Polisario ‘rebels’ promise new sat-TV

Chris Forrester

RASD is the French acronym of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic, SADR, the Polisario Front's adopted name in its seemingly never-ending battle with Morocco for recognition of the Western Sahara region. Now it is taking its arguments onto satellite TV, via RASD TV.

BBC Monitoring quotes London-based Al-Hayet Arabic-language newspaper saying the channel will be based in Tindouf, 1,800 south-west of Algiers, transmitting terrestrially to the Saharan refugee camps as well as on Intelsat’s 905 satellite. RASD TV's programmes will be initially in Arabic with programmes in English and Spanish added at a later time.

The channel's Director Mohamed Salem Ahmed Labaid told Saharan news agency (SPS) on 17 May that viewers in Africa, western Europe and large parts of the Middle East would be able to receive the new channel.

Labaid added: "Viewers will be able to get informed on a daily basis of the latest developments of the Western Sahara issue and the situation in the occupied territory through news bulletin and a range of political, cultural and social programmes, videos and documentaries about the struggle of the Saharan people."

The Polisario Front media chief Mohamed El Mami Tamek told Al-Hayat that the decision to launch the TV station "coincides with celebrations commemorating the 36th anniversary of the launch of armed struggle" against the Moroccan presence in Western Sahara.

The reports say the channel will "reveal the serious violations committed by Morocco against Saharans in the occupied territories and southern Morocco," Tamek added.