The Western Sahara liberation movement, the Polisario Front has been seeking support from Western Countries in its fight to obtain self-determination for the people of the territory.
The Western Sahara liberation movement, the Polisario Front has been seeking support from Western Countries in its fight to obtain self-determination for the people of the territory. The area was formerly a Spanish colony and was ceded to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975. Since then the Polisario in an effort to make Western Sahara an internationally recognised independent state. Last week (20 May) the Front celebrates its fifth anniversary.
SYNOPSIS: There was a large turn out form the celebrations at the Polisario's main camp in Western Sahara. Under the movement's flag women marched in traditional dress. The Polisario Front has grown into a strong guerrilla army from a shabbily-armed band of rebels formed in 1973. The main reason for its strength is the diplomatic and military support the movement has received from Algeria.
At the celebrations the crowd was told by the Polisario appointed Prime Minister of Western Sahara, Mr. Mohamed Lamaine, the movement was against any compromises in its quest for absolute independence. He said the Polisario Front was ready to begin negotiations with the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity. The Front operates from bases in ill-defined border areas close to the Algerian region of Tindouf. Sources close to the Polisario say the Front's increasingly sophisticated arms including anti-aircraft guns and heavy artillery are supplied by Libya and Algeria. Mauritania and Morocco claim that without Algerian support, the Front would collapse.