WESTERN SAHARA - NEWS

WEEKS 33-34 : 08.08.-21.08.2004

original french

 

SADR

05-06.08.04
A SADR delegate,  Dih Mokhtar Daf, took part in Maputo in a Conference inaugurating the Association of African Magistrates, which was held in the capital of Mozambique.

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

19.08.04
I an appeal in Arabic to the UNHCR and MINURSO, Saharawi human rights defenders complain of repeated attacks on their freedom of movement during the month of August, in particular each time known activists, such as Daddach, Tamek and others try to meet Saharawi families coming from the refugee camps, who are visiting their relatives in the occupied territories within the UNHCR family exchange scheme. [
statement] [original Arabic (word file]

ALGERIA-SADR

Algiers: week of fraternity and solidarity with the Saharawi people (continued)

07.08.04: The Saharawi Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb Omar met students from the University MHamed Bougara de Boumerdes, where the General Union of Free Students had organised a conference on the topic of "Freedom".  [Le soir d'Algérie]

07.08.04: The Saharawi Prime Minister was received by his Algerian counterpart, Ahmed Ouyahya, in the presence of the Minister of Occupied Territories and the Community, El Khalil Sidi Mohamed, of the Minister of Culture and Sport, Mariem Salek Hmada, of the Governor of El Aaiun, Mansour Oumar and the SADR ambassador in Algeria, Mohamed Yeslem Beissat.[El Moudjahid]

08.08.04: Political personalities, parliamentarians and academics took part in Algiers in a meeting organised by the association "Mechaal al-chahid". Tounsi Ben Amer, professor at the Algiers Law Faculty, retraced the development of the question of Western Sahara. The historian, Tahar Ben Aîcha situated their solidarity with the Saharawi people well before the beginning of the conflict: "Already in the sixties, we had, on the occasion of literary or academic meetings, the opportunity to meet certain Saharawi writers and poets". For the former head of the Algerian government Belaïd Abdesselam, the Algerian attitude is not formed at the behest of any political calculation or manoeuvre, "it is quite simply dictated by the path of the Algerian people, which also, has suffered the colonial yoke and has made of the right of peoples to self-determination an immutable principle".[El Moudjahid] [Le soir d'Algérie]

08.08.04: Interview with Saharawi Prime Minister: "We would like to see a more balanced French position". [L'Expression]

09.08.04: The head of the Algerian government, Ahmed Ouyahia, in a speech delivered at a dinner given in honour of the President of SADR, expressed the support of Algeria for the Saharawi cause pointing out that "any attempt to create confusion about Algeria's position towards the conflict in Western Sahara by trying to misrepresent its sincere wish and commitment to consolidate entente and harmony in our sub-region is and will always be a waste of time." "Algeria invites very particularly the powers and countries interested in the settlement of this conflict to ... encourage the two parties concerned, namely the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, to go forward with putting into practice the Saharawi people's inalienable right to self-determination", concluded Ouyahia.[AP]

In his speech, Mohamed Abdelaziz called "all the countries interested in stability and peace in the north west African region to take an active part in the solution" of the conflict in Western Sahara, which should be within "the respect for international legality, the principles of international law and the charter of the United Nations". "Any effort or initiative aiming to take the Saharawi question outside the context of the United Nations or to side-step its nature as a case of decolonisation subject  to the principle of self-determination, or further to deny that it is a conflict between the Moroccan Kingdom and the Saharawi people represented by the Polisario Front, will be in vain", he added. Abdelaziz regretted the "sudden shift" of Rabat which risks having "dangerous consequences and repercussions on the peace and stability of the region".[AFP]

10.08.04: The President of the Saharawi Republic denounced in a press conference in Algiers "the rejection by Morocco of all the resolutions of the Security Council", affirming that the position of Rabat in the conflict of Western Sahara "is a very dangerous rebellion against international law". "We consequently call on all countries of the world who have not already done so to recognise SADR, for it is the true and authentic representative of the will of the Saharawi people", he added. Abdelaziz announced that his government would ask for his country to become a member of the United Nations.

11.08.04: Mohamed Abdelaziz, in an interview with the Algerian daily, El Watan, expressed his "indignation at France's position which, by supporting the Moroccan vision, tries to impose the Moroccan colonial fait accompli on Western Sahara".
On Spain: "Up until the present, the Spanish position is still marked by confusion: one day the Spanish say yes to the Baker plan but an "adjusted" one, and another day they say they favour an Algerian-Moroccan dialogue. Spain takes one step forward and two steps back." The Baker plan "cannot be discussed again" and should just be implemented "without change". This plan is "a whole and cannot be discussed any further. If the matter is opened, nothing will remain, it will become something else. We are firm about implementing the Baker plan without any change." [
texte complet]

12.08.04: Interview with Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front representative in Spain, "We know that France is always behind any proposal which aims to make the Baker plan fail and to seek dubious solutions which do not conform with international law. It is up to the Security Council, the Secretary General, to James Baker and to international opinion to confront these manoeuvres." [La Nouvelle République]

REFERENDUM

06.08.04
In a meeting chaired by the Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, the Executive of the National Secretariat, enlarged with Minister-counselors to the President, ambassadors and high ranking officials of the organisation, discussed the latest developments in the struggle of the Saharawi people for independence in the light of the resignation of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, James Baker, and the latest Spanish and French diplomatic moves. The Executive called for the strict application of United Nations and African Union resolutions for resolving the conflict in Western Sahara. (SPS)

10.08.04
The special representative for Western Sahara,  Alvaro de Soto, put off until the first week of September meetings arranged with Moroccan and Saharawi officials..[
Europa Press] [L'Expression]

19.08.04
Durban, Non-Aligned Movement
The Ministers reiterated the support of the Movement for the efforts of the United Nations to organise and supervise an impartial, free and fair referendum in accordance with the Settlement Plan, the Houston Agreements and with relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions.
The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Peace Plan for Self-Determination of the People of Western Sahara as an optimum political solution on the basis of agreement between the two parties.
A Saharawi delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, attended the opening ceremony of this 14th ministerial session of the Non-Aligned Movement. [
Final Document XIV Ministerial Conference of the NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (Midterm Review)Durban, South Africa, 17-19 August 2004]

19.08.04
James speaks out
Two months after having given up his mandate of Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General, James Baker speaks at length on the conflict, his mission, the causes of his failure and perspectives for the future in an interview conducted by the journalist Mishal Husain, after the screening of the documentary Sahara Marathon on the American TV channel PBS. A must-read
document.

