In Paris, Mauritanian government Minister, Sidi Ahmed Ould B'Neijara, is reported to be ready to renew contacts, with the Algerian backed Polisario Front guerrillas who have been fighting for self rule in the Western Sahara.
SV Prisoners on bus (2 shots)
SV Prisoners getting off bus.
SV Pull back; prisoners formed up (2 shots)
SCU Prisoner being interviewed.
CU Soldier talking to prisoners (2 shots)
GV Soldiers leading prisoners away.
GV Officer watches prisoners walk past
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Background: In Paris, Mauritanian government Minister, Sidi Ahmed Ould B'Neijara, is reported to be ready to renew contacts, with the Algerian backed Polisario Front guerrillas who have been fighting for self rule in the Western Sahara.
SYNOPSIS: As a mark of the Government's good faith, 50 imprisoned Polisario Front guerrillas were released on Thursday night (7 December) and taken to the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott the next day. Last week, the Polisario Front accused the military Government of having broken off the negotiations which started in July, following the coup which ousted the former Mauritanian President, Moktar ould Daddah. The Government denied the charge saying it was willing to continue the talks.
Mauretania and neighbouring Morocco divided the Western Sahara between them in early 1976. It was ceded to them by Spain. Most of the prisoners were captured near La Guera.
Before the Guerrillas were released by the Army, they were told they were free to go anywhere they liked. They were even told that if they had any transport problems they could call on the authorities for help.
The Government is concerned to maintain the ceasefire which the guerrillas declared unilaterally following the overthrow of President Ould Daddah's administration. The Western Sahara is rich in phosphate. And guerrilla attack on industry almost caused the collapse of Mauretania's economy.