WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 43

22.-28.10.2000

 

20.10.00
Human rights
The OMCT, world organisation against torture, launched an urgent appeal on the occasion of the arrest in Western Sahara by the Moroccan army of two children who were part of a group of eight young people (see
Week 41). The OMCT is demanding that the Moroccan authorities "take all the necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological well-being of the two minors (...)", that they should set up "an impartial and exhaustive inquiry on their presumed arbitrary arrest, torture and ill treatment" and that they should guarantee "respect for human rights and fundamental liberties in the whole country.

21.10.00
SADR
The Saharawi parliament (Conseil national, CN) opened its autumn session. It has to debate in sub-committees the record of each minister and to examine the government's programme for 2001. The Prime Minister indicated that his team had realised "a large part of the programme for national action drawn up by the 10th Congress of the Polisario Front in August 1999." The president of the CN stressed in his opening speech, "the determination of the Saharawi people to enjoy fully its inalienable right to freedom and independence". "The status quo cannot continue, he added, the colonial fait accompli cannot last longer and will will not stand by with our arms folded." (
SPS)

23.10.00
Spanish state
Three members of the autonomous government of the Baleiric Islands, visiting the refugee camps, expressed "on a personal basis" their support for the Saharawi people and its struggle for self-determination and independence. They were part of a group of 140 people, including 47 in political posts, who went to Tindouf from 19 to 23 October. The Saharawi Prime Minister confided to them that the Saharawi army has been training for the last six months for a return to the armed struggle, which could start when the next resolution of the Security Council is issued.

23-24.10.00
India
The Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on an official visit of Algeria, indicated that his country still supports the relevant resolutions of the UN on the question of Western Sahara."There is therefore, in this context, no change of policy", he stated. (
El Moudjahid, 25.10.00)

25.10.00
Report of the Secretary General
S/2000/1029
Kofi Annan suggested to the Security Council to extend the mandate of MINURSO by four months. He made an assessment of the meetings in Geneva and Berlin: no progress towards resolving the main problems, except that Morocco has, for the first time, acknowledged holding 207 Saharawi political prisoners. Confidence-building measures (contacts between families on both sides of the wall) were put on hold because of Morocco's refusal, who also opposed any discussion on the problem of appeals. The Polisario Front maintained its position of remaining faithful to the peace plan.
In response to the exhortation of the Security Council, which on 26 July asked the parties «to try to agree upon a mutually acceptable political solution», Morocco had made a proposal in Berlin for «a sincere and frank dialogue» «as long as Morocco's national sovereignty and territorial integrity were respected.» Kofi Annan now requires Morocco to prove that it is ready «to offer or support some devolution of governmental authority, for all inhabitants and former inhabitants of [Western Sahara], that is genuine, substantial and in keeping with international norms.» If not, he will continue with the referendum process and MINURSO «should begin hearing the pending appeals (...) on an expedited basis».

26.10.00
Human rights
13 Saharawi students, arrested in Rabat on 18 May during a demonstration in solidarity with Saharawi students in Marrakech (see
Weeks 20 and 21), have appeared before the court of appeal in Rabat. According to AFAPREDESA, they have been subjected to torture and ill treatment and held in solitary confinement for 15 days. They are accused of being part of a non-authorised demonstration, of rebellion, of endangering public order and destruction of public property. The session lasted six hours. The verdict is awaited on 7 November. The lawyers of the accused, mandated by AMDH, demanded the provisional release of the accused, which the court refused. They are :

1. Zain Said

Nº dossier 60.860

2. Masli Mohamed

Nº dossier 60.861

3. Haidra Fadli

Nº dossier 60.862

4. Boutaleb Abdelmajid

Nº dossier 60.863

5. Abba Mohamed

Nº dossier 60.864

6. Boutimit Boujemaâ

Nº dossier 60.865

7. Bouih El Houssein

Nº dossier 60.866

8. Sabti Mohamed Ali

Nº dossier 60.867

9. Hnan Mansour

Nº dossier 60.868

10. Aouba Moulay Salek

Nº dossier 60.869

11. Tarrouzi Moulay

Nº dossier 60.870

12. Taib Mohamed Fadel

Nº dossier 60.871

13. Adnan Brahim

Nº dossier 60.872

26.10.00
Algeria
The Algerian Committee of solidarity with the Saharawi people organised a meeting in Annaba in the presence of a Spanish delegation comprising Carmelo Ramirez, president of the Spanish federation of institutions in solidarity with the Sahara (FEDISSAH), Nieves Castelles, representative of the National platform of associations of support for the Saharawi people and Carlos Cristobal, PSOE, member of the parliament of Navarra and representing the 17 Spanish intergroups "For the Referendum in Western Sahara", as well as the SADR ambassador and Polisario Front representatives in Algiers. (
aps)

 

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