WESTERN SAHARA - NEWS

WEEKS 01 - 02 : 01.01. - 13.01.2007

original french

SADR

01.01.07, statement
M'hamed Khaddad, Saharawi coordinator with MINURSO, in his assessment of the past year, recalled that the UN had reaffirmed its support for the self-determination of the Saharawis and that the Polisario Front’s strategy consists in “reinforcing political activity in the occupied territories and to be ever ready on a military level”. [SPS]

03.01.07
The national secretariat of the Polisario Front, in a statement at the end of its ordinary session, exhorted the French government to “stop blocking Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara” and the Spanish government to “undertake a clear policy supporting the exercise of the Saharawi people of their legitimate rights”. [SPS]

04-05.01.07
The annual conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs brought together Saharawi ambassadors and representatives abroad and the Foreign Minister, Ould Salek. [SPS]

05.01.07, visits
A Senegalese delegation led by Ousmane Tanor Dieng, first secretary of the Socialist Party and a candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections in Senegal and president of the African Committee of the Socialist Internationale, was received by the Saharawi president. Tanor Dieng declared that the Senegalese Socialist Party, the first party of opposition, is attached to the “decolonization” of Western Sahara through a “referendum of self-determination". [SPS]

A Brazilian parliamentary delegation, led by Maria José Maninha MP -  of the PSOL-DF (party of socialism and freedom)  went to the camps too, as well as an Italian delegation led by the President of the Italian Association of Friendship and Solidarity with the Saharawi people, Luciano Ardesi. [SPS]
The President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, also welcomed a delegation from the Mauritanian Union of the Forces of Progress (UFP) led by its first president Ba Boubacar Moussa. [SPS] He gave a speech during the last European Conference Coordinating support for the Saharawi people in Vitoria (EUCOCO):

10.01.07, Nicaragua
President Mohamed Abdelaziz took part in Managua in the investiture of Daniel Ortega. Diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and SADR were re-established, a joint statement indicated, published on 12 January in the Nicaraguan capital. Nicaragua recognised SADR on 06.09.1979, but froze relations on 21.07.00. [SPS]

Lisbon-Dakar Rally
Two Portuguese organisations, CGTP-IN and CPPC, protested against the passage of the Lisbon-Dakar rally through occupied Western Sahara.
[CGTP-IN - Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses – Intersindical Nacional (comunicado 05.01.07) ] [CPPC  -  Conselho Português para a Paz e Cooperação].
On the occasion of the stage crossing Western Sahara, journalists Anne Torhild Nilsen and Rådmund Steinsvåg, point out in a Norwegian paper ABC Startsiden, that despite the huge media coverage, the situation in this occupied territory is completely blocked out. The President of the Norwegian Committee of Support for Western Sahara, explains how the organisers and media try to deal with sensitivities by avoiding any allusion to the local geopolitical situation.
["Rally Dakar gjennom okkupert land", ABC Startsiden/Neste klikk, Norway, 11.01.2007] - [English translation by Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara]
- [Traduction française par le Comité norvégien de soutien au Sahara Occidental]
See also the petition - Appel à la suppression du Rallye Dakar

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND SOUTH MOROCCO

Arrests often carried out by plain clothes police, accompanied with threats, beatings and long interrogations, continue. Laaroussi Lamhidi and Mahfoud Maya were arrested on 29.12.06 in El-Ayoun by police in plain clothes, beaten up, interrogated and threatened with being buried alive. Still in El Ayoun, Sidi El-Fakraoui was attacked by plain clothes police on 03.01.07. Fakraoui is suffering after-effects of his fall on 12 June 2005. He was thrown off a building by police. [ASVDH]
Five young Saharawis were arrested on 05.01.07, and another, Jamal El Hasni, abandoned, after being interrogated, near a cemetry called Khat Ramla.
In El-Ayoun Playa, a young Saharawi woman was arrested during a marriage ceremony for having danced with a “Saharawi combatant” well-known in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
In Smara, two former Saharawi political prisoners, Othman Tanakha and Dedi Hmada, were arrested on 05.01.07, tortured and abandoned in an oasis far away from the town. On 9 January three young Saharawis were tortured and interrogated, five others were questioned, humiliated and insulted. [SPS]

02.01.07, Goulimine
Saharawi students organised a sit-in of solidarity with the Intifada and for the respect of their social rights. They denounced the release at the beginning of December of the gendarme Hassan Oheira, sentenced to 10 years’ prison for the assassination of the Saharawi citizen,
Slimane Chouih   at the Centre for the Royal Constabulary on 29 April 2004. [ see also weekly news 19-20/2004]
The sit-in started again on 5 January, followed by a march through the town. [SPS]

05.01.07, arrest
A French citizen of Saharawi origin, Asfari Ennaama, co-president of CORELSO, Committee for the Respect of Human Liberties and Rights in Western Sahara, was arrested in Smara, while visiting the town in the company of his wife and his parents-in-law. His arrest was followed by demonstrations of protest by the Saharawi population, and brutally repressed by the police.
[photos]
Asfari, imprisoned in Smara, was presented to the public prosecutor accused of “outrage to the forces of order”. His trial was fixed for Monday 15 January 2007. CORELSO and the Association des Amis de la RASD (French Friends of SADR Association) launched an appeal [French
  to human rights  organisations and those supporting the Saharawi cause asking them to intervene with the Moroccan authorities and governments of European Union countries and mandating lawyers to assure the defence of the accused.
A delegation of AFASPA, of Amis de la RASD and CORELSO was received in the Moroccan embassy in Paris on 12 January.  
[Statement French, 12.01.07 and letter (French) handed to the Ambassador of Morocco in France]
ACAT France  wrote to the Moroccan Minister for Justice
[Letter French],  BIRDHSO Italy and ANSPS to the Moroccan Minister for Foreign Affairs. [Letter French]
As a result of all this pressure, Ennaama was given provisional freedom on 12.01.07 until his trial.

