WESTERN SAHARA - NEWS

WEEKS 49 - 50: 28.11.-11.12.2004

original french

 

SADR

26.11.- 03.12.04
Visit of President Abdelaziz to Spain:
Following his meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister and participation in the 30th EUCOCO in Saragossa, the Saharawi president carried out a tour of Aragon, Castille y Leon, Andalusia and Murcia, where he had many meetings with parliamentarians and politicians from the autonomous regions of Spain and local elected members, as well as with representatives from the solidarity movement.
On 28.11.04 he had talks with the President of the Popular Party, PP, Mariano Rajoy, in Madrid in the presence of the officer for external relations, Jorge Moragas. Abdelaziz was again received by Gaspar Llamares, the general coordinator of the United Left (Izquierda Unida) on 03.12.04.
Political officials from different levels in the government reaffirmed their support for the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.

Scandinavia

The Saharawi representative for the Nordic countries, Mr Lamine Yahiaoui, toured Finland, Norway and Iceland.
Oslo: The Polisario Front representative had talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as parliamentarians from different parties. (22-23.11.04)
Helsinki: Lamine Yahiaoui attended the first meeting of the Finnish Association of Friendship with Western Sahara. Recently created, the association brings together representatives of political parties, trades union executives, civil society, journalists and well-known personalities. (25.11.04)
Iceland: The Saharawi representative was received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also by the parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs. (27.11.- 2.12.04)

02.12.04, Sweden: In her answer to a question from the MP Alice Åström, the Swedish  Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mme Laila Freivalds reaffirmed her country's support for the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination, underlining that the abstention of Sweden in the vote on the resolution in the Fourth Committee, "should not be understood as a change in policy on the question of Western Sahara".

Health

01.12.04
The Minister for Health organises a conference in Smara about action against AIDS on the occasion of the world day for AIDS. [SPS]

Diplomacy

01-04.12.04, Mexico
In the context of a tour of Latin America, the Saharawi Minister for Foreign Affairs is received in Mexico at the seat of government by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista. Ould Salek also met the President of the Senate and members of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and met with the President and members of the recently created Mexican Association of Friendship with SADR.
In a press statement Salem Ould Salek, affirmed that the refusal of Morocco to respect the agreements they signed endangers the stability of the Maghreb. It is unacceptable that MINURSO should transform a decolonisation operation into a mission to defend the fait accompli of Moroccan occupation, the Saharawi diplomat pointed out, adding that the return to armed combat is always a possibility. [EFE, 04.12.04]

08.12.04, Ireland
The Irish Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,Mr. Conor Lenihan TD received, Mhamed Khadad, member of the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front and coordinator with MINURSO.

12.12.04, Mozambique
President Joaquim Chissano went on a visit of "friendship, solidarity and work" to the refugee camps.[SPS]

Presidency

04.12.04, Mr. José Luis Perisse, Venezuelan Ambassador for Algeria and Tunisia, presented his credentials to President Abdelaziz as Ambassador for SADR. [SPS]

06.12.04, The President of the Republic receives the Director of Cooperation and Development from Asturias. [SPS]

07.12.04, Reception and dinner in honour of 150 Spanish celebrities, representing 2370 visitors from different autonomous regions of Spain on a visit of several days to the refugee camps. [SPS]

NUSW Activities

25.11.04, Madrid: The officer for external relations of the Union of Saharawi Women,  Zahra Ramdán, met the Spanish Minister for Social Affairs on the occasion of the world day against violence against women, who expresses admiration for the commitment of Saharawi women and quotes them as an example for Arab and Muslim countries.

03.12.04, Canaries: The Secretary General of NUWS, Fatma Mehdi, on a visit to Tenerife, was received by the Vice-President of the Parliament, Alfredo Belda. Addressing the parliamentarians present, she exhorted them to "support the Baker plan for self-determination for the Saharawi people". Her stay made possible a number of meetings with people on the island.

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND SOUTH MOROCCO

Natural resources, oil

29.11.04
The multinational, Total, which obtained an exploration contract off-shore from Western Sahara in 2001, judged illegal by the United Nations, has not renewed its contract with Morocco, which expired on 18 November. According to rumours, Morocco is said to be in discussion with another company, supposedly Australian, to take up Total's contract.[SPS] [
Press release SADR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29.11.04] http://www.arso.org/FPminae291104.htm

30.11.04
The SADR Minister for Foreign Affairs writes to the Norwegian Minister for Finances to ask him to divest from his State's financial shares (of up to $7.6 million), in the oil company Kerr-McGee. They are contrary to the ethical code which Norway is supposed to adhere to on the subject. KMG and Morocco signed a contract for oil exploration in Western Sahara, which, like that denounced by Total, is considered illegal in a UN legal opinion. The contract signed by KMG, renewed in October, expires on 1 May 2005.[
Letter of Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic to the Norwegian Minister of Finance Per-Kristian Foss, 29.11.04.] [Aftenposten, December 1st, 2004] [Upstream Online, December 1st, 2004]

Human rights

29.11.04, Ali Salem Tamek in Spain
The former political prisoner and Saharawi human rights activist took the boat from Tangiers to travel to Spain, where he will receive treatment for the consequences of his hunger strikes. [
campaign for a passport for Tamek][dossier Tamek]

In Assa, Tan-Tan and Goulimine demonstrations of protest with demands are happening among the Saharawi population in the form of sit-ins outside public buildings and other demonstrations. [see week 47-48/04]

05.12.04, Assa: Students of primary schools in Assa organised a march of support and solidarity and Saharawi students from the teacher training school turned out to testify to their solidarity with the protesters.

