Statement Attributable to MINURSO
This morning [09:10GMT] a MINURSO plane left Tindouf carrying a group of Saharan refugees for a five-day visit to Laayoune, in the Territory of Western Sahara. The same plane will later depart Laayoune [12:00 GMT] taking another group of Saharans to Tindouf. Both groups are travelling for the first time in over 25 years to visit their relatives on the other side. The flights will mark the start of the Family Visits Programme, which is part of UNHCR's confidence-building measures aimed at the facilitating weekly, person-to-person contact between the Saharans living in the camps and those in the Territory. The confidence-building measures are in compliance with all recent Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara. MINURSO, which provides logistical support for this programme, welcomes this humanitarian initiative and expresses its appreciation to all the parties for the high level of cooperation and good will that has made the family visits possible.