Morocco: UN resolution sparks clashes
30 April 2013, 14:50
Rabat - Western Saharan demonstrators clashed with Moroccan
police on Monday after the UN Security Council renewed a peacekeeping
resolution that they said did not adequately address human rights abuses.
Dozens of protesters and police have been injured since the
protests started in Laayoune, the biggest city of the Moroccan-controlled
territory, on Friday, a day after the UN resolution was passed extending a
peacekeeping mission for one year, human rights groups and local media said.
Hmoud Iguilid of the Moroccan Human Rights Association said
he counted three injured people on Monday, including a young woman hit by a
police van. There was no immediate comment from Moroccan authorities.
For decades Morocco has insisted that Western Sahara should
come under its sovereignty, but the Algeria-backed Polisario Front independence
movement contends it is a sovereign state.
Morocco holds about 80 percent of the territory - a sparsely
populated tract of desert with phosphates and, potentially, oil and gas - and
the Polisario the rest, including refugee camps.