President Ould Daddah of Mauritania returned home on Thursday (7 July) to his capital, Nouakchott, from the Organisation or African Unity summit in Libreville.
SV: President Ould Daddah greeted by officials greeted by officials upon return to Nouakchott.
SV: guard of honour inspected by President (3 shots)
SV: President walks across tarmac (2 shots)
SV: Saharan Foreign Minister Hakim Brahim giving news conference (in French) in Algiers. (13 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Ould Daddah of Mauritania returned home on Thursday (7 July) to his capital, Nouakchott, from the Organisation or African Unity summit in Libreville. The O.A.U. has decided to hold a special meeting in Lusaka in October to discuss the disputed territory of Western Sahara, and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front for the Independence of Western Sahara has hailed the O.A.U. decision as a great victory.
SYNOPSIS: The Polisario Front for the Independence of Western Sahara has been waging a long guerrilla war to press its claim for an independent Sahara, which is rich in phosphates. Earlier this month the Front's guerrillas shelled and machine gunned the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott. The Mauritanians said one civilian was killed in the attack. The Front has formed a government in exile in Algiers, and the Foreign Minister, Mr Hakin Brahim, talked to newsmen there on Monday (11 July).
Mr. Brahim said the guerrillas were operating in a number of areas in what he called occupied Sahara, as well as in Mauritania itself, around Nouakchott and elsewhere, and in Morocco. He said that the continuation of the war was having a catastrophic effect on the economy of Mauritania particularly. Seventy per cent of Mauritania's income, said Mr. Brahim, was being spent on the war effort, and the country was getting absolutely nothing back in return.
Mr. Brahim ended by saying that in parallel to their military successes, the Front was having diplomatic successes. The problem of the decolonisation of the Sahara, he went on, has been raised at the O.A.U. in Libreville, and the decision to discuss it at length at a special meeting later in the year, was, he claimed, another success for the Polisario Front.