WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 26

24.-30.06.2001

 

Secretary General's Report  S/2001/613 du 20.06.01
In his report, Kofi Annan adopting the observations of his personal envoy, James Baker, who «has concluded that there are serious doubts as to whether the settlement plan can be implemented in its present form». Any amendment of the plan would also be doomed to failure, he believes, «since the endgame would still produce one winner and one loser». Kofi Annan proposes that Morocco, the Polisario Front, Algeria and Mauritania should meet in the course of the five coming months to «to discuss with specificity the elements of the proposed framework agreement, which aims at reaching an early, durable and agreed resolution of the conflict over Western Sahara in a way that does not foreclose self-determination, but indeed provides for it.» During these consultations, the settlement plan will be put on the back burner.

Proposed Framework-Agreement on the status of Western Sahara
The executive, legislative and judicial organs of Western Sahara would have exclusive competence over:

 The Kingdom of Morocco would exercise exclusive competence over:

 With respect to all functions described in this paragraph the Kingdom may appoint representatives to serve it in Western Sahara.

 All laws passed by the Assembly and all decisions of the courts referred to in paragraph 3 above must respect and comply with the constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco, particularly with respect to the protection of public liberties.

The status of Western Sahara would be submitted to a referendum of qualified voters on such date as the parties hereto shall agree, within the five year period following the initial actions to implement this agreement. To be qualified to vote in such a referendum a voter must have been a full time resident of Western Sahara for the preceding one year.

The report contains letters, including that of the Algerian President Bouteflika, who thinks that Baker's proposal presents a certain number of weaknesses and imbalances, and that of the Saharawi President, Abdelaziz, who reaffirms his total opposition to any solution which ignores the right to self-determination.

The report also contains the concrete proposals of the Polisario Front, «to overcome obstacles preventing the implementation of the settlement plan Introduction».
It concerns:

 The report contains further a memorandum from Algeria on the proposed Framework-Agreement, which one can read «moves substantively away from the approach which has so far been endorsed by the two Parties and the international community»  This proposal «it nonetheless totally ignores the basic principles that have always founded the United Nations action in the field of decolonization in general and in that of Western Sahara in particular», and favours the integration of Western Sahara to Morocco.

Reactions, numerous actions, appeals and interventions in the Security Council are mostly listed in a special page

 6.06.01
Consultations in the Security Council: Baker presents his proposal to the Council in the presence of Kofi Annan and reveals to the press that Morocco originated the Framework-Agreement. For Baker, "the aim of his proposal is to bring the two parties to negotiate."

 29.06.01
Resolution of the Security Council
S/RES 1359 (2001)
After long and difficult discussions, a resolution was finally adopted unanimously, which, while proposing the opening of discussions on the basis of the Framework-Agreement proposed by Baker and the Secretary General on the initiative of Morocco, France and the USA as well as the proposals of the Polisario Front, is maintaining the peace plan as an option, and extends MINURSO's mandate for five months. Jamaica, Russia, Ireland, Mauritius, Columbia, Singapore and Bangladesh insisted on keeping the referendum as an option, according to certain diplomats.

The Polisario Front welcomes the fact that the peace plan, the only acceptable option, has not been abandoned. It reaffirms in a statement (french) its total opposition to any approach aiming to by pass the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence» and it notes that the Council will examine its proposals and regrets that, once more, France in particuliar, provided the largest support to the Moroccan colonial policy, including all consequences for peace and stability in the region..

Morocco applauds the plan for autonomy and "accepts to consider it as a valid base for negociations". For the Moroccan press, it is a final blow for the referendum.

For Algeria, the resolution of the Security Council is much more balanced that the Secretary General's report, since the Council is content to declare that it has examined it and expresses «its full support for the efforts of MINURSO». It also maintains a dual approach, around the implementation of the settlement plan, widened to include not only the proposal for autonomy, but any other proposal for a political solution.

 CORRECTION
«I must, regretfully, draw to your attention that news published on your website (weeks 22-23) contains incorrect information concerning  ECHO's deliveries. "Since September of last year, the European agency ECHO has completely stopped its deliveries to the camps". ECHO has not in fact ever stopped its deliveries of food products. Thus ECHO has sent nearly 8,000 tonnes of foostuffs to the Saharawi refugees since September 2000. Could you please make the necessary corrections and publish this information in your next edition. Thank you..Bernard Boigelot ECHO Desk Officer North Africa and Yeman».  Done.

SOLIDARITY

Letter of Jean Lamore, Paris:
«On 7 July next, I am taking the French actor, Pierre Richard, to visit the Saharawi refugee camps. Pierre Richard, who is also a producer, wants to make a film about the Saharawis and this trip will help set it up. It is the first time that a French celebrity has taken an interest in the Saharawi cause.»

 

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