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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 Aauin.

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 Jimenez´ 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 Latina

 

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