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Sahrawi leaders appeal for support

In the most recent UN-endorsed plan, SADR would have been replaced with a five-year transitional Western Sahara Authority, a non-sovereign autonomous region to be supervised by Morocco, followed by a referendum on independence to be held.

"However, the plan appears to be dead as Morocco has declined to participate," according to SADR's Minister for African Affairs, Mr Brahim Mojtar.Mr Mojtar is among the delegates from Sahrawi, led by its President Mohamed Abdelaziz, who arrived in the country on Sunday for a two-day official visit.

In an interview with 'Daily News' prior to a meeting with President Jakaya Kikwete, the minister said the delegation was expected to brief the president on latest developments in Western Sahara.

'The visit also aims at reinforcing bilateral relations and co-ordinatin on foreign policies between the two countries. It will also dwell on relations between the Polisario and CCM,' he explained.

He said the move by the Moroccan authorities to reject the UN peace plan on holding a referendum to determine whether the people of Sahrawi want to secede or remain under Morocco control, has brought the whole peace process back to the 'starting point.'

'We have been waiting for the past 20 years and nothing is happening, it is up to us now to decide the way forward,' he said.
The SADR delegation includes high ranking officials including Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Mohamed Salem Ould Salek.

With a population of about one million people, Sahrawi is rich in natural resources such as oil, natural gas, iron and phosphates.
Fishing is also among major economic activities in the semi-autonomous state.

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Author: ALVAR MWAKYUSA

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