SA: Western Saharan deaths deplorable

South Africa has deplored deaths at a camp in Western Saharan following the “heavy-handed” break up of a protest by Moroccan security forces.

“The South African government has learnt with shock about the heavy-handed manner in which the Moroccan security forces broke up a protest at a camp in Laayoune in the occupied territory of the Western Sahara on November 8,” said the International Relations and Cooperation Department in a statement on Friday.

“It is deplorable that, as a result of this incident, lives were lost, particularly those of innocent civilians.”

The department said the deaths were particularly unfortunate in that they came about at the same time that representatives of the Morrocan government were meeting with Polisario Front representatives in a bid to reach a peace deal.

Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco after Spanish settlers withdrew in 1975, but the Polisario Front fought the Moroccan presence until the United Nations brokered a ceasefire in 1991.

No results yet from talks
The Polisario Front wants a United Nations-organised referendum on self-determination, with independence as one of the options. Morocco has so far rejected any proposal that goes beyond greater autonomy.

The third round of informal talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco on Western Sahara’s future ended Tuesday near New York with both sides only agreeing to meet again in December.

South Africa called for a “just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that would provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara”. — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.


To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Unemployment fund, CCMA face jobs bloodbath

State bodies shielding workers have been weakened by budget cuts and high demands

Corruption allegations: It’s a family affair at Dihlabeng municipality

The mayor, her relatives and their friends keep landing lucrative tenders and using state resources. Yet Lindiwe Makhalema has failed to declare the list of her relationships with people and companies benefiting from the municipality

Auditor-general’s report reveals the municipalities where the money goes to...

Municipalities are in complete disarray, with many of them flagged by the auditor-general for deliberate lack of accountability and tolerance for transgressions by political and administrative leadership while billions are squandered.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday