WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEKS 28+29

06.-19.07.2003

 

SADR

10-12.07.03
Ordinary session Summit of the African Union
A Saharawi delegation, led by the SADR President, took part in the summit at Maputo. (SPS)

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

09.07.03
Tamek
The political prisoner, Ali Salem Tamek started an unlimited hunger strike on 9 July in protest at his transfer from Salé prison to Aït Melloul prison where he is deprived of the advantages granted to him as a political prisoner, as a result of previous strikes. On the same day Tamek refused to receive the first deputy of the King's Public Prosecutor at the Appeal Court of Agadir who has never kept his promises. The latest news is that Tamek, suffering from fainting attacks, has been taken as an emergency case to Inzegane hospital. (
Statement from the Action Committee for the release of Tamek Ali Salem and all the Saharawi political detainees)

Write to him:

ALI-SALEM TAMEK
n° d'écrou 1519
Prison locale de Aït Melloul
Aït Melloul Maroc
tamekalisalem@hotmail.com

REFERENDUM

Extension of MINURSO's mandate

08.07.03
In the Security Council the Spanish government is preparing a resolution in favour of the Baker plan, asking Morocco and the Polisario Front to negotiate on the basis of the plan. (El Periodico)

09.07.03
In reaction, Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front representative in Spain, makes clear that the Saharawis "will not accept to live under the sovereignty of Morocco for a single day". He asks the Spanish government to abandon its intention of supporting the Baker plan. The interim period, under international control, could end in genocide, he believes. (El Periodico)

10.07.03
The representative of the Polisario Front at the United Nations, Ahmed Boukhari, announces that "the Polisario Front, without abandoning the 1991 Settlement Plan, will be disposed to contribute to the examination of the way forward proposed by Mr Baker in order to achieve the inevitable objective of the self-determination of the Saharawi people. This position is not only the reflection of our attachment to a just and lasting peace in the context of respect for international law, but also responds to wishes emphatically expressed by various countries, within the Security Council and outside, including Algeria and Spain."

Security Council

11.07.03
Initial deliberations
The current president of the Council, the Spanish Ambassador, Arias, indicates that the draft resolution put down by the United States gives support to the Baker plan and insists that the parties accept it. The Polisario Front and Algeria indicated to the Council their agreement in principle, unlike Morocco. This proposal is submitted to experts on 16 July. The Council is due to pronounce on it before 31 July, the expiry date of MINURSO's mandate.(UN News)

Reactions

Morocco
The first reaction of the Ambassador of Morocco at the United Nations is to call the proposal "counter-productive", and to express doubt that it will find a majority in the Council. The Minister of Foreign Affairs then announces the categorical rejection of his government: "The position of Morocco is clear, we refuse to have any decision whatsoever imposed on us relating to the sovereignty of the Kingdom". He added that "Morocco is willing to take part in a sincere, frank and democratic dialogue to reach a political solution which respects the integrity and sovereignty of our country over the Sahara."
The king talks on the subject by telephone with George Bush, José Maria Aznar, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair.

Headlines in the Moroccan press: "Urgent need for national mobilisation". "Morocco finds itself in a difficult position..." "Morocco affirms that the new Baker plan is anti-democratic" "Spanish-American Masquerade in the UN", "Dangerous and deviant turn taken by the special envoy of Kofi Annan. Morocco cannot pay the price of the incompetence of the international community". "Sahara: No to the "Diktat"!

France
The French Ambassador in the United Nations declares that "this plan cannot be imposed if it is not accepted by both the parties" and French diplomacy rushes to the help of Morocco. It appears they have proposed amendments to the draft resolution. Chirac himself is thought to have contacted members of the Council. Experts from Security Council member countries are due to meet again on Monday 21.

Spain
The Spanish government says that it will make sure that Morocco and the Polisario Front can reach an agreement based on the Baker plan, which will be a step forward, and avoid a simple extension of MINURSO. (18.07.03)

Polisario Front - clarifications
In an interview with the Algerian daily
Le Matin* on 14.07.03, Mohamed Sidati, Counselor minister to the SADR presidency, considers it necessary to "favour a way out of the conflict between the two states, and in some way promote reconciliation between the Moroccan and Saharawi peoples and thus to seek a way forward which is likely to end up with a solution which will both grant and guarantee to the Saharawi people the full exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination, through the organisation of a free and fair referendum. In declaring ourselves ready to examine the Mr Baker's proposals as a basis for discussion, this in no way says that we are denying the foundation of our struggle which consists in recovering independence and sovereignty over our country. The Saharawis will not go to the meeting without demanding from the international community to take charge through the competent bodies in the UN, of the administrative management of the territories of Western Sahara during the different stages of this process which will finish with the organisation of the free and fair referendum. (* trad en castellano)

