WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 38

15.-21.09.2002

SADR

19.09.02
Moroccan Elections
The Polisario Front asked the UN not to allow the elections to the Moroccan parliament to take place in the occupied territories until the referendum of self-determination has taken place. (
Europa Press)

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

18.09.02 :
Judgment postponed
The trial of Nasiri Ahmed (Hamadi Mohamed Lamine Jiyed) has been postponed once more by the Court of El Ayoun, to October 30, the witnesses due to appear have not been summoned.
Nasiri Ahmed was arrested on 19.06.02 in Rabat. A former political prisoner, he has already been in prison in 1992 and from 1993 to 1994. A member of the Forum for Truth and Justice Sahara Section, he took part in the national congress of his organization when he was arrested by the police while going to the National Security in Rabat to renew his identity card. He was taken to the "black prison" prison at El Ayoun the same day, waiting for his trial. He is accused of having been a leader of the events in Smara in November 2001. (see week
47/01).

19.09.02
Appeal over sentence
The court of appeal in El Ayoun gave its verdict on the appeal of six unemployed people sentenced on
02.09.02 for having organised a demonstration in El Ayoun on 22.08.02.

The sentences of Nigro Mohamed and El Belaoui Hamadi of two years' imprisonment and five years banishment were reduced to one year's imprisonment without being banished.

The sentence of Lahman Abdalla and Chamsdi Labeihi (Semesdi Lebeihi), condemned to 18 months' in prison were brought down to eight months' imprisonment.

Rahmouni Abidine, sentenced to six months' in prison was freed and has been given a suspended sentence of six months. (see weeks 34 and 35 )

The Association of Saharawi unemployed had denounced several days previously the scandalous verdict of the court of first instance and denounced the charges as completely unfounded. It also denounced the search without a warrant of its office and the intimidations to which it is subjected. It explained the protest movements as arising from the discrimination practised on young Saharawis with Moroccan settlers getting priority for jobs. (corr., SPS)

AFRICA

13.09.02
Struggle against terrorism
At a intergovernmental conference on the prevention and struggle against terrorism held in Algiers, the African Union (AU), has adopted a plan of action and created in Algiers an African centre of surveys and analysis on the prevention and struggle against terrorism. This plan is based on the the convention of Algiers on the prevention and fight against terrorism, adopted in July 1999 at the 35th OAU summit. This convention needs to be signed by 15 member states to enable its enforcement. The ratification by three new countries, Ghana, Sudan and South Africa, bringing to sixteen the number of states having signed and ratified the document, enables its enforcement from now on (the 13 first signatories are : Algeria, Angola, Cap-Verde, Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Mali, Rwanda, the Saharawi Arabic Democratic Republic (SADR), Senegal and Tunisia. (AFP, APS)

20.09.02
South Africa - AU
Questioned on the subject of what the African Union is doing to resolve the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the South African president, Thabo Mbeki declared that his country was in contact with James Baker, and that they had reached agreement on speeding up the solution of this problem. Mbeki added, "We agreed with Mr Baker that we will remain in touch, to work together, so as to speed up the resolution of the problem." Mbeki said he had also held talks with Morocco's King Mohammed VI about the issue. The king was interested in resolving the matter as soon as possible he said. (
News24)

UN

17.09.02
UN General Assembly
During his speech, the Algerian president declared: the Saharawi people continue to claim their inalienable right to self-determination as an application of resolution 1514 (XV) and of the resolutions which the General Assembly has kept on adopting and confirming every year since 1966 when it called for the decolonisation of the territory and the self-determination of its people through a referendum. The international community cannot remain indifferent to the fate of this people nor can it accept that the faithful and complete implementation of the settlement plan and the Houston Agreement should be constantly postponed. Algeria will continue to spare no effort in the service of international peace and the stability and unity of the region. It will give complete support to the efforts expended by the secretary general and his personal envoy as well its full contribution to the settlement of this conflict. The problem of Western Sahara being thus taken charge of by the UN and in particular by its Security Council, Algeria hopes that its relations with its neighbours should not be made dependent by this dispute, and that the Union of the Arab Maghreb should continue its activities and develop confident and fruitful cooperation between all the countries of the region.

MOROCCO

20.09.02
Morocco decided to entrust to defectors from the Polisario Front posts in its principal embassies, such as Washington, Madrid, Berlin and Rome. About twenty former officials from the Polisario Front will have the position of adviser with a brief of defending the Moroccan position on Western Sahara. The former representative of the Polisario Front in Barcelona, Bachir Dkhil, will be adviser to the Moroccan general consulate in Barcelona, Barazani will be accredited in Paris, and Hassana Dimimer in Rome. The management of this new team will be entrusted to Rachid Rguibi, counselor to the Prime Minister with responsibility for the Sahara. (Aujourd'hui Le Maroc)

COMING UP

The Moroccan and Spanish Ministers of Foreign Affairs will meet on Monday 23 September in Madrid. The platform "For a free referendum in Western Sahara", which had called for a demonstration outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid has called the meeting off. According to several Spanish dailies, the government had asked the organisers to give up their plan.

26.09.02, Madrid: Plazas Vivas: Sahara en el corazón de las mujeres. Concierto: Sahara en el corazón de las mujeres, organizado conjuntamente por el Ayuntamiento de Madrid y la Plataforma de mujeres artistas contra la violencia de genero. El acto será el día 26 a las 21 horas, Plaza Dos de Mayo, y que tendrá como programa: Intervenciones de artistas, Recitación de poesías, Intervención de famosos cantantes, Intervención de un grupo Saharaui. Igualmente La Asociación de Jóvenes Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui, participara en el acto con una jaima, té, artesanía y documentación.

INTERNET

Saharawi, Associazione Livornese di Solidarieta con il Popolo Saharawi: http://www.saharawi.info

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