Plight of Sahrawi refugees "forgotten" by world

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits MINURSO peacekeepers during his visit to the Western Sahara region. 5 March, 2016. Photo: UN/spokesperson.

Sahrawi refugees in Algeria say they have been forgotten by the world according to the UN Secretary-General.

Speaking after meeting the refugees, Ban Ki-moon said their situation was "unacceptable."

Daniel Dickinson has more details.

Sahrawi families have been separated for around 40 years after fighting broke out between Morocco and the Polisario Front following the end of Spain’s colonial administration of Western Sahara in 1976.

A ceasefire was reached in 1991, and a UN mission, known as MINURSO, has been tasked with monitoring this ceasefire and organizing a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara.

On Saturday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the parties to the conflict there have not made any real progress in the negotiations towards a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.

Mr Ban described meeting refugees who told him they felt their plight and their cause had been forgotten by the world.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

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