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Latest news from Western Sahara

WESTERN SAHARA: Tens of thousands of refugees homeless after rains wipe out shelters

DAKAR, 16 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Aid agencies are rushing to help some 60,000 Western Sahara refugees after freak rains late last week wiped out houses and schools and damaged hospitals in camps in eastern Algeria.Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: UN renews peacekeeping mandate amid pessimism

DAKAR, 28 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The UN Security Council voted on Friday not to give up on its peacekeeping mission in the disputed territory of Western Sahara but black clouds continue to hang over talks on the three decade-old problem. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: Polisario releases all remaining Moroccan prisoners of war

DAKAR, 18 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The Polisario Front, which is fighting for Western Sahara to be recognised as an independent state, on Thursday released all remaining Moroccan prisoners-of-war, some of whom had been held in captivity for more than 20 years. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: New UN envoy named after 13-month gap

DAKAR, 27 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has confirmed Dutch Ambassador Peter Van Walsum as his personal envoy for the Western Sahara where a territorial dispute has raged for nearly 30 years. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: Polisario asks world to intervene after what it calls repression by Morocco

DAKAR, 31 May 2005 (IRIN) - The Polisario Front, the group seeking independence for Western Sahara, has accused the Moroccan government of ferocious repression following disturbances this month and has called on the international community to intervene and protect civilians.Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: Polisario releases 100 prisoners after EU request

DAKAR, 22 Jun 2004 (IRIN) - One hundred Moroccan prisoners of war, some of them in captivity for more than 20 years, have been released by the Polisario movement fighting for the independence of Western Sahara, European Union officials said. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: Baker resigns as UN mediator after seven years

DAKAR, 14 Jun 2004 (IRIN) - Former US Secretary of State James Baker has resigned as the UN special envoy to the Western Sahara after trying without success for seven years to broker a political settlement for the desert territory occupied by Morocco since 1976. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: 13 years and $600 million later, peace nowhere in sight

ABIDJAN, 28 Apr 2004 (IRIN) - The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned that UN peacekeepers will be pulled out of the Western Sahara next February unless the Morocco and the Polisario Front can agree on how to bring peace to the troubled desert territory. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: Family visits begin for the Sahara’s forgotten refugees

DAKAR, 5 Mar 2004 (IRIN) - A group of refugees from the Western Sahara living in camps in the Algerian desert flew home on Friday to visit relatives in the first of a planned series of exchange visits organised by the UN refugee agency UNHCR. Full report

WESTERN SAHARA: Rabat in the process of developing response on peace plan

ABIDJAN, 22 Jan 2004 (IRIN) - The United Nations has proposed extending its mission to the Western Sahara for a three months amid signs that Morocco will respond positively to the latest UN proposal for resolving a 28-year-old dispute over control of disputed former Spanish colony. Full report


IRIN Focuses & Interviews for Western Sahara

SAHEL: IRIN Focus on plans to improve road links


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