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Western Sahara

Yearbook 2017

Western Sahara. After the Polisario independence movement withdrew its troops from the buffer zone near Mauritania, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously in April in support of the resumption of negotiations between Morocco and Polisario. The Council also voted to extend the peacekeeping force MINURSO's mission in the region by one year. It was last August that the conflict between Polisario and Morocco intensified after Morocco crossed an important barrier on the La Güera Peninsula. In February, Morocco left the area.

In connection with the decision, the Security Council invited all parties to respect the military ceasefire agreement signed between the countries in 1991.

In July, 23 Western Saharans were sentenced by a Moroccan court for 2010 killing 11 people from the Moroccan security forces. The penalty ranged from two years to life imprisonment, eight of which received life sentences and eleven between 20 and 30 years, according to Amnesty International. The case has been disputed when Moroccan police died as they stormed a Western Saharan protest camp near El-Aaiún. It was taken up by a military court in 2013, but was re-examined following protests from several human rights organizations. Both Morocco and Polisario have accused each other of provoking the violence.

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