The Prime Minister of the newly-proclaimed Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara, Mr. Mohamed Lamine,?
LV PAN INTERIOR Mr. Lamine speaking (in Arabic) seated next to him Mr. Ould Zion (hatless)
CU Mr. Lamine speaking in French (3 shots)
Initials BB/0100 MF/MR/BB/0130
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Background: The Prime Minister of the newly-proclaimed Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara, Mr. Mohamed Lamine, said in Algiers on Monday (22 March) that many Mauritanian soldiers did not want to fight against his republic.
Mr. Lamien said the Mauritanian soldiers had not forgotten they had fought with the Polisario Front during the war of liberation.
The Saharan Republic was proclaimed at the end of last month after Spain's final withdrawal from the Western Sahara territory. It was formed by the Polisario Front independence movement.
Both Morocco and Mauritania have opposed the setting up of the republic, and the Polisario Front is engaged in action against both countries.
Mr. Lamine said the Mauritanian soldiers did not really have the initiative in its war against the Front because of the number of Moroccan officers who were directing them from within the Mauritanian army. He said the war against Morocco was going to extend even further now that the Polisario Front was fighting in southern Morocco itself.
Mr. Lamine's movement is being backed by he Algerians and Libyans who have supplied them with Landrovers, bazookas, mortars, machine-guns, automatic rifles and anti-aircraft weapons.
SYNOPSIS: The Prime Minister of the newly-proclaimed Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara, Mr. Mohamed Lamine, said in Algiers on Monday he believed many Mauritanian soldiers were fighting unwillingly against his republic. He said they had lost the initiative to Moroccan officers in the Mauritanian army.
Mr. Lamine said the Mauritanians had not forgotten they had fought with the Polisario Front during the war of liberation against the Spanish occupation. The Saharan Republic was formed by the Polisario Front liberation movement after the final Spanish withdrawal from the Spanish Sahara last month.
The Republic has been opposed by both Morocco and Mauritania, and fighting between the Polisario Front and the two countries has been in progress for some time. Mr. Lamine has the backing of Algeria and Libya who have been supplying the Front with Landrovers, bazookas, mortars, machine guns, automatic rifles and anti-aircraft weapons.
Mr. Lamine said the Mauritanians also realised the illegitimacy of the war against the Republic. He said the fighting would extend even further with the Polisario Front fighting in southern Morocco.