09.01.07, El-Ayoun
Two Saharawi human rights defenders, Sabbar Brahim, secretary general of ASVDH and Sbai Ahmed, a member of the coordinating coucil, as well as a political detainee,  Abdessalam Loumadi, called before the court of appeal, refused to present themselves, their security not being guaranteed while being transported from the prison to the court. On several occasions, detainees have been beaten up in transit. The trial was postponed until 23 January.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Phosphates
On 21.12.06 a ship, Sac Malaga arrived at the port of Huelva in Spain, where it discharged its phosphate from Western Sahara.
On 3 January a boat, Merlin arrived in the USA, probably at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, likewise transporting phosphates coming from occupied Western Sahara.

22.12.06
The Moroccan press announced that the claims of the Phosboucraa workers, dating from 1976, had been settled following negotiations between social partners. Each worker would receive a lump sum of compensation of 34,000 DH (30,000 euros), would receive a plot of land with services, and the promise of work for their children.
The Saharawi workers and retired workers, who were not represented in these negotiations, refused this solution, considering that their rights had not been respected and that the Cherifian Office of Phosphates (OCP) and the Spanish Minister for Industry, through SEPI, the owner at the time of Phosboucraa, remain responsible for this situation.
[communiqué, 28.12.06]  - [website of the Boucraa Workers]

11.01.07, Australia, phosphate
A ship, Pilion, arrived at the port of Geelong (near Melbourne, Australia) on 9 January 2007 with a cargo of phosphate from Western Sahara for the fertiliser company Incitec Pivot. The Australia Western Sahara Association
AWSA , asked the Australian company to stop the importation of phosphate sourced in the Saharawi occupied territories, in accordance with international law. [press release, 09.01.07] 

MOROCCO

10.01.07, Nuclear
“The United States undertakes to support Morocco in the domain of the development of civil nuclear energy”, declared Ambassador Greg Schulte, permanent representative of the United States with the International Agency for Atomic Energy in Vienna, on a visit to Morocco.
[Le Matin du Sahara, Maroc]

HUMANITARIAN AID

09.01.07, danger of famine
The Saharawi Red Crescent launched a new urgent appeal to the international community, the third in three months. “In the course of the present month of January, the Saharawi refugees will not receive the minimum daily food allowance, notably dried pulses, oil, sugar, flour and milk; if new supplies do not arrive as soon as possible.” [Urgent Appeal, 09.01.07 French]
[Arabic]

COMING UP...

Calendario: Con los fondos de la venta de este calendario se ha puesto en marcha la primera pastelería saharaui en los campamentos. Si queréis seguir colaborando en éste y en próximos proyectos, todavía queda algún calendario, camisetas, libros de poesía y de fotografía.
Contacto: Carmen Giner <carmenginer@gmail.com>
Más información en: http://www.saharalibre.es/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=34

Jornadas de cooperación técnica con los campamentos saharauis de Tindouf (Argelia): construir resistencia. 2 y 3 de febrero. Antiguo Convento de Santa María de los Reyes. SEVILLA. Organiza: Arquitectos Sin Fronteras, Demarcación de Andalucía.
WEB: http://www.asfes.org
BLOG: http://construirresistencia.blogspot.com/
E-MAIL: asfeandaluciasahara@fidas.org

7. Sahara Marathon 26.2.07

INTERNET

CAMPAGNE POUR LA LIBERATION DES PRISONNIERS D'OPINION SAHRAOUIS
CAMPAIGN FOR THE LIBERATION OF ALL SAHARAWI PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
CAMPANA POPULAR PARA LA LIBERACION DE TODOS LOS PRESOS POLITICOS SAHARAUIS

New website

Nouveaux sites (arabophones)

Ya está disponible en nuestra web  el 5º programa de El Uali, programa sobre el Sahara realizado por AMPUSABE (Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui de Béjar) y que se emite semanalmente en Radio Oasis (106.4 FM Salamanca ) todos los lunes de 20.30 a 21 horas.

Sinopsis:
Este microdocumental es un homenaje al pueblo saharaui y al cine. Un corto realizado a partir de fragmentos que fui grabando durante la celebración de las diferentes ediciones del Festival de Cine del Sáhara. Es la llegada del cine al desierto, Javier Corcuera.  Descargar en 
http://www.notodofilmfest.com/ediciones/06/es/php/fichaCorto.php?idpieza=721

Photos de Thierry Mezerette: http://perso.orange.fr/mez-images/lesgaleries/Book/sahraouis/default.htm 
 
OPINIONS: http://opinions.arso.org

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]

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


English
>> English publications on Sahara Update mailinglist: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sahara-update/messages

Castellano
>> Revista de la prensa en español: http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/revista-de-prensa-sahara-occidental/messages

Italiano
Attualità in italiano: El Ouali Bologna:  + Radio for Peace


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