Western Sahara activist ends hunger strike

A Western Sahara independence activist ended a hunger strike and flew home from Spain on Friday.

Western Sahara activist ends hunger strike

A Western Sahara independence activist ended a hunger strike and flew home from Spain on Friday, defusing a diplomatic crisis between Madrid and Rabat.

Aminatou Haidar, a campaigner for Western Sahara's independence from Morocco, arrived from Spain's Canary Islands where she had been refusing food for 32 days to protest against Rabat's refusal to let her back into desert homeland.

"Haidar was greeted by her family members at the gate of the plane and was whisked away in car to be with her mother and two children at home," a witness at the airport in Western Sahara's capital Laayoune told Reuters by telephone.

Haidar, 43, began her protest after Moroccan authorities refused her entry when she returned home from the United States after receiving a human rights prize, confiscated her passport and put her on a plane to the Canary Islands.

Morocco initially refused to accept Haidar back unless she swore loyalty to its head of state King Mohammed VI, whose father King Hassan II took control of most of Western Sahara in 1975 after Spanish colonial forces withdrew from the territory.

But Rabat said on Thursday it had allowed Haidar back home and would give her a passeport after French President Nicolas Sarkozy interceded on her behalf with the king.

The Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which seeks an independent state in Western Sahara, said a deal had been reached about her return but gave no details.

Earlier on Thursday, television images showed Haidar being moved to hospital and she was reported to be suffering from severe stomach and abdominal pains and vomiting.



Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2009, 15:52
Add Comment