A delegation of American Congressmen currently in Algiers for talks on the conflict in the Western Sahara planned to visit area of the Sahara held by Polisario Front.
A delegation of American Congressmen currently in Algiers for talks on the conflict in the Western Sahara planned to visit area of the Sahara held by Polisario Front. The delegation led by Mr. Stephan Solarz, chairman of a Congressional Sub-Committee on African affairs, arrived in Algiers on tuesday (14 August) just then days after Mauritania's agreement to renounce all claims to the Western Sahara. The Polisario Front has been fighting a bitter war with Mauritania and Morocco for independence since 1976 when the Western Sahara was ceded to the two countries by Spain.
SYNOPSIS: The American Congressmen arrived in algeria on Tuesday (14 August) on the third leg of their tour of the area. They had already visited the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott and the town of Dakhla in the southern sector of the Sahara formerly controlled by Mauritania. The Americans have arrived at a crucial time in the four-year dispute over the phosphate-rich territory, for although Mauritania has withdrawn from the conflict, Morocco is stepping up the struggle in support of its claims, and has annexed the former Mauritanian sector.
The war is of increasing international concern. The algerian-backed Polisario Front has threatened to carry the desert fighting deep into Morocco, possibly drawing Algeria even further into the conflict.