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Tuesday, December 1, 1998 Published at 00:39 GMT

World: Africa

Polisario accepts Annan's W Saharan peace plan

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, says the Polisario Front, which wants independence from Morocco for Western Sahara , has accepted his peace plan.

Mr Annan was speaking in Algeria where he held talks with Polisario leaders.

A BBC correspondent says Mr Annan was greeted by a brass band and thousands of cheering refugees, waving Saharawi flags.

Our correspondent sayshe promised that a long-delayed referendum on the territory's independence would take place by December next year.

In return, Polisario accepted that three tribes, who are loyal to Morocco, would be eligible to vote.

Mr Annan met Moroccan leaders in early November, but Rabat has yet to give a decision on his peace plan.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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