Ban Ki-Moon’s expected meeting with the selected representatives of the youth in the Samara Camp, as well as his visit to the June 17th School, were canceled after he decided to cut his visit short and return to the Rabouni Camp via helicopter.
Observers said that the procession of the UN Secretary General had to change its course several times because of the escalation of chaos and confusion. A girl among the crowd was hit reportedly by a car and suffered serious injuries. This promoted some people try to intercept Ban Ki-Moon’s car and pelt it with stones.
It was also reported that much of the violence and physical abuse were perpetrated by Polisario militia against the protestors, who were desperately trying to intercept Ban Ki-Moon’s car and give him the letters.
Observers believe that these events reflect, beyond any doubt, the great distress, uncertainty, and despair that the Sahrawi refugees suffer in Tindouf, who have not seen a solution for the conflict that displaced them decades ago. What happened during Ban Ki-Moon’s visit would certainly exacerbate tensions in the Tindouf camps and create further divisions among in the Polisario’s separatist leadership.