The autonomy to be granted- under Morocco's national sovereignty- to the Sahara region is part of the North African country's efforts to find a solution to the three-decade long Sahara dispute opposing it to the Algeria-backed separatist movement "Polisario". The latter has been claiming, since 1976, independence of the former Spanish colony which Morocco retrieved a year earlier under the tripartite Madrid Agreement signed with Spain and Mauritania.
In a press briefing following the weekly cabinet meeting, Benabdellah said that Morocco pursues its efforts to find a negotiated political solution to the Sahara issue that is accepted by the parties.
The minister who is also spokesman of the government commented on the recent statements by the Polisario leader's spouse to a Spanish daily on the situation in the Camps of Tindouf, inside the Algerian territory, where the separatists established their so-called republic. He said these statement confirm the “existence of a real crisis in these camps because of the pressure exerted on the populations held against their will and the daily violations of human rights.”