Tuesday, November 08, 2005

POLISARIO DISMISS THE KING OF MOROCCO AUTONOMY

Polisario rejects autonomy planBBC NewsUnited Kingdom07 October 2005The independence movement for Western Sahara has dismissed a proposal to grant the territory some autonomy.A Polisario spokesman told the BBC the future of the Morocco-controlledregion could only be resolved by a referendum.Morocco's King Mohammed VI had said he wanted to consult politicalparties about some form of decentralisation.He was speaking on the 30th anniversary of the Green March, when morethan 300,000 Moroccans marched into Western Sahara to lay claim to theregion.The king said he supported giving the province powers to run itsregional affairs "within the sovereignty of the kingdom".Morocco's sovereignty over the mineral-rich region is contested byPolisario, an Algerian-backed separatist movement.The UN has sought to resolve the dispute but Morocco has dismissed itsplan for a referendum on independence.Last week, protesters took to the streets in the main regional town ofLaayoune calling for independence.Western Sahara was seized by Morocco and Mauritania in 1975 after thecolonial power, Spain, pulled out.Fighting erupted the following year, and Morocco took over most of theregion after Mauritania withdrew in 1978.-----Source:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/4415284.stmPublished: 2005/11/07 17:10:35 GMT© BBC MMV



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