Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Rabat, Nov 7, 2012
Moroccan authorities on Wednesday ordered 19 “foreign journalists” — 15 Spaniards and four Swedes — to leave Laayoune, the main city of Sahara. According to the communiqué of the Ministry of Interior, the 19 alleged journalists entered “the country under false pretexts, and were aiming to travel to the Sahara to cover the commemorations of deadly disturbances of November 2010, when Moroccan authorities dismantled the camp of Gdim Izik near Laayoune.
“These journalists entered the national territory without revealing their true identities, pretending to be on holiday in the kingdom,” the interior ministry was quoted by MAP news agency as saying.
The ministry further pointed out that it received no request from the 19 foreigners for permission to report from the Sahara, adding that journalists who are not accredited in the country, “are required to take the appropriate steps to do so.”
United Nations Secretary General’s Personal Envoy to the Sahara, Christopher Ross, is touring the region since October 27. After meeting with the Moroccan authorities, including King Mohammed VI and Prime Minister, Abdelilah Benkirane, and holding meeting both in the Sahara and in the Tindouf camps, Ross arrived in Algeria on Wednesday and was received by the Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
On Tuesday Ross held a 20-minute long meeting with Mustapha Salma Oueld Sidi Moulou, the Polisario opponent who was arrested in September 2010 after he had stated, during a speech in the city of Smara a month earlier, that the Autonomy Plan presented by Morocco to the Security Council in April 2007 was likely to put an end to the Sahara conflict.
During his meeting with Ross, Ouled Sidi Mouloud, made it clear to the UN Envoy that the United Nations should not impose the Polisario as the only representative of the Saharawi population.
He called on Algeria to treat the Saharwis living in the Tindouf camps in accordance with international law related to the treatment of refugees and provide them with the right to move freely within the Algerian soil and be able to work.
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