By NBF News
Listen to article

A coalition of Labour and civil society groups in Lagos has concluded plans to hold a solidarity rally on October 12 to call for the liberation of Western Sahara from Morocco.

Mr Abiodun Aremu, secretary, Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), told newsmen that the groups would engage the government on the importance of assisting the people of Western Sahara to gain their independence.

'We will rally and create awareness about the political situation and what is going on in Western Sahara. It is the right of the people to determine how and where they want to stay,'' he said.

Aremu disclosed that the plight of the people of Western Sahara would be taken before the African Union, the United Nations (UN) and other sub-regional bodies. Mr John Odeh, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) General Secretary, represented by Mr Denja Yakub, NLC's Organising Secretary, argued that Western Saharan could not develop until it was liberated.

Mr Obi Chir, Ambassador of Western Sahara, said at the news conference that all efforts to make Morocco, which invaded the region, to leave, had failed. He said that Morocco and Mauritania took the Western and Northern parts of the Sahara in 1975 but while Mauritania renounced its hold in 1979, Morocco had refused to do so.

He said that various protests by the Saharan people had led to reprisal attacks from the Moroccan military forces, which had refused intervention by the United Nations Peace Mission. 'The refusal of Morocco to sign the referendum is a major challenge to the Sahara Republic,'' Chir said.