WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 09

23.02.-01.03.2003

 

SADR

22.02.03
Meeting in extraordinary session chaired by the President of the Republic, the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front reiterated its attachment to the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Saharawi people, in accordance with the doctrine of the United Nations on the matter, indicating that it will soon be announcing its reactions to the latest proposals of Baker. (SPS)

24.02.03
Sahara Marathon
This sporting and solidarity event took place for the third time, again with success. Around 300 athletes from many different countries travelled to the refugee camps to take part in four races: marathon, half-marathon, 10 km and 5 km. Saharawi scouts this year took part in a token race of 500 m. On the other hand, the most seasoned ran an ultra marathon, from the wilaya of El Ayoun to Dakhla camp in three stages of 80, 80 and 30 km.
The marathon was one by the Spaniard, Jorge Aubeso Martinez, Spanish champion of the 100 km, in 3 hr 7 min 53 sec, followed by his compatriot,  Miguel Martinez Basukro and in third place, the Italian Vicenzo Castellano. The Swiss runner, Peter Augsburger was tenth with 3 hr 50 min 25 sec. In the women's marathon, it is the Italian Rosa Maria Manari, who wins the race in 4hr 12 min 35 sec, followed by the Spanish athlete Carme Espinal Merino and the American Lynn Sathrum. The first Saharawi, Mohamed Mustafa, came 13th with a time of 4hr 44 min 59 sec, which was judged highly satisfactory in view of the lack of technical backup for the young Saharawi athletes. The winner of the half-marathon Jon Salvador Villa, of Spain and with the women, Anita Tritscher, Austria. Javier Condé won the 10 km and Jesus Milan Pajuelo the 5 km.(
Full results and photos SPS)

26.02.03
Repatriation of 100 Moroccan prisoners of war
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) repatriated 100 Moroccan prisoners released by the Polisario Front on 10 February. The prisoners were handed over by the Saharawi Red Crescent (SRC) to the ICRC who in turn handed them over to the Moroccan authorities at the military base of Inezgan near Agadir. The ICRC welcomed this gesture but remains concerned about the fate of the 1160 Moroccans still held and reiterated its appeal for their liberation. The president of the SRC appealed to the ICRC to show the same concern for the fate of 150 Saharawi prisoners of war in the hands of the Moroccans and for 526 disappeared Saharawis. (
Press release ICRC) (SPS with photos)

27.02.03
27th anniversary of SADR
In his speech, the President of the Republic,  Mohamed Abdelaziz, renewed the attachment of the Polisario Front to the UN settlement plan in force in Western Sahara since 1991, because it is in accordance with international law, and it is the only agreement accepted and signed by the two parties, which has the backing of the international community and which can be implemented on the ground.
He reaffirmed the willingness of the Polisario Front to "cooperate" with the UN in the search for a  solution to the conflict, which should be based on "the respect of the principle of decolonisation, of self-determination and of the right of the Saharawi people to build an independent state".

The Algerian minister of war veterans, Mohamed Cherif Abass, affirmed for his part that Algeria "will never cease supporting peoples in struggle and at their head, our Saharawi brother people, as our cultural values dictate to us and our international commitments". The minister indicated that he was mandated by his President to express the "constant support of the Algerian Government and people to the legitimate struggle of the Saharawi people until its final victory". (SPS with photos)

REFERENDUM

22-25.02.03
13th summit of the Movement of Non-aligned Countries, Kuala Lumpur
During the general debate the President of East Timor Xanana Gusmao expressed the wish that the situation in Western Sahara should get all the attention it deserves in international forums. For his part, the Algerian president declared himself in favour of a just and lasting settlement of the question of Western Sahara through the holding of a fair and impartial referendum. In the final document, the heads of state and governments "supported the efforts pursued by the United Nations, under the auspices of the Secretary-General‚s Personal Envoy, aimed at implementing the Settlement Plan and the Houston Agreements, accepted by the two parties, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and relevant United Nations resolutions, or any other political solution agreeable to the parties, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and relevant United Nations resolutions."

MOROCCO

27.02.03
Zag (South Maroc)
On the anniversary of SADR pupils from the high school of this military garrison went to classes wearing traditional Saharawi dress. The administration of the educational establishment refused them to let them in, arguing that it was not in keeping with the regulations, whereas, in fact there are none. The pupils organised a sit-in outside their school. (corr.)

HUMANITARIAN AID

21.02.03
Humanitarian aid
The African Union (AU) donated some token aid to SADR to face up to the serious food shortages in the Saharawi refugee camps. According to the statement of the Saharawi Red Crescent, "this urgent  token aid" was handed to the President of the SRC, Boulahi Sid, by the permanent Ambassador of the AU,  Pascal Angouga of Rwanda in Chahid El Hafed. (SPS)

COMING UP...

Vol "Catalunya amb el Sàhara" Setmana Santa 2003
Sortida : Barcelona , aeroport del Prat: 16 d'abril a les 19.30 hores
Tornada: Tindouf, Algèria: 21 d'abril a les 0,20 hores
Info:
acaps_vilanova@yahoo.es

Norway, Oslo, Tuesday 11 March, 2003 18.15 - 20.00, Aud.7, Eilert Sundts Hus, SV-bygget, Blindern, University of Oslo.
U-landsseminaret: FN som konfliktløser: hvorfor er det fremdeles konflikt i Vest-Sahara? ["Thirld world seminar: The UN as conflict solver: why is there still conflict in Western Sahara?"]

Organizers: SAIH Blindern, Univ. of Oslo and the Center for Development and the Environment (SUM)
Further information: Bjørn Klouman Bekken,
bjornkb@yahoo.com, + 47 97641528

INTERNET

NEW PUBLICATIONS
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]

Français

Les dépêches, articles, etc, sont accessibles aux non-abonnés sur Sahara-Info, liste de courrier (français et espagnol): http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/sahara-info/messages

English

English publications on Sahara Update mailinglist: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sahara-update/messages

Castellano

Todos los despachos, articulos de prensa, etc, son acessible por no-abonados en Sahara-Info, lista de correo (castellano y francés): http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/sahara-info/messages

Noticias de prensa, Recopilación semanal de todos los articulos de la prensa de España: http://www.nodo50.org/labarored/interpueblos/Sahara/

Norwegian (with english résumé)

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