WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 47

19.-25.11.2000

17-19.11.00
New Zealand
During its annual conference in Wellington, the Labour Party declared in a resolution, that it supports the right of the Saharawi people to self determination and regrets the delays which have prevented the holding of the referendum until now. The Party asked the UN and the international community to put pressure on Morocco; they asked the New Zealand government to lend all the necessary support to the UN in its efforts to organise the referendum and to open a dialogue with the Polisario Front.

18.11.00
Slovenia
The Slovenian Green Party in a resolution condemns human rights abuses in the territories occupied by Morocco, reaffirms its support for a referendum of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara and expresses its intention to do everything to save the peace plan. It asks the Slovenian government to assist the UN in its efforts to organise the referendum and the UN to put pressure on Morocco.

19.11.00
CICR
Jacob Kellenberger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on a three-day visit to Algeria at the invitation of the Algerian Red Crescent, traveled to Tindouf, where he was received by Mohamed Abdelaziz, president of SADR. It is the first time that a ICRC president has been to the Saharawi refugee camps. It seems he hoped to obtain an anticipated liberation of 1685 Moroccan prisoners of war. The Polisario Front, who three times has freed prisoners as a sign of good will, is holding to the calendar laid down in the peace plan, which allows for the liberation of all prisoners at the time of the transition period. On his return, Mr Kellenberger expressed his disappointment. For its part, AFAPREDESA asked the ICRC to ensure respect for human rights in occupied Western Sahara and to make the territory accessible to international observers and media.

20.11.00
Military manoeuvres
The Saharawi liberation army proceeded with military manoeuvres near Douguej in the south-east of Western Sahara. Batallions of motorised infantry and heavy artillery as well as the DCA took part. This is the sixth manoeuvres since the beginning of the year, organised in case of a possible return to war the Saharawi Minister of Defence said. The presence of members of the government was the occasion of a conference with the Saharawi community in Mauritania and nomads of the region.

21.11.00
Occupied territories
90 young Saharawis in El Ayoun began a protest action against the policy of repression by the Moroccan authorities. They noted the instructions given by the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior, aimed to "exile" them to the interior of Morocco, away from their families. They denounced this "strategy which attempts to empty the occupied Saharawi zone of its youthful force". (correspondence from occupied Western Sahara).

22.11.00
Death of Théodore Monod
This great humanist, a specialist in Western Sahara in its geographical sense, had visited the Saharawi refugee camps around Tindouf, in March 1998 before going to the liberated territories of SADR for a scientific mission. (
reportage)

24, 25, 26.11.00
EUCOCO 2000
26th European Conference of Coordination of Support to the Saharawi people
The annual meeting of solidarity with the Saharawi people, which took place in Brussels and in the Ardennes, was very well attended. 325 delegates from practically all European countries, Africa, latin-America andAustralia, met for three days of intensive work and exchanges.
In his
opening address, the Saharawi President declared that the situation in Western Sahara has got worse since the new King of Morocco has come to power. Mohamed Abdelaziz added that he had come to Brussels to draw the attention of Europe to the fate of the Saharawi people and to ask for an increase in aid to the refugees. He accused Morocco of creating obstacles to the organisation of the referendum and recalled his firm refusal to any "third way".
Other speakers included the Burgermeister of Brussels, Mrs Marion Lemesre, the representative of the Belgian Minister of Cooperation and Development, Mr Stef Breesch, the President of the Algerian Committee of Solidarity with the Saharawi people, Mrs Saida Benabyles, the Vice President of the European parliamentary intergroup, Mrs Laura Gonzales, the President of the Belgian Parliamentary intergroup, Mrs Marie Nagy, the Nigerian Ambassador in Belgium and the Moroccan political scientist, Ahmed Benani. Ambassadors in Belgium and to the European Union from Algeria, Nigeria, Lesotho, Mauritania and Togo attended this session.
The conference adopted a final resolution (
french only for the moment ) and different texts. Translations will be published progressively on a special EUCOCO page.

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