WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK47

12.-18.11.2000

 

30.10.00
During its 14th session, the bureau of the World Trades Union Federation accepted the UGTSARIO, the General Union of Saharawi Workers, as a member.

02 & 06.11.00
El Ayoun
Two former Saharawi detainees died from consequences of traumatisms undergone and from illnesses contracted during their detention. Arrested on 12 November 1975, Lalla N'Guiya Elidrissi had spent more than four years in prison, without trial, before being liberated. She died on 2 November. Fatma R'Gueibi, called Fatou, died on 6 November from complications of an illness contracted during her imprisonment of several months.(
SPS)

06.11.00
Census
Emilio Cuevas, former Spanish colonel and author of the census of the Saharawi population in 1974, recognised in an interview with
El Pais, that the inclusion of the contested tribes in the census (65,000 persons) was the consequence of a mistake on his part. While he was working for the UN he took up the codes for the sections of the population at the Spanish period, as a method of selection to facilitate the work of registration. But, according to Cuevas, the United Nations adopted these subdivisions as if they defined the Saharawi population. Thus, the fact that 600 members of the Ait Ba Amran tribe figure in the Spanish census as Saharawis, because resident in Spanish Sahara, does not permit one to consider the whole tribe as Saharawi. "In Manhattan, Cuevas states, thousands of Chinese are living who have an American passport. But that does not mean that all the Chinese in China are Americans."

08.11.00
Anti-personel mines
Mauritanian specialists have removed 30,000 anti-personnel mines from northern Mauritania with the help of American experts. These mines had been there since the conflict between Mauritania and the Polisario Front from 1975-1979. (
AFP)

09.11.00
Morocco
In Marrakech a symbolic two-hour sit-in was organised by Saharawi students. The authorities had refused them rooms and student grants. In Rabat Saharawi students have not been able to enrol in courses where the students have access to international media. In Tan-Tan hundreds of young unemployed Saharawi graduates, joined by relatives of the victims of repression, continue a sit-in demanding work. Despite their promises, the authorities have not been able to convince the demonstrators to stop their protest. The unemployed are asking for work for all and compensation for damage caused by the police intervention on 5 November (
week 45). (SPS)

10-11.11.00
Socialist International
The council of the Socialist International (IS) in a resolution adopted in Maputo (Mozambique), expresses its "deep concern at the constant postponement of the referendum of self-determination" for the Saharawi people and calls "Morocco and the Polisario Front to cooperate fully with the United Nations and their personal envoy Mr James Baker". A delegation from the Polisario Front, led by M'hamed Khaddad, took part in the work and had talks with the general secretaries of FRELIMO and MPLA and met leaders of numerous delegations from Europe, Africa and Latin America.

10-12.11.00
Civil Forum of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (PEM)
The French Association of the Friends of SADR (AARASD) took part in the Forum of NGOs, which was held in Marseilles on the eve of the fourth ministerial Euro-Mediterranean conference (15-16.11.00). AARASD appealed for action for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people.
An "Other Summit" took place in Marseilles on 9 November, on the initiative of Attac (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens), Mediterranean solidarity and about twenty organisations from Mediterranean countries. In its final
manifesto (http://www.attac.org/euromed) the "Other Summit" declared that «there can be no question of regional peace and the proclamation of the right of peoples to live in freedom while the Israeli colonial presence continues and while the Palestinian people see themselves denied the right to form an independent state, while its children are massacred with complete impunity and while a part of its population is forced into endless exile. Other peoples in the region (Kurds and Saharawis) know similar situations.» Attac Morocco, in a communiqué, distanced itself from the position taken concerning the Sahara, while reaffirming «its position in principle of holding to international law and to the referendum process in which the UN is engaged in the region.»

11.11.00
Salek Bahaha, sentenced on 10 October for "illegal emigration" (
week 41), has started a hunger strike for a week to demand a re-trial.(SPS)

12.11.00
According to the Moroccan press, five young Saharawis, as well as Sheik Ali Ould El Bouhali, a former member of the Saharawi Jamaâ have defected to Morocco from the refugee camps near Tindouf.

13.11.00
Urgent Appeal
The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) launced an urgent appeal for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people. It condemns human rights abuses carried out by Moroccan authorities in the occupied territories, demands the liberation of all Saharawi political detainees and expresses concern at the delays in the referendum. It asks the UN and the international community to put pressure on Morocco to allow the holding of the referendum.

14.11.1975-14.11.2000 Madrid Accords - 25 years

Oviedo
The Association of friends of the Saharawi people from the Asturias organised a demonstration on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Madrid Accords of 1975. These accords, signed by Spain, Morocco and Mauritania and which are still in force, allowed the abandonment of the territory of Western Sahara by Spain to Morocco and Mauritania. The demonstrators denounced the illegal occupation of the Saharawi territory by Morocco, the unfinished decolonisation on the part of Spain and its responsibility in the present situation.

Madrid
The Association of friends of the Saharawi people published a manifesto which asks the Spanish government to commit itself resolutely to uphold the UN resolutions for Saharawi self-determination.

Albacete
The Association of friends of the Saharawi people of Albacete wrote to the Spanish Prime Minister and organised a public demonstration.

14.11.00
According to the Moroccan press the Association "Moroccan Sahara" (Spain) has decided to take the Polisario Front to court in Spain for human rights abuses. Mohamed Berrada, a lawyer in Casablanca, has financed this initiative.
From the same source we learn that a wider delegation of the French RPR party will stay in Morocco from 29 November - 3 December 2000. The delegation will go to El Ayoun with the aim of inquiring into the "detainees of Tindouf and the Saharawi children deported to Cuba".(
Moroccan press)

16.11.00
Morocco-Algeria
On the occasion of the visit to Morocco of the Algerian Minister of the Interior, Morocco and Algeria have decided to set up "mechanisms" to normalise their relations and to re-open their frontier which has been closed since 1994. During a joint press conference with his Moroccan counterpart, the Algerian Minister of the Interior, Yazid Zerhouni emphasised, concerning the conflict in Western Sahara, that "the two parties have agreed to put it in parentheses." The Moroccan Minister of the Interior, Ahmed Midaoui,remarked, however, that "Morocco could not deal with any problem while forgetting the fulfilment of its territorial integrity in its southern provinces."

CHARTER FLIGHT
Associazione nazionale di solidarieta con il popolo sahrawi in collaborazione con "Altrimondi" di Roma e Lazio:
Volo speciale per la RASD: Milano - Tindouf - Roma: 15 - 21 dicembre 2000. Costo: LIt. 1'200.000 . Info:
marcomassoni@tiscalinet.it

COMING UP
Italia, Roma: Venerdi 1° dicembre 2000 ore 9.00-18.00 Palazzo Valentini Via 4 novembre 119/a: "Confronto sui problemi delle donne e dell' infanzia tra donne Sahrawi, Algerine, Albanesi, Bosniache e Kossovare". Introducono: - Marisa Rodano, Segretorio Nazionale ANSPS - Mamma Sidi, Unione Donne Sahrawi. Organizzano: Regione Lazio, Provincia di Roma, Comune di Roma, Unione donne Sahrawi, ANSPS. Per informazioni: 0347-3436294, E-mail:
marcomassoni@tiscalinet.it - opics99@yahoo.it

INTERNET
Recomendaciones de ASPS para los que viajan a los campamentos:
català / castellano

NEW PUBLICATIONS
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