Page last updated at 00:01 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 01:01 UK

In pictures: Saharan anniversary

Sign in the village of Tifariti

The Polisario Front - the movement demanding independence for Western Sahara - is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

Polisario Front soldiers in Tifariti, 20 May 2008

Soldiers from the movement were on parade at Tifariti, an outpost in Polisario-controlled territory.

Polisario Front supporters watch a military display in Tifariti, 20 May 2008

Since the late 1970s, most of Western Sahara - a largely desert area - has been controlled by Morocco.

The “27 February” refugee camp near Tindouf, Algeria, 19 May 2008

Tens of thousands of people live in refugee camps in Algeria, where they survive on international aid.

Pro-independence Polisario Front fighter feeds his animals in Tifariti

Polisario fighters seeking independence, like this man, clashed with Moroccan troops before the UN negotiated a truce in 1991. Polisario controls only a small part of the territory.

A Saharan girl who did not want to be identified in the village of Tifariti

Since then there has been a ceasefire in the mineral-rich former Spanish colony. A whole generation of Saharans has grown up in this limbo.

Polisario soldiers near Tifariti, 19 May 2008

The latest round of talks began last year as Morocco proposed an autonomy plan for Western Sahara. But the Polisario Front insists that any deal must allow its people to vote for independence.

Saharan women in the village of Tifariti

With years of negotiations having made little progress, many Saharawis remain uncertain about their future.



SEE ALSO
Regions and territories: Western Sahara
13 Mar 08 |  Country profiles


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