WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

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WEEK 39

23.-29.09.2001

 

Commemoration of the second anniversary of El Aaiun's uprising in September 1999

Saharawi students, workers of Phosboucraâ, and unemployed graduates have organized a week of activities from the 22nd to the 29th of September 2001 in El Aaiun on the topic "Let us never forget, let us always remember." The event is organized in coordination with the Saharawi human rights advocates at the main office of the FVJSAH (Sahara Truth and Justice Forum).
The program began with a commemorative exhibition of photos and documents on the riots of 1999, the launch of a fundraising event to benefit Saharawi political prisoners, and a round table discussion on the subject "Before and after: situation of those sectors of society who participated in the uprising of 1999."
September 24, was the "Day of the Student," focused on the subject of union and resistance including an exhibition of thesis of Saharawi students prersented in Moroccan universities and a debate around the subject "The Saharawi students' movement: reality and perspectives."
On 27 September, during a popular gathering the events of "September 1999" have been evoked, with testimonies of Saharawi victims of torture, recitation of poems, songs, reading of letters, and official statements of solidarity with the political prisoners. Moroccan police and other security forces had set up check points along the major roads and streets leading to the gathering but this did not prevent the Saharawis from participating in huge numbers.
On September 28, 2001 there was a colloquium on human rights in Western Sahara ... will discuss the topic "To put an end to humans rights violations in Western Sahara". The subject "Without rest while our fellow countrymen remain in prison" is discussed the 29th of September 2001, "The Day of the Political Prisoner." There will be visits to Saharawi political prisoners in El Aaiún prison. Former Saharawi prisoners, who were abducted and put in prison during the uprising, will offer testimonies, as well as letters and official press releases declaring solidarity with the political prisoners will be read.

Background info see:
Weekly news 39/ 1999
Human Rights in Western Sahara by WSO

International campaign for the liberation of Mohamed Daddach and all Saharawi political prisoners condemned by Moroccan courts

25.09.01
The eighty years old mother of Sidi Mohamed Daddach, who lives in the refugee camps, launched an
appeal to the international community for the liberation of her son. (AFAPREDESA, SPS)

Mohamed Daddach decided to intensify his action and to fast 48 hours per week as from October 1 2001. Up to now he had been on a 24 hour per week fast. It is expected that other Saharawi prisoners will join him and go in a hunger strike. (corr.)

The collection of signatures on petitions for the liberation of the political prisoners is going on.
You can sign the appeal on line (
english, french, spanish, italian, german) or download and print out petition forms for the collection of signatures (english, french, spanish, italian, german).

24.09.01
Algeria
Regarding the Western Sahara issue, the Algerian foreign minister reiterated Algeria's already known stand, which is self-determination for the Saharan people. This issue was at the centre of discussions between Belkhadem and the visiting British Foreign Office Minister Ben Bradshaw. Bradshaw was received the following day in Rabat by Morocco's Prime Minister, A. Youssoufi. Western Sahara issue was also discussed with the Moroccan officials.

24.09.01
56th session of the UN General Assembly
Abdallah Baali, Algerian Permanent Representative to the UN, in his speech before the GA, estimated that the issue of Western Sahara was dealt with in a 'guilt-ridden manner' in the SG's last report regarding the activities of the UN, which evokes only the invitation made to the parties to discuss a project of autonomy. (APS)

26.09.01
Morocco
Omar Hilal is the new permanent ambassador of Morocco to the European Office of the UN in Geneva.

26.09.01
Algeria
Adelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister in charge of African Affairs, reiterated to the Algerian radio that his country rejects the project presented by the UN and James Baker , because it does not come within the framework of decolonisation as well as the Saharan people's right to self-determination.

27.09.01
SADR
The Saharawi Information Ministry announced that «SADR has established diplomatic relations at the level of ambassadors with the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of Uganda.»

27.09.01
Australia
The Australian Senate adopted a
motion on the issue of Western Sahara, which «urges the Commonwealth Government of Australia to make representations to:
(i) the UN, urging it to proceed as soon as possible in organising the long overdue referendum of self-determination, in accordance with the UN/OAU Peace Plan and all relevant UN resolutions, and
(ii) the Moroccan Government to fully cooperate with the UN and respect human rights in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara.»
The motion was moved by the Senator Lyn Allison, of Australian Democrats Party.

COMING UP...

The car race Total-Dakar Rallye 2002, with departure on 28 December 2001 from Arras, France, will cross again Western Sahara.

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