WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 09

25.02.-03.03.2001

26.02.01
Sahara Marathon
The race was brought forward by a day for organisational and meteorological (sirocco) reasons. Around 500 sportsmen and women from 15 countries ran the various distances, 10 km, half marathon and marathon. The Algerian, Ouail Rabba, won the race in 2 hrs 58 mins, followed by the Spanish champion, Juan Carlos Montero, and then, a big surprise, Hanani Brahim, a young Saharawi athlete who lives in Smara camp. José Manuel Fernandes was first in the men's half-marathon, followed by Daniel Aguilar and Manuel Vigo, all Spanish; the women's half-marathon was won by Maria Carmen Suarez (Spain), with Ana Sierra (Spain) second and Janine Tan (Italy) third. 10 km: Marcos Ramos was the winner, followed by Javier Conde and de Joseba Larrinaga (Spain). For the women, Esther Lopez won, with Eva Suarez and Anna Giustolici (Spain) in second and third place. Forty Saharawi sportswomen took part in the race. The media coverage was considerable. The conditions have been described by the participants as very difficult because of sand storms. The organisation, with demanding logistics, which required about hundreds of people along the route, was impeccable. (website:
Sahara Marathon and El Mundo)

27.02.01
Security Council Resolution S/RES/1342 (2001) (
HTML) (PDF)
The Security Council «with the expectation that the parties, under the auspices of the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, will continue to try to resolve the multiple problems relating to the implementation of the Settlement Plan and try to agree upon a mutually acceptable political solution to their dispute over Western Sahara», unanimously extended the mandate of MINURSO to 30 April 2001.

27.02.01
25th anniversary of SADR
Delegations from many countries took part in the festivities, representing national or regional governments, political parties, parliaments, trades unions, NGOs, solidarity associations, etc. Algeria sent a large delegation led by Mr Mohamed Cherif Abbes, Minister of Moujahidines, accompanied by numerous MPs and representatives of political parties. The official Spanish delegation numbered more than a hundred, including the President of the Basque Parliament, numerous MPs, representatives of regional governments and municipalities. Also the presence of Congressman Joseph Pitts, member of the International Relations Committee of