The UN envoy for the Sahara region visits the refugee camps in Algeria

The UN envoy for the Sahara region visits the refugee camps in Algeria  The United Nations envoy to the disputed Sahara region visited refugee camps in Algeria to house people displaced by decades of fighting, in a new effort to find a diplomatic solution for the region. But the visit was met with skepticism from supporters of the Polisario Front, which seeks independence in the region.  The United Nations envoy to the disputed Sahara region visited refugee camps in Algeria on Saturday to shelter people displaced by decades of fighting, in a new attempt to find a diplomatic solution for the region.  But Staffan de Mistura's visit to the Smara camps, which was broadcast on Algerian state television, was met with skepticism by supporters of the Polisario Front, which seeks independence for the territory annexed by Morocco in 1975.  Sahrawi independence activists are frustrated after decades of diplomatic stalemate, which has prompted some young people to take up arms against Moroccan forces they see as occupying.  The envoy had started his visit to the region last week with a visit to Morocco, and next week he will travel to Algeria and Mauritania.  The Polisario Front has the support of Algeria, which cut diplomatic relations with Morocco last August due to the dispute over the Sahara.  Following de Mistura's meeting, Moroccan officials affirmed "the country's commitment to the resumption of the political process, which is taking place under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations."  Morocco proposed granting the Sahara region greater autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, but the Polisario Front demanded a referendum for self-determination under the supervision of the United Nations.  Azza Brahim Babi, leader of the Boujdour refugee camp, told the official Algerian news agency APS, "The Sahrawis are not asking for the impossible. We are only asking for a referendum."  She doubted the ability of de Mistura, the Italian diplomat and former UN envoy to Syria, to reach the elusive solution, saying, "We will continue the armed struggle."

The UN envoy for the Sahara region visits the refugee camps in Algeria


The United Nations envoy to the disputed Sahara region visited refugee camps in Algeria to house people displaced by decades of fighting, in a new effort to find a diplomatic solution for the region. But the visit was met with skepticism from supporters of the Polisario Front, which seeks independence in the region.

The United Nations envoy to the disputed Sahara region visited refugee camps in Algeria on Saturday to shelter people displaced by decades of fighting, in a new attempt to find a diplomatic solution for the region.

But Staffan de Mistura's visit to the Smara camps, which was broadcast on Algerian state television, was met with skepticism by supporters of the Polisario Front, which seeks independence for the territory annexed by Morocco in 1975.

Sahrawi independence activists are frustrated after decades of diplomatic stalemate, which has prompted some young people to take up arms against Moroccan forces they see as occupying.

The envoy had started his visit to the region last week with a visit to Morocco, and next week he will travel to Algeria and Mauritania.

The Polisario Front has the support of Algeria, which cut diplomatic relations with Morocco last August due to the dispute over the Sahara.

Following de Mistura's meeting, Moroccan officials affirmed "the country's commitment to the resumption of the political process, which is taking place under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations."

Morocco proposed granting the Sahara region greater autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, but the Polisario Front demanded a referendum for self-determination under the supervision of the United Nations.

Azza Brahim Babi, leader of the Boujdour refugee camp, told the official Algerian news agency APS, "The Sahrawis are not asking for the impossible. We are only asking for a referendum."

She doubted the ability of de Mistura, the Italian diplomat and former UN envoy to Syria, to reach the elusive solution, saying, "We will continue the armed struggle."
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