WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEKS 23+24

01.-14.06.2003

 

SADR
10.06.03
The President of the Saharawi Republic vigorously condemned the attempted coup in Mauritania, and congratulated the Mauritanian President, Maouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, for having thwarted it.  (SPS)
External intervention?
According to the Spanish daily "La Razon", the putchists intended to recover the part of Western Sahara that Mauritania gave up in 1979 after signing an accord with the POLISARIO Front.  According to the same source, the Moroccan Armed Forces played an active role in the dfeat of the insurgency.  A detachment of paratroops equipped with anti-tank missiles was sent from Western Sahara to Mauritania to combat the putchists' armoured units.  (
La Razòn )

01.01.04
Rally Crosses Western Sahara Anew
The Telefonica Dakar 2004 (Total is no longer the top sponsor!) has announced that "the organisers decided to revert to tradition and design a "classic" race for 2004..."... see the map at
http://www.dakar.com/2004/presentationus/index.html

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

03.06.03
Hunger Strike
Ali Salem Tamek announced that he would launch a 48-hour hunger strike on 09.06.03 to protest against his transfer to Ait Melloul prison where he has been deprived of his rights as a political prisoner.
On 06.06.03, Tamek's family declared their absolute and unconditional support for his hunger strike and denounced the "carrot and stick" tactics of the Moroccan authorities.  They demanded the restitution of his legal rights and called on all human rights organisations to support their son and campaign for his release.
The Action Committee for the Liberation of Ali Salem Tamek and all Saharawi Political Prisoners published a statement in which they denounce the degrading conditions in which Saharawi detainees are held and the prison authorities' abuses of power.  The Committee reaffirms its solidarity with Tamek and all Saharawi political prisoners and demands their release.  (statment of 08.06.03 in 
French)
On the first day of his hunger strike, Tamek was transferred to the prison hospital due to his state of health.

05.06.03
Case for
Dissolution of the Sahara Section of the Forum for Truth and Justice
The El Ayoun civil court received the case of the lawyers for the defence of the Forum.  Judgement will be pronounced on the 18th June.

06.06.03
Oil
Oil companies Total and Kerr-McGee announced their intention of undertaking a second deepwater seismic survey the lenght of Western Sahara.  The first study by Norwegian company TGS-NOPEC was recently completed.  The latter company ruled ought any further involvement, on ethical grounds.  A campaign organised by the Nprwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara has denounced the illegal character of prospection in the Moroccan-occupied territories. (
Upstream) (see also week 22/2003)

Disappearances
The collective of human rights defenders in Western Sahara has come into possession of more detailed information on the fate of Elhaf El Kotb and Said Kairaouane, lifted in 1993 by plainclothes police and imprisoned in the CMI [paramilitary police] barracks in El Ayoun.  According to a witness they were savagely torutred.  One of the victims succumbed to the torture, and his companion was killed in cold blood to eliminate any embarassing witnesses.  The two Saharawis' bodies were taken in a green 4-wheel drive vehicle of the DST ["Homeland Security Police"] and buried several kilometres to the East of El Ayoun, on the way to Smara.  Commissaire Hariz Elaarbi, a known torturer in Western Sahara since 1976, is implicated in the case.

REFERENDUM

28.05.03
USA
Fifteen members of the US Congress called on US President George w Bush to "support the organisation of the Western Sahara REferendum" in a letter.  Recalling that "the UN Security Council has clearly stated that the only viable solution to this conflict is that based on the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination", the signatories deplored "the continued delay in the organisation of this referendum", a cause of "regional instability".  (SPS)

04.06.03
Europe
The European Parliament Intergroup "Peace for the Saharawi People", meeting to evaluate the situation after the latest discussions at the UN, expressed its "concern" over the proposals for resolving the conflict presented by Mr James Baker and called for a return to the 1991 UN Plan, judging this to be fitting and in conformity with international law.  (
Press release)

04.06.03
Japan
The Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry has responded to the Open Letter to the Japanese government on the occasion of the 3rd TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development)(
Response)

10.06.03
UN
Speaking at the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation, Ahmed Boukhari expressed reservations on the latest "Peace Plan for the Self Determination of the Poeple of Western Sahara" presented by James Baker.  The POLISARIO Front is opposed to any Moroccan sovereignty over the territory and to according the rights to vote to tens of thousands of colonists transferred to Western Sahara by Morocco. (
Press release)

SOLIDARITY

COMING UP...

08.06.- 07.09.03 Madrid, El Torreón del Canal de Isabel II, Exposición titulada "Christine Spengler. Los años de guerra" «Exhibe únicamente 38 imágenes en blanco y negro y de gran formato -140 centímetros. Su sofisticado aspecto, algo excéntrico, hace que cueste imaginarse a esta mujer, de la que emana vitalidad, visitando los núcleos de los conflictos bélicos en Irlanda del Norte, Afganistán, Líbano, donde fue arrestada y casi ejecutada, Sahara, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Camboya o Irán».

Asociación de amigos del Pueblo Saharaui de Santomera esta organizando la mayor concentración de guitarras eléctricas de la historia con el objeto de establecer el récord guinness de mayor numero de guitarras eléctricas tocando al unísono el legendario tema de Deep Purple "Smoke on the water". El fin de esta concentración es dar a conocer la problemática en el Sahara y recaudar fondos para su población. Será el 21 de junio en la localidad murciana de Santomera y habrá paella gigante, sorteo de una guitarra, conciertos, zona de acampada etc... Para mas información pueden visitar la web http://www.guitarraguinness.com

INTERNET

OPINIONS

A propos de la lettre de Danielle Miterrand à M. Abdelaziz:

A propos des déclarations de Dris Basri à Al-Ayam (Français - English):

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

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