The last stragglers of Morocco's "Green Peace March" are heading back over the border from the Spanish Sahara to Morocco.
SV PAN (NIGHT) Moroccans in desert listening to speech by king Hassan
LV & CU Moroccans celebrating at night (3 shots)
CU (DAY) Moroccans preparing to leave
SV PAN FROM Moroccans TO waiting lorries
LV PAN Convoy of lorries moving along road below picture of king Hassan
Initials BB/2300 JA/MR/BB/0000
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Background: The last stragglers of Morocco's "Green Peace March" are heading back over the border from the Spanish Sahara to Morocco.
King Hassan of Morocco ordered his people to return from the Spanish Sahara on Sunday(19 November). The next day the huge tent city that had sprung up six miles inside the Spanish Sahara territory and within sight of heavily armed Spanish troops began to disappear.
More then 350,000 Moroccans marched into the Spanish Sahara on the orders of the Moroccan King in an effort to lay claim to the country which has rich phosphate deposits.
The Spanish government, which controls the Spanish Sahara, warned that, if the King ordered the Moroccan "peace marches" any further into the territory the "consequences would be terrible".
The Spaniards backed their threat by laying huge minefields in the path of the proposed "peace march". They warned that if any Moroccans managed to get through the minefields the heavily armed Spanish troops "would ensure they got no further".
Now the Spanish and Moroccan government are to hold "discussions in Madrid on the issue of the Spanish Sahara" but Morocco has warned that the marchers will not be disbanded but will re-group at the Moroccan town of Tarfaya, near the border.
The Moroccan information Minister, Ahmed Taibi Benhima, said that if the "discussions" with the Spanish government failed then the Moroccan marchers would once again march into the Spanish Sahara.