Sunday, November 27, 2005

UN Renews Flights

UN Renews Flights for Saharawis
Prensa Latina Algiers25 November 2005
On Friday the UN renewed exchanges between Western Saharan familiesliving in El Aaiun and others living in Tinduf refugee camps borderingAlgeria.In 1975 Morocco annexed by force part of Western Sahara after Spainpulled out.A plane belonging to the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Saharaleft El Aaiun Airport with 27 families for Tinduf, home to a refugeecamp of 165,000, and will return with an equal number of families whichhave been divided by the 30-year struggle for independence.At least 29 such exchanges have taken place since the flights began lastyear, benefiting 1,476 Arab families, with 722 people visiting therefugee camp and another 754 visiting the Morocco-controlled Saharawiterritory.Pro-independence movement Polisario Front has been demanding areferendum on self-determination as stated by UN resolutions.Meanwhile, the UN High Commission for Refugees has put a telephone linebetween Tinduf and Morocco-occupied territories, and is negotiating formail service.This month, the UN Secretary General's special envoy to Western Sahara,Dutch Peter Van Walsum, began consultations in Rabat, the Moroccancapital, to find a solution to the Western Sahara issue that includes aconsultation of the Saharawi people.He met with Prime Minister Dris Jettu, Foreign Minister Mohamed Benaissaand other Moroccan officials.

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