WESTERN SAHARA

NEWS

original french

WEEKS 05 - 06

25.01.-07.02.2004

 

 

SADR

25.01.04
Peace March
Over a hundred European citizens, mostly Italians, held a demonstration near the Moroccan wall in the region of Farsia, singing and brandishing rainbow flags. The demonstrators heard this symbol of the Moroccan military occupation denounced, which has divided the Saharawi people for decades. They read an appeal addressed to Kofi Annan, James Baker and to the Security Council asking for the implementation of the UN peace plan and for pressure to be put on Morocco to oblige it to accept the plan.(see
SPS technical file about the Wall)
A similar demonstration is being planned at the beginning of April. >>
more

REFERENDUM

29.01.04
European Parlament -
Appeal
On the occasion of the visit in Brussels of the UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan, to receive the "Sakharov Prize" from the European Parliament 140 members of the European Parlament address an Appeal for the Western Sahara to the UN SG.

29.01.04
European Parliament
The European Parliamentary intergroup "Peace for the Saharawi People" received in Brussels, Mr Xanana Gusmão, President of East Timor, who in a speech praised the Saharawi people. "The struggle of our Saharawi brothers is synonymous with hope, it has been a source of inspiration for the people of Timor in their fight for freedom..." he declared. President Gusmão called on the UN to redouble their efforts to resolve the conflict in Western Sahara in a just and lasting way, by organising as quickly as possible the promised referendum of self-determination. >>
photo

29.01.04
German Parliament
Unanimous adoption of a motion presented by the Socialist, Christian Democrat, Green and Liberal parties. This motion, entitled "Support for the Baker plan and for a political solution to the conflict in Western Sahara", laid down on 7 January, asks the government to commit itself in favour of a solution to the conflict of Western Sahara, to support the Baker plan, to make available military observers if required, to call on WFP and ECHO to deliver sufficient food aid to the Saharawi refugees, to put pressure on the Polisario for the liberation of prisoners of war and on Morocco to shed light on the fate of the disappeared.

30.01.04
Letter to Kofi Annan
On the occasion of the inauguration of a United Nations regional centre of information in Brussels, the Socialist Senator Pierre Galand handed personally to Mr Kofi Annan, a letter co-signed by fellow parliamentarians, making known the concerns of Belgian parliamentarians about the implementation of the Baker plan.

31.01.04
The Australian Labor Party Congress, organised in Sydney from 29 to 31 January, adopted a
motion on Western Sahara supporting "the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and deploring the successive postponements of the referendum". (SPS)

31.01.04
Resolution S/RES/1523 (PDF
engl)
The Security Council, through its resolution 1523, ratifies James Baker's proposal which asked for a three month extension of MINURSO's mandate "In order to give him time to hold new consultations with Morocco on the subject of that country's final response concerning the peace plan", and extends the mandate to 30 April 2004.

AFRICA

22.01.04
African Union: Entry-into force of the Protocol Establishing an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights - a significant development,
amnesty international, 22.01.04, AI Index: AFR 01/004/2004.

MOROCCO

28.01.04
Morocco - expulsion
Catherine Graciet and Nadia Ferroukhi, an independent journalist and a photographer, both French, were expelled from Morocco. Apprehended on 27 January in Tarfaya at a Royal gendarmerie road block, they were en route to Western Sahara, where they wanted to report on the living conditions of the Saharawi population under Moroccan occupation. "The police officers confiscated our passports and our mobile phones and made us turn back, escorting us as far as Agadir", Catherine Graciet told AFP. "We were interrogated in Agadir by the DST then expelled after 24 hours in custody, locked up in a room, guarded by a policeman. They only complained that we had not fore-warned the Moroccan Embassy in Paris that we were going to do a reportage on Western Sahara", she added.
On arrival in Agadir on Sunday 25 January the two young women had first gone to Goulimine. According to AP, quoting a government source, the two young women were in possession "of large amounts of documentation" favourable to the Polisario Front's position. The UJS and AFAPREDESA have launched an urgent appeal to human rights organisations and to the organisation Reporters without Borders to intervene with the Moroccan authorities so as to put an end to this kind of violation of universal human rights and to allow free access to the occupied territories of Western Sahara to any personality or human rights organisation.

30.01.04
Interview with Ali Salem Tamek, Saharawi activist
In a Moroccan weekly close to the powers that be, Tamek defines himself as "a member of the Saharawi people", a people whose existence he asserts, for they possess "their own history, their language, their traditions, their customs and their lifestyle, which is different from those of neighbouring peoples." The Saharawi people should exercise their right to self-determination, an "inalienable right", he said, adding that "the only way out of this conflict, is to speed up the organisation of the referendum." (
Maroc Hebdo International, No 590, 30.01.04 , french)
On 5 February, in an interview with the Spanish daily, El Mundo, Tamek declared that the present situation in Western Sahara is characterised by "permanent violations of human rights" and called for the international community to delegate a mission to the region to put pressure on Morocco to respect the rights of the Saharawis".
Reactions came thick and fast: Liberation (03.02.) invites Tamek to leave Morocco.
Aujourd'hui le Maroc (04.02 ) calls him a "traitor to the national cause" just like Islamist "terrorist gangs". The daily calls on "the authorities, politicians, government, political parties, NGOs and anyone who has a grain of nationalism" to react to Ali Salem Tamek "sold body and soul to the Polisario and to Algeria."

