WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 33

11.-17.08.2002

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
REFERENDUM
MOROCCO
HUMAN RIGHTS
HUMANITARIAN AID
COMING UP
INTERNET
NEW PUBLICATIONS

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

12.08.02
The judicial police and agents of the DST are pursuing their investigations among young Saharawis in El Ayoun, as part of their inquiry into the attack against the police station (see
week 26). They are also asked if they belong to the Forum of Truth and Justice and are offered a reward if they will collaborate with the police. (corr.)

REFERENDUM

10.08.02
In an interview with Europa Press, Mrs Palacio, Spanish minister for Foreign Affairs, considered that in looking for a solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, account must be taken of the interests of neighbouring countries and "fundamentally of the opinion of the Saharawi people". Recalling that the Security Council had rejected the Moroccan proposal of the Framework Agreement, Mrs Palacio believes that the position of her country is in harmony with that of the international community.

MOROCCO

10.08.02
The official Kuwaiti agency KUNA, denied, quoting an official source from the Saudi Ministry of Defence, the news in the Spanish daily La Razon (see
week 30) according to which Saudi Arabia had sold to Morocco Apache AH-64 helicopters, the most powerful fighter helicopter and the most sophisticated on the present-day market.

According to Middle East & North Africa Business News, reporting the news, the Saudi army only possesses 12 helicopters of this type, and the USA, which constructs the aircraft, would certainly not have approved such a transfer. Besides, the Moroccan army does not have the necessary logistical support for the functioning of these ultra-sophisticated machines.

HUMAN RIGHTS

15.08.02
54th session of the UN Sub-Committee for the promotion and the protection of human rights: Point 6, a) and c) on the agenda (questions concerning women, contemporary forms of slavery, as well as specific questions such as terrorism, the promotion of democracy, weapons of mass destruction in particular).
Abba Salek el Haissen, on behalf of the American Association of Lawyers, declared that Saharawi women are victims of serious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Moroccan forces of occupation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. Faced with this situation, he called on the Sub-Committee to encourage monitors on specific subjects, in particular the Special Monitor on violence against women, to visit the occupied territories of Western Sahara and the Saharawi refugee camps, where according to the report of Catherine Lalumière, Vice-President of the European Parliament and President of the ad hoc delegation, "the delegation had occasion to see how the Saharawi people have organised themselves despite a total lack of resources. It is the Saharawi women who, playing an important role in the organisation of Saharawi society, assume the major responsibility for the management of the camps, distributing the food, setting up schools and hospitals, and the management of the committees and associations. Despite the lack of products of primary need, the enthusiasm and the energy shown by the Saharawi teachers, doctors and nurses in their work impressed the European delegation. The results obtained at the level of secondary and university teaching also came across as equally impressive." (Full
Lalumière Report (Word format) or PDF format)

A dozen representatives from Moroccan NGOs allegedly "active in the field of human rights" arrived in Geneva, to exert pressure in favour of the "liberation" of those they call "the populations held hostage in the camps of Tindouf". Their aim is to lobby the special UN subject-specific monitors in order to get them to envisage various actions and measures leading to putting an end to "the shameful and unacceptable situation prevailing in the camps in Tindouf." (MAP)

HUMANITARIAN AID

14.08.02
Urgent appeal
The WFP spokesperson in Geneva, Mrs Christiane Bertiaume, launched an urgent appeal for 10,000 tonnes of food for the vulnerable groups in the Saharawi refugee camps. The programme for the organisation of UN aid to the Saharawi refugees is not sufficiently subscribed financially, the Saharawi people having been forgotten by the media, she said. Food stocks have considerably diminished and the refugees are receiving only 300 calories daily, whereas they should be receiving at least 2,000. The WFP spokesperson revealed that young children, women and old people are suffering from malnutrition, and that there are many cases of anaemia. Serious consequences are feared as a result of these deficiencies, on the health of these groups at risk, she added.

COMING UP

21.08.02, 20 h 45, Arte-TV: Western Sahara : a 40 year-old war. (not confirmed, to verify in the programme)

31.08.02, Sants, Barcelona: Maratón de Vídeos "El Pueblo Saharaui - Caminando hacia la Independencia". A partir de las 18 h. Centre Social de Sants, c/ Olcinelles nº 30, Barcelona. Asamblea de Barrio, Sants, Org. Maratón de Vídeos, Info: mailto:solisahara@hotmail.com

INTERNET

Opinions

NEW PUBLICATIONS
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