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The New, old leadership of Polisario
On 31st May 2016 the Secretary General of the Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro, commonly known as the Polisario Front, died from lung cancer in the United States. Mohamed Abdelaziz was in office for more than 40 years. Born in Marrakech in 1947 and member of the Reguibat tribe, he was among the founders of the Front at the Zourate Congress held in 1973 and a member of the western Saharawi Polisario politic bureau since that year. In 1976, following the killing of el-Ouali Moustapha Sayed, Abdelaziz was elected Secretary General of the Polisario. His 40 years in office made Abdulaziz an iconic figure of the movement, a reference for the Saharawi people and a long time representative of their cause.
Following his death, the Polisario decreed 40 days of national mourning, paving the way for the succession process.