Morocco has reported that hundreds of refugees fled the Tindouf camps in
Western Sahara over the last two months. They said the refugees have
expressed their opposition to continued rule by the Algerian-backed
"They made it clear that the population held in the camps are fed up
with the separatist propaganda and are willing to grab any opportunity to
return to Morocco," the official Moroccan news agency, MAP, said.
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In late May, 20 people fled Tindouf for the Moroccan-controlled city of
Layoune in Western Sahara. Morocco controls 80 percent of the disputed
region, which encompasses 266,000 square kilometers, Middle East Newsline reported.
The latest group of refugees brings to 328 those who fled Tindouf for
Morocco since March 25. Officials said Polisario has sought to block the
exodus by increasing security around the camps.
"Members of the group expressed their satisfaction with the return to
their homeland Morocco, where they can lead a dignified life among their
families and recounted aspects of the inhuman treatment endured by the
forcibly-detained population in the camps," MAP said.
Morocco has offered autonomy to Western Sahara. Polisario, which
threatened to renew war against Morocco, has rejected this and called for a
referendum on independence.