Hasten solution to Western Sahara conflict - govt

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pretoria - Government has expressed disappointment at what it has described as the heavy-handed manner in which Moroccan security forces broke up a protest at a camp in Laayoune in the occupied territory of the Western Sahara earlier this week.

As a result of the incident, lives were lost, particularly those of innocent civilians.

"It is unfortunate that the clashes occurred while the third informal talks between the representatives of Morocco and the POLISARIO in Manhasset, New York, were taking place," Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

Government has urged parties to hasten talks so that a solution to the Western Sahara conflict can be found, based on and in conformity with, the provisions of the United Nations Charter and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, especially the principle of the sanctity of colonial borders in Africa and the right of the peoples of former colonial territories to self-determination.

Both parties should continue to support the United Nations initiative that encourages direct negotiations between the parties with a view to achieving a "just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara".