WESTERN SAHARA - NEWS

Résumé June - July 2007

WEEKS 25 - 30 : 17.06. - 31.07.2007

original french

 

SADR

17.06.07, Celebration
The Polisario Front commemorates, in Mheiriz in the liberated territories, the 37th anniversary of the popular uprising against Spain in 1974, which was bloodily repressed in the Zemla quarter of El Ayoun. [history Zemla/WSO]

21.07.07
The Polisario Front announced that it would hold its 12th Congress next December. A national committee of 85 members has been appointed to prepare for it . [SPS] [list of members]

27.07.07
Cap Verde has frozen its recognition of SADR.

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND SOUTH MOROCCO

At least 46 Saharawi citizens, including many young people, were arrested by the police in different towns of occupied Western Sahara, one at the border with Mauritania, another in Goulimine in southern Morocco.
Six of them were found guilty and imprisoned in the Black Prison in El Ayoun.
Four Saharawi activists were sentenced at the court of first instance and three on appeal in El Ayoun, two others in Tan Tan in southern Morocco also in the court of first instance. In Rabat nine students saw their prison sentence reduced on appeal. [list of politicial prisoners]
A police car was set on fire by a Molotov cocktail on 6 July, causing minor injuries to its occupants. This act was attributed by the police to independence activists.
Human rights activist, Yahdih Ettarouzi completed his sentence and left prison on 14 July [see his testimony ]  [also in arabic].
On 19 July a counselor from the American Embassy in Rabat talked in El Ayoun with Saharawi human rights defenders. [Communiqué]

NATURAL RESOURCES

PHOSPHATE
Two ships carrying phosphate from Western Sahara arrived in the port of Napier in New Zealand, the Sea Luck on 18.06.07, and the Tai Hua Hai on 23 July.

Twelve parliamentarians from four countries, the United Kingdom, Norway, Japan and New Zealand sent a letter to the maritime transport company,
Gearbulk, in London, to protest against the illegal carriage of phosphate by its ship Bulk Saturn. [ See video] [
Press release, London, Oslo, Wellington, Tokyo, 29. June 2007]  [Tradewinds Stamford, UK, 25 June 2007]

RENEWABLE ENERGIES
10.07.07
The Spanish business Iberdrola signed an agreement with the Moroccan National Office of Electricity (ONE) to study the construction of a wind farm of 100 MW in El Ayoun. Western Sahara Resource Watch wrote to the firm to make it aware of the situation on the ground and to ask it to give up its project. [Carta ]
In its reply 
on 24.07 [spanish], the director general of Iberdrola wrote that he would not get involved if the project was not accepted by the population concerned. [Spanish electricity company "Iberdrola Renovables" will not invest in the occupied zone of Western Sahara, UPES/APS, 28/07/2007]

OIL
31.07.07
In partnership with the Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, Kosmos Energy will begin prospecting for oil at the start of 2009 in the off-shore block of Boujdour. Kosmos Energy is the only oil company still in place in Western Sahara. [Afrol News]

REFERENDUM

18-19.06.07 Moroccan-Saharawi negotiations - MANHASSET I
In accordance with Security Council resolution 1754 of 30 April 2007, the Secretary General has taken steps so that the negotiations take place between Morocco and the Polisario Front “without pre-existing conditions, in good faith, and taking account of developments which have happened in recent months, with a view to arriving at a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution which will allow for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara”.
Negotiations took place in Manhasset, Long Island, on the Greentree Estate, under the auspices of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, Peter Van Walsum.

The Saharawi delegation:
Mahfoud Ali Beiba, president of the Saharawi National Council (parliament), head of the delegation,
M'Hamed Khaddad, coordinator with MINURSO,
Brahim Ghali,  Polisario Front representative in Spain
Boukhari Ahmed, Polisario Front representative at the UN
Counselors: Bachir Sgheir, counselor at the presidency and Sidi Mohamed Omar, Polisario Front representative for Great Britain and Ireland.  

The Moroccan delegation:
Chakib Benmoussa, Minister of the Interior, head of the delegation,
Fouad Ali Al Himma, deputy Interior Minister,
Taieb Fassi Fihri, deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
Khalihenna Ould Errachid, president of CORCAS (Royal Consultative Council for Saharan Affairs),
Mohamed Yassine Mansouri, director general of DGED (General Direction of Information and documentation),
Mostafa Sahel, Morocco’s permanent representative at the UN,
Counselors:  Maouelainin Maouelainin Ben Khelihanna, secretary general of CORCAS and Mohamed Salah Tamek, governor of Dakhla.

