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Western Sahara prepares for delayed referendum

BBC News, Wednesday 3 December 1997, 04:24 GMT

The United Nations is resuming the process of identifying those eligible to take part in a referendum to decide the fate of the disputed Western Sahara in a year's time.

Centres for voter identification re-open today in the capital, El Ayoun—which is controlled by Morocco—and in Tindouf, south-west Algeria, where thousands of Sahrawi refugees live.

The referendum was to have been held nearly six years ago, but the sides fell out over who was eligible to vote.

The resumption of the exercise follows talks between the sides brokered by a special U.N. envoy for the Western Sahara, James Baker.