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Violence overshadows Western Sahara peace talks

Violence overshadows Western Sahara peace talks
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Morocco and the Polisario Front have rejected each other’s proposals on the future of Western Sahara after violence overshadowed talks.

The latest round of slow-moving UN negotiations in New York came as calm finally appeared to be returning to the disputed territory’s streets.

Both sides have agreed to meet in Geneva next month, but at least 11 people were killed in Laayoune after clashes between authorities and residents. The trouble erupted on Monday when security forces tore down a tent camp near the city.

The violence coincided with UN backed talks aimed at ending Africa’s longest running territorial dispute, sparked in 1975 following Morocco’s annexation of the thinly populated desert tract.

The Polisario Front wants a referendum on independence, something Rabat has so far resisted.