HUMAN RIGHTS

30.01.04
Sisters Mamia and Fatma Salek, abducted in 1976 with their parents, imprisoned without trial for 16 years in the penal colonies of Kalaat Mgouna, where their parents died, have denounced during a press conference in the Canary Islands the extra-judiciary procedure by which the body Equity and Reconciliation would "settle" the problem of human rights abuses in recent decades. They call for respect for human rights, for the release of political prisoners, for compensation for the victims, and for bringing those responsible to justice as well as for the opening of the territory and the return of passports to human rights activists who were prevented from traveling to Geneva in March2003. (
comunicado) (Historia resumida de 16 años de prisión en Marruecos (word)

01.02.04
Massaoud Al Baz, a Saharawi citizen, was the victim of a brutal attack by three Moroccan "security" agents in El Ayoun. Al Baz, who was not aware of the motive of this attack, was then taken to the police station and interrogated for several hours. Examined by a doctor, he was given sick leave and sickness benefit for 20 days. (
AFAPREDESA )

HUMANITARIAN AID

04.02.04
The European Union's Office of humanitarian aid, ECHO makes available to WFP 3.75 millions euros for the food aid program for the Saharawi refugees (out of 5.14 allocated recently). This should provide enough to cover basic food needs for three months (cereals, oil, sugar, legumes), while waiting for the rest of the program.

SOLIDARITY

23.01.04 SOLIDARIDAD - ELKARTASUN
Conferencia de los Intergrupos Parlamentarios "PAZ Y LIBERTAD EN EL SAHARA" celebrada en el Parlamento Vasco en enero de 2004. >>
Resolución Final

25. 01.04 Stockholm
On the eve of the Stockholm International Forum on preventinggenocide (26.- 28.01.04 ) an alternative conference was organised by 50 Swedish NGOs. Along with other topics treated such as Palestine, Pakistan, Turkey, Colombia, the Mapucho Indians of Chili, Chechnya, a workshop was devoted to the occupation of Western Sahara, directed by the Swedish parliamentarian, Hillevi Larsson. At a peaceful demonstration the demonstrators demanded the dismantling of the Moroccan wall in Western Sahara as well as the Israeli wall in Palestine.

28.01.04 Catalunya
La Generalitat potenciará las relaciones institucionales con el Frente Polisario y aumentará las ayudas al pueblo saharaui, anunció el conseller de Relaciones Institucionales y Participación, Joan Saura.(agencias)

30.01.04 Madrid.
Un grupo de solidari@s madrileñ@s rebautizó la estación de metro de ´Banco de España´, pasando a llamarse ´Sahara Libre´, con la intención de dar a conocer el conflicto del Sahara Occidental. ver el
panfleto repartido durante la acción y fotos

31.01.04 Barcelona
Despedida de la 10ª Caravana Catalana solidaria para el Sahara desde el Parlamento de Catalunya
Los ciudadanos y ciudadanas de Catalunya despidieron la "10ª Caravana Catalana Solidaria para el Sàhara" el sábado, 31 de enero, desde el Parlamento de Catalunya. A este acto de despedida asistieron representantes de la Generalitat de Catalunya y de organizaciones políticas, así como alcaldes de diferentes municipios, sindicatos y el Intergrupo Parlamentario "Paz en el Sáhara" al completo.

03.02.04 Sevilla
La empresa de relojería Valentín Ramos S.L. donará relojes a los niños saharauis.
Comunicado de la Asociación Provincial de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui de Sevilla

COMING UP... >> AGENDA

Sevilla
Fiesta de clausura del proyecto "Caravana por la paz" de la Asociación provincial de amistad con el pueblo saharaui de Sevilla: 15 de febrero, en el parque del Alamillo.

«West-Sahara: ein vergessenes Land» Dia Vortrag von Mag.a Noriko Aoyagi, Sonntag 22. Februar 2004, 18:00 Beginn
Kulturverein Kanafani, Laimgrubengasse 19/1, 1060 Wien. Eintritt frei.

La Delegación Saharaui para Cantabria y la ONG Cantabria por el Sahara han organizado un nuevo viaje al campamento de refugiados de Tinduf, en Argel, desde el aeropuerto de Parayas. El viaje tendrá lugar entre los días 21 al 28 de febrero. Info: mahbes@nodo50.org. WEB

Vol "Catalunya amb el Sahara"
Setmana Santa 2004: 07 -12 de Abril, data exacta no encara confirmat. Contact, informació: Associació Catalana d'Amics del Poble Sahrauí, secció territorial de SAHANDREU, e-mail:
mailto:sahandreu@yahoo.es

The Sahrawi workers´ trade union UGTSARIO will held its 5º Congress of UGTSARIO at Tindouf (south Algeria) 18-20 May 2004. Contact : ugtsario@yahoo.com, tel/fax: 00 213 49 921 309

Musique sahraouie - Musica saharaui: Mariem Hassan y su grupo:
Belgique:
12.02.04 Bruxelles, Espace Senghor
13.02.04 Anvers/ Antwerpen, Quixote

España:
28.02.04, Bilbao,
Antxokia, 22 horas.
05.03.04, Salamanca, Cafe Corrillo, 22 horas
07.03.04, Madrid, Sala Clamores, direccion Alburquerque 14, 20.30 horas
12.03.04, Huesca, Eden, 23.30 horas
9, 10, 11, 12, 13 y 14 de Mayo,
Forum de las Culturas de Barcelona, la Plaza de las Culturas
(Nubenegra publicará el disco dedicado al MEDEH (cantos antiguos saharauis), con lo que son ya seis los discos publicados de música saharaui desde que en el 1997 iniciá la colaboración con el Ministerio de Cultura de la RASD.)

Deutschland:
30.05.04 :
Africa Festival Würzburg

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