August 18, 2005

Polisario frees 404 Moroccan prisoners – Red Cross

GENEVA (Reuters) - Western Sahara's exiled Polisario Front
independence movement on Thursday freed its last 404 Moroccan
prisoners of war, many held for almost two decades, the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

In a statement, the neutral Geneva-based humanitarian
agency said the release followed mediation by the United States
and that the freed men were being flown to Morocco to be
reunited with their families.

Over the years, the ICRC has repatriated more than 2,000
Moroccan prisoners captured during a 16-year-long guerrilla war
with Morocco over the Western Sahara. A U.N.-brokered ceasefire
was clinched in 1991, ending the conflict.