06.12.04, Zak: Saharawi students from Zak high school organised a sit-in for a day inside the school as a sign of solidarity with their fellow unemployed graduates on an unlimited sit-in since the 19 November last outside the office of the Pacha of Assa.

10.12.04, Assa: Saharawi graduates forced into unemployment decided to start a hunger strike after the failure of all their attempts at negotiation with the governor of the province. [SPS]

International Campaign for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Western Sahara.
The local Committee of Support for the International Campaign for the protection of human rights defenders in Western Sahara sent letters to: Mrs Hina Jilani, UN Secretary General's special representative for human rights defenders, to the UN Secretary General, to the Chair of the Security Council, to the personal representative of the UN Secretary General for Western Sahara, A de Soto and made public a statement. [
in Arabic]

10.12.04, World Day for Human Rights

El Ayoun: The local Committee of Support for the International Campaign for the protection of defenders of human rights in Western Sahara organised a demonstration outside the headquarters of MINURSO which was due to take place from 10am. The gathering was prevented by a large deployment of military and police forces who sealed off the area and forbad access to any Saharawi. The street leading to MINURSO's HQ was barred by military trucks and a human chain of armed police. Despite this demonstration of force from the occupying authorities, some 700 Saharawi demonstrators collected in streets close to the rally site and peacefully claimed their rights. MINURSO, for its part, kept quiet and silent.
Other demonstrators, they are talking of thousands, former political prisoners, parents of disappeared and assassinated prisoners, human rights activists, phosphate miners denied their rights from Phos Boucraa could not approach the sealed off area. Their demonstrated their discontent on the spot.
Despite the intimidations and threats Saharawi human rights activists displayed their banners and chanted their slogans demanding "freedom and justice" and a referendum of self-determination for the Saharawi people.

In Smara and Assa former political prisoners, parents of disappeared and assassinated prisoners, human rights activists also organised demonstrations. Brandishing portraits of their disappeared loved ones and photos of torture, the demonstrators met in Smara in front of the seat of the governor.
In Marrakech and Rabat Saharawi students organised demonstrations as well. [corr]

SIGN THE APPEAL FOR THE DEFENCE OF SAHARAWI HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

REFERENDUM

29.11.04
The Australian Senate adopts a motion presented by Lyn Fay Allison in favour of the organisation of a referendum of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.[
full text]

These people talked about the conflict in Western Sahara this week:
Dris Jettou and Tony Blair on 01.12.04 in London.
Chirac and Zapatero on 07.12.04 in Saragossa.
Moratinos and Powell on 09.12.04  in Brussels.
Zapatero and Putin on 10.12.04 in Moscow.

10.12.04, UN General Assembly
Adoption of the draft Resolution A/C.4/59/L.4 of the Fourth Committee, document A/59/478, by 50 votes in favour and 100 abstentions.[
Press Release GA/10318]

SOLIDARITY

EUCOCO

The final resolutions and reports from various workshops are available .
See also dispatches from
SPS and Sahara-Info's press review, french and spanish

COMING UP...

Television

Charter

Sahara Marathon 28.02.05

Deutsch

INTERNET

OPINION

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS
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>> Revue de la presse internationale francophone http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/revue-de-presse-sahara-occidental/messages

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Castellano

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Nuevo libro:

"Atrapados en Tinduff", Eduardo Jordán Quinzano. Prologo: Fernando Llorente. Edita: ONG "Cantabria por el Sáhara". 1ª edición: Octubre de 2004. Santander, Cantabria.196 páginas, (con 60 ilustraciones a color y 21 en B/N ).
Puedes solicitarlo a Cantabria por el Sáhara &endash; C/ General Dávila 294 &endash; Barrio San Francisco 19, 5 d - 39007 SANTANDER. Mail
eduardojordan2002[at]yahoo.es, aoriaarteche[at]yahoo.es, mahbes[at]nodo50.org Tel. 942 250903 (Eduardo/Rosa)

Nueva Video:

La fuga del infierno, documental realizado entre 1975 y 1976
El video, de 20 minutos,  se puede solicitar a través de la televisión saharaui.Precio: 20 Euro + Gastos de envío 3,50 Euro (España). Enviar un correo a:
rasd-tv@rasd-tv.com.

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