The Polisario Front celebrated the second anniversary of its self styled Democratic Arab Sahrauri Republic on Monday (27 February).
CU & GV Tribesmen and women cheering, shouting and waving flags (5 shots)
GV Soldiers on parade presenting arms
CU Angolan soldiers watches flag waving ceremony
GV Soldiers stand to attention as flag is raised (2 shots)
SCU President of the General Council of the Democratic Arab Sahrauri Republic, Sid Ahmed Ould Ahmed Mahmoud, making opening speech, while crowd listens and applauds (3 shots)
GV Camel riders trotting past saluting
SCU Soldiers marching past
GV & CU Crowd watches as fleet of open cars moves past carrying troops and hauling field artillery (3 shots)
GV Heavy trucks laden with troops
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Background: The Polisario Front celebrated the second anniversary of its self styled Democratic Arab Sahrauri Republic on Monday (27 February). About 300 delegation and newsmen attended the celebrations, and they heard the Polisario Secretary-General, Mohamed Abdelaziz Said, stress that there would be no peace in the area until had full independence.
SYNOPSIS: The celebrations were held in the Western Sahara, some 60 kilometres from the Algerian town of Tindouf. This is part of the region the Polisario Front have been fighting for since the territory was ceded to Mauritania and Morocco by Spain in february 1976. The Polisario want full independence, but so far Algeria and South Yemen are the only Arab governments to recognise them.
Military parades and marches were a main feature of the celebrations. And among those watching was a representative from Angola.
The Polisario are armed by the Algerian, who have given them powerful support in the international arena.
One of the key speakers during the celebrations was Mr. Sid Ahmed Ould Ahmed Mahmoud, the president of the General Council of the Democratic Arab Sahrauri Republic. His theme was full independence. Later Polisario General Secretary Mohamed Abdelaziz Mahfoud Said that until this was granted there would be no peace or stability in the Western Sahara.
Meanwhile, the fighting against Mauritania and Morocco continues and the week of the celebrations saw three clashes in the Western Sahara. The Polisario have reported killing 51 Moroccan soldiers.
A Polisario communique said 18 Moroccans died when Polisario commandos last Saturday (25 February) shelled the defence perimeter of El Aiun, the Western Saharan capital, and stormed two outposts.
Another 21 were killed the same day when a convoy was ambushed north of Gor Lechchaicha, and according to Reuters, quoting the Algerian News Agency Aps, 12 died two days earlier in an ambush on a convoy west of Bir Lahlou.
The Polisario rely heavily on trucks and Land Rovers and cover hundreds of kilometres at night over terrain they know well, emerging at down to swoop on unsuspecting outposts.