ALGERIA

17.08.04
According to an "authorised source" quoted by APS, Algeria "continues to foster the hope of seeing its relations with Morocco rid of all unilateral action, and principally, not to be dependent on unacceptable preambles, such as giving a blessing to the fait accompli of Western Sahara and contempt for international law"... "Algeria considers, like the international community, that [the question of Western Sahara is] a question of decolonisation to be completed and that every solution must inevitably include the exercise by the Saharawi people of their right to self-determination, through a free and fair referendum. The implementation of these plans and accords [of the OAU, UN, Houston and the Baker plan ] is today back in the melting pot only because of the Moroccan party which persists in ignoring international law and to be advocating solutions which are outside this legality." ... "Algeria reaffirms, in the most solemn fashion, that it cannot and will not, in any case, substitute itself for the Polisario Front, the legitimate and exclusive representative of the Saharawi people, and any attempt in this direction will only delay peace in Western Sahara and lead to an impasse." [
El Moudjahid] [SPS]

SPAIN

08-14.08.04
World Festival of Youth - VIth Conference of solidarity with Saharawi youth
Over sixty young Saharawis took part in the 111rd World Festival of Youth which took place alongside the Forum of Barcelona. A photographic exhibition of the struggle of the Saharawi people and NGOs active in the defence of human rights and the search for disappeared Saharawis was displayed in a big traditional tent made from sheep wool and camel hair.
This is where on 11 and 12 August, the VIth conference of solidarity with Saharawi youth was held in collaboration with the Youth of Spain and the National Council of Catalan Youth. The Secretary General of the Union of Saharawi Youth,  Mohamed Mouloud Mohamed Fadel, in his speech called for the delegations attending the festival to take action of get international law respected in Western Sahara. For his part, the Saharawi Ambassador in Algiers, Mohammed Beissat, asked the Spanish government for "a greater presence at a more positive attitude ... in order to find a just solution" to the question of the Sahara. Members of the Istiqlal youth (Moroccan nationalist party) tried to make trouble at the closing ceremony of the conference, provoking the intervention of security agents, who expelled them. The VIth conference finished with the final declaration being read on Western Sahara calling for the respect of the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.[SPS] [
Photos] [La Razon] [La Razon] [Europa Press]

SOLIDARITY

19.08.04
Seminar in Melbourne on Resources and Independence : parallels between East Timor and Western Sahara
The Institute of Postcolonial Studies hosted a meeting organised jointly by the Australia-East Timor Association and the Australia-Western Sahara Association at which Kamal Fadel, Polisario Front representative in Australia and Kwame Mfodwo, an international lawyer at Monash University spoke about Western Sahara. The speakers for East Timor were Alex Tilman (Fretilin) and Helen Hill (Victoria University and chair of AETA). Australians already aware of the struggle in East Timor were able to understand a very similar struggle on the other side of the world where independence has still to be achieved.

COMING UP...

Timor Leste - 5º Aniversário do Referendo
Exposição "Timor Loro Sae - A Nação do Sol Nascente"
A exposição estará patente ao público de 28 de Agosto a 11 de Setembro na Loja do Cidadão em Aveiro. SUL - Associação de Cooperação para o Desenvolvimento, [e.mail <sulcoopdes@hotmail.com>
WEB]

Festival Internacional de Cine del Sahara 16 al 19 de diciembre de 2004. Campos de refugiados. Para más información: Correo electrónico: festival-2@festivalsahara.com . Próximamente disponible la Página WEB actualizada (Septiembre).

Musique: MARIEM HASSAN
24 .08. Santander (teatro Bonifaz, 10 noche)
11.09. Málaga, festival de la Luna Mora,
18.09. Guadalajara,
20.09. Almuñecar (Granada)
Belgium/Netherland: 5/6.11.04
Finnland: 10.-14.11.04
Switzerland (Delémont and Bern) 19-20.11.04
Germany: 10.12.04 Berlin 
booking contact: nubenegra, zazie wurr tel. 0034.91.3658234

A FILM NIGHT TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN SAHARA
Featuring the premiere of "it's a long way to Tifariti" a film by Yvette Andrews
14th September 2004, 6:30pm - 8:30pm, Sydney, the Parliamentary Theatrette, Parliament House, Macquarie Street. Cost $20/$15conc, rsvp: 9230 2301 by 10 September.

La secretaria de Estado de Cooperación Internacional, Leire Pajín, prevé visitar en septiembre los campamentos de refugiados saharauis de Tinduf (Argelia)[Europa Press]

LAS PRIMERAS JORNADAS INTERNACIONALES SOBRE DERECHOS HUMANOS DEL PUEBLO SAHARAUI, 1 y 2 de octubre de 2004, Ciudad de Olivenza (Badajoz )

30 Conferencia EUCOCO - 30ème Conférence EUCOCO - 30th EUCOCO Conference: Zaragoza (Spain), 26, 27 and the 28 of November 2004.

INTERNET

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