Big independence demo in West Sahara

2013-05-06 17:13
Western Sahara

Western Sahara

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Morocco
    From the strait of Gibraltar to the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains and the windswept Sahara,... Now R300.00
    buy now

Rabat - Hundreds of pro-independence Sahrawi activists marched in Laayoune at the weekend, the Western Sahara's largest city, in the biggest such protest in recent decades, Moroccan newspapers reported on Monday.

Hundreds of people marched peacefully late on Saturday afternoon, but violence broke out in the evening after the protest had ended, with 21 police officials wounded, a witness told AFP.

The clashes in Laayoune between security forces and Sahrawi protesters also resulted in an unknown number of activists wounded, according to Hamoud Iguilid, the local representative of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights.

Other smaller protests took place in Western Sahara towns including Smara on Sunday, with demonstrators carrying the flag of the "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic," local media reported.

Mohamed Salem Charkaoui from Morocco's official National Human Rights Council, cited by the news website Lakome, said 2 000 people marched in Laayoune.

French-language daily Aujourd'hui Le Maroc described the protest there, which coincided with a visit by a group of US journalists, as "an unprecedented gathering by the enemies of [Morocco's] territorial integrity," citing several sources.

"The largest protest for separation in Laayoune's history," ran the headline of Arabic daily Akhbar al-Youm, which also mentioned the presence of rebel Polisario Front flags and even the stars and stripes of the United States.

Several protests have been held in the disputed territory since the Security Council passed a resolution on 25 April which extended the UN peacekeeping mission for another year but omitted a Washington-backed proposal to broaden its mandate to include rights monitoring.

Morocco, which annexed the former Spanish territory in 1975 in a move never recognised by the international community, lobbied furiously to have the US rights monitoring proposal dropped.

Dozens of protesters were wounded when a pro-independence protest turned violent a day after the UN vote, an Amnesty International representative in Laayoune said, adding that the police used "excessive force" to disperse the protesters.

Morocco has proposed broad autonomy under its sovereignty for the phosphate-rich Western Sahara, but this is rejected by Polisario Front rebels, who took up arms to fight for an independent state until the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire in 1991.

The Polisario insist on the Sahrawis' right to a UN-monitored referendum on self-determination.

Read more on:    morocco  |  western sahara  |  north africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Khayelitsha 19:27 PM
Road name: Spine Road Southbound

DELAYS from N2 Highway going into Khayelitsha

Cape Town 19:21 PM
Road name: N2 Outbound

ACCIDENT near the Airport runway

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.