Bensalah pays tribute to memory of late Saharawi president Mohamed Abdelaziz

Shahid El Hafid (Refugee Camp)- The speaker of the Algeria Council of the Nation (upper house of Parliament), Abdelkader Bensalah on Friday paid tribute, in the Saharawi refugee camps of Shahid El Hafid, to the memory of president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and secretary general of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, passed away Tuesday following a long illness.

Bensalah was accompanied by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel and Minister of Mujahideen (liberation war veterans) Tayeb Zitouni.

Bensalah recited Al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Noble Qur'an, and signed the book of condolence.

Born in 1948 in the town of Smara, where he was educated, the late leader was a founding member of the Polisario Front and a military chief until his election, after the assassination of El-Ouali Mustapha Erraqibi, on 9 June 1976.

In October 1976, at the fifth Polisario Front Congress, Mohamed Abdelaziz was designated president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. (SPS)