich in phosphates, fisheries and possibly offshore oil
  • Polisario fought a guerrilla war against Morocco but a ceasefire has been in place since 1991

 

"Why is it that Morocco, which sits at the negotiating table, massacres the Sahrawi people on the eve of negotiations?" she told the BBC.

"This was well-studied, planned and calculated because the protest camp was there for already a month."

Polisario says at least 11 people died in the raid and more than 700 people were wounded and many others are missing.

The official Moroccan news agency says eight members of the security forces died.

Last year Ms Haidar came to international prominence when she went on hunger strike at Lanzarote airport after she was expelled to Spain's Canary Islands by the Moroccan authorities.

She had been trying to return to Western Sahara and refused to define herself as Moroccan on an official form.

Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, is the scene of one of Africa's longest-running territorial disputes.

The phosphate-rich territory was annexed by Morocco after Spanish settlers left in 1975. Polisario fought a guerrilla war against Morocco until the UN brokered a ceasefire in 1991.

Rabat now offers to grant it autonomy, while Polisario is demanding a referendum on full independence.

The talks between both sites have been deadlocked for year.

The two sides have now agreed to meet again next month and in the New Year.

BBC.CO.UK

 

some medias are speaking of ethnic cleansing attack, and mass graves with hundred deaths.

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Morocco defends deadly raid on Sahrawi camp

 

Morocco has defended its security forces following last week's raid at a protest camp in Western Sahara in which at least 12 people were killed.

Interior Minister Taieb Cherkaoui said police intervention at the camp near the town of Laayoune had been peaceful.

He said some Sahrawi protesters had killed members of the security forces using knives and petrol bombs.

The Polisario Front, which seeks independence for Western Sahara, has called on the UN to investigate.

In a letter to the UN Security Council on Monday, Polisario said that more than 36 Sahrawis died in the clash and 163 were detained.

Moroccan officials said 12 people had died, 10 of them members of the security forces.

The Gadaym Izik camp was set up some weeks ago outside the regional capital Laayoune as a protest by displaced Sahrawi people about their living conditions. It was home to more than 12,000 people.

Continue reading the main story Western Sahara

 

_49851637_western_sahara_bern_304.gif

 

  • Seized by Morocco in 1975 after Spain and Mauritania withdrew
  • Polisario Front seeks independence but Morocco is only prepared to grant autonomy
  • Territory rich in phosphates, fisheries and possibly offshore oil
  • Polisario fought a guerrilla war against Morocco but a ceasefire has been in place since 1991

 

Sahrawi activists insist their protest was peaceful and about social problems such as jobs and housing, not political issues.

But at a joint news conference, Mr Cherkaoui and Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri showed video footage made by police which allegedly showed a Moroccan policeman's throat being cut.

They said the level of violence was not common among militias in Morocco.

"I am not saying that al-Qaeda is definitely implicated in what happened in Laayoune," Mr Cherkaoui said.

"But the style used and the savagery in which that crime was committed - I mean decapitating a member of the security forces - is something unknown in Morocco and also unknown in the southern provinces."

Morocco annexed Western Sahara - a former Spanish colony - after Spanish settlers pulled out in 1975.

The Polisario Front founded the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and waged a guerrilla war against Moroccan troops until a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991.

Rabat is offering to grant Western Sahara autonomy, but Polisario is demanding a referendum on full independence.

 

 

spanish press has been attacked to be unfair and biased, and now have been banned from the area and are currently getting back to Spain also are volunteer activits.

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