Tension in Western Sahara persists
Algeria: Tension in Western Sahara persists after a confrontation
between students from Morocco and Sahrawis with a remnant of more than
12 injured people.
At least 16 students were injured in a dispute between Moroccan and
Sahrawi students at the Mulay Rachid Institute, in Esmara, northeast of
the Western Sahara.
The injured students were taken to the provincial hospital of Esmara,
and other sources spoke of 21 injured people.
The confrontation started after a Moroccan student tried to take out
a national Moroccan flag in the school, an action some Sahrawi students
tried to stop, said a witness.
Other witnesses said the presence of Moroccan civilians at the Mulay
Rachid was due to a rumor on the possible convoking of a protest by the
Sahrawi students. Moroccan forces dismantled the Sahrawi camp of Gdaim
Izik on November 8, and then disturbances took place in the city of El
In this context, the POLISARIO Front criticized statements from
Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez last week. Jimenez assured
before the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Senate that Morocco is not
a power occupying the Western Sahara.
Sahrawi Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Uld Salek said in a
communique that JimenezÂ´ statements were “unfounded, serious, and
denote a take of a flagrant position, to justify what is unjustifiable.”
Jimenez said the presence of Morocco was not the fruit of a warlike
conflict, but the product of an agreement, referring to the agreement
signed in Madrid in 1975.
POLISARIO criticized Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
for minimizing and giving such little interest to the events in the city
of Al Aaiun.
Some days before POLISARIO requested the intervention of Spain to
protect the Sahrawi citizens, in an official communique. Algiers, Prensa