Visit of President Mohamed Abdelaziz to the USA
The SADR president arrived on 14 July 2003 in Washington for a working visit of several days. On 15.07.03 he had several meetings and talked with Congress members among whom were George Radanovich, Joseph Pitts and Senator James Inhofe. The president also had a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate and had talks with Congressmen Donald Payne and Mark Green from the Sub-Committee of the House of Representatives. During a reception offered in the Congress in his honour by NGOs active in solidarity work with the Saharawi people, the President emphasised the importance of the moment for the Saharawi cause and added: "our commitment in favour of peace is only equal to our determination to accept some concession concerning our inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The international community and the United States in particular are called to assume their responsibility by supporting resolutely the efforts aiming to bring a just and definitive solution of the conflict. The attitude of France in the bargaining going on in the Security Council proves that this country unfortunately is still the major obstacle to the efforts of the United Nations towards reaching a fair and lasting solution to the conflict. It is time to put an end to the injustice imposed on the Saharawi people for nearly three decades. The Settlement Plan and the Houston Agreement constitute the framework of preference for an authentic decolonisation of Western Sahara.

The European parliamentary intergroup
Margot Kessler, MEP, in a letter to Ambassador Arias, President of the Security Council, on 15.07.03 expresses the support of the intergroup Peace for the Saharawi people for the efforts which are contributing towards resolving the conflict, in a democratic manner and with international guarantees. Any future solution to the problem should be in accordance with the clear principles and adequate machinery contained in the United Nations Charter, she added, asking for a mechanism to be put in place which would oblige Morocco to respect international law established by the Charter. (full text
spanish)

17.07.03
Manifesto of 130 Spanish professors of international law and international relations on the exercise of the right to free determination of the people of Western Sahara.
In ten points these specialists recall that the Western Sahara conflict is a question of unfinished decolonisation, and point out the particular historical, legal and moral responsibility of Spain. They conclude that the UN should apply international norms, the only solution which conforms to international law is still the settlement plan of 1990. The illegal Moroccan occupation could, the manifesto concludes, justify the application of chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter which defines actions "in cases of threat to peace, of breaking the peace and acts of agression". (full text
spanish)

MOROCCO

Following a protest campaign, the "North Africa to Iran" office of Reporters without borders (RSF - Reporters sans frontières) decided to withdraw a map of Morocco which included Western Sahara. This map which did not conform to international law figured in RSF publications relating to the campaign for Ali Lmrabet. The President of the Spanish office, said that she realised the map used expressed the expansionist claims of Morocco, but wanted to make clear that RSF did not campaign politically about it, as they were trying to save the life of the Moroccan journalist !!!

ALGERIA

10.07.03
Belgian-Algerian Committee of support for the Saharawi people
Margot Kessler, MEP, president of the intergroup, "Peace for the Saharawi people", five Spanish members of parliament, one British member of parliament, Pierre Galand, Senator and coordinator of EUCOCO (Coordination of European Committees of support for the Saharawi people), the personal representative of Mr Daniel Ducarme, Minister president of Brussels-Capital, Mohamed Sidati, representative of the Polisario Front in Europe, the Ambassador of Algeria for Belgium and Luxembourg and many journalists met in Brussels to celebrate the birth of the Belgian-Algerian Committee of Solidarity with the Saharawi people. A provisional executive was chosen to be responsible for arranging an inaugural meeting next September. (Le Soir d'Algérie)

HUMANITARIAN AID

14.07.03
Spain will contribute 240,000 euros to the UNHCR program of humanitarian aid for the Saharawi refugees. (EFE)

SOLIDARITY

The XIth international conference of the Association of women of the Mediterranean region AWMT, devoted to "Strategies of Women for Peace in the Mediterranean", which was held in Bologna from 10-13.07.03, adopted a resolution on Western Sahara supporting self-determination.

16.07.03
The Pope gave an audience to a group of Saharawi children on holiday in Italy at the invitation of the association "JAIMA saharawi" from the province of Reggio Emilia.

COMING UP

Festa d'infants sahrauís a Catalunya, diumenge 20 de juliol de 2003, Parc de La Pegaso, Sant Andreu Barcelona, 10:00 hores. Hi haurà activitats i diferents espais al Parc per poder gaudir d'una estada agradable. Info: joaquimcarreras@terra.es

Italia, Fiano Romano, Terrazza del 1 piano del Castello ducale, domenica 27 luglio 2003, ore 18:30:
Seminario di studi geopolitici "Il conflitto del Sahara Occidentale: breve excursus sulle origini della questione e prospettive di pace" Relatore: Francesco Correale, Cultore della Materia in Storia e Istituzioni dell'Africa Mediterranea e del Vicino Oriente, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell'Università degli Studi "L'Orientale" di Napoli Dottore dell'Université de Provence Aix-Marseille I Maison Mediterranéenne de Sciences de l'Homme &endash; di Aix en Provence. Org.: L'associazione sport e cultura senza frontiere con il Patrocinio del Comune di Fiano Romano.

INTERNET

COMING UP...

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

Sobre las deliberaciones del Consejo de seguridad:

prensa española selección del 11.07.03
prensa española selección del 12.07.03
prensa española selección del 13.07.03
prensa española selección del 14.07.03
prensa española selección del 15.07.03
prensa española selección del 15/16.07.03
prensa española selección del 17.07.03
prensa española selección del 18.07.03

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