Algeria and Mauritania took part as neighbouring countries in the opening and closing sessions.
The Algerian delegation
Ramtane Lamamra, secretary general of the foreign ministry, Youcef Yousfi, ambassador, permanent representative with the UN,  Abdallah Baali, ambassador, counselor to the foreign ministry, and counselors,  Abdelhafid Hemmaz and Mohieddine Djeffal.
The Mauritanian delegation
Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar, former Prime Minister and special envoy of the Mauritanian president, Mohamed Ould Tolba, représentant permanent with the UN and Abderrahmane Ould Hamza, ambassador with the foreign ministry.

The only concrete result of two days of meetings: the negotiations will continue in a month at the same place. For statements of the delegations and the UN, as well as the press review, see: WS Online http://www.wsahara.net/polmornegociations.html  or arso
http://www.arso.org/UNnegociations180607.htm#f

At the margin:
A satire on the negotiations published  by the website Western Sahara Online  was taken up by the Moroccan magazine, Al Ousboue, which earned the director the punishment of a heavy fine for “diffusion of false information”!. [Blog WS] <http://saharaoccidental.blogspot.com/2007/07/short-story-petite-histoire.html>

27.06.07 Secretary General’s Report, S/2007/385
On 27 June, the UN publishes the Secretary General’s report S/2007/385 concerning the Moroccan-Saharawi negotiations, in which the former strange recommendations, to say the least. It asks Morocco to accept the autonomy of Western Sahara instead of integrating it to the Kingdom and to the Polisario Front to accept autonomy instead of independence! The report sparks strong protest, it is withdrawn after several hours and never seen at the UN, republished on 3.07, dated 29.06.07, without Ban Ki-moon’s recommendations. [see the chronology of its strange genesis] [the withdrawn report

11.07.07 Security Council
The Secretary General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara, Peter van Walsum, presented to the Security Council a paper on the negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front and finds the first month’s talks very encouraging.
After this session of the Security Council, the American ambassador, Jackie Wolcott Sanders stated, departing from the habitual formal patter, “Morocco’s initiative could provide a realistic framework for the start of the negotiations on a plan which would provide a real autonomy, on condition it is accepted by the local population”.[-->more]

12.07.07
The Italian parliament accepts a motion asking, among other things, that the Italian government accords diplomatic status to the representation of the Polisario Front. [SPS]

23.07.07, European Union
Sixth session of the Council of the EU-MOROCCO Association, Brussels
Statement of the European Union, which supports the negotiations and regrets the human rights abuses in occupied Western Sahara.[statement]

30.07.07, Enthronement Speech of M6
In his speech, delivered in Tangiers, the King of Morocco affirms that he is disposed to negotiate “but only on autonomy, completely on autonomy and nothing but autonomy”. [text and reactions]
In reply, the Saharawi President, Mohamed Abdelaziz, declared that the Moroccan Government “threatens to annihilate the worthy efforts made by the UN Secretary General, his personal envoy and by the good will of many throughout the world”. [SPS]

MOROCCO

15.06.07, armaments
Technical discussions on the sale to Morocco of 15 Rafale aeroplanes with Dassault Aviation have finished. They will be followed by negotiations between the Moroccan and French governments on the financing of the deal. [AFX News Limited 2007, 15-June-2007]

26.06.07, SAGEM rockets
Morocco will receive in two months the first contingent of new type Sagem, AASM rockets. This guided missile system will enter into service on the Dassault Rafale among others. [Bayane al Youm]

04.07.07
Meeting in Paris of Israeli and Moroccan ministers of Foreign Affairs.

HUMANITARIAN AID

09.07.07
The USA donated a million dollars to the WFP for the Saharawi refugees in Algeria.[WFP , 09.07.07].

SOLIDARITY

17.07.07
Aminetou Haidar was honoured by Solidar. The 2007 Silver Rose Award was awarded to her, which will be bestowed in October.[--> more]

COMING UP...

JORNADA JURÍDICA INTERNACIONAL SOBRE EL SAHARA OCCIDENTAL - JOURNEE JURIDIQUE ONTERNATIONALE - International Law Conference on Western Sahara
Asociación Internacional de Juristas por el Sáhara Occidental - Association International des Juristes pour le Sahara Occidental (IAJUWS) - International Association of Jurists for Western Sahara (IAJWS)
Madrid: 21 de Septiembre de 2007
Info- contact: iajuws[at]lobocom.es 

ARTIFARITI 2007: 10 al 27 de Octubre de 2007

EUCOCO 2007
ROMA 19-21.10.07
33ème Conférence européenne de solidarité avec le Peuple Sahraoui
33th European Conference of Support To the Saharawi People
33a Conferencia Europea de apoyo al Pueblo Saharaui

INTERNET

Nouveau-New-Nuevo web:

Blog:

Not to miss : WSO cartoons

ANALYSES - DOCUMENTS

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: http://www.saharawi.org/saharawi.htm + Radio for Peace http://www.radiokcentrale.it/du.htm

Deutsch

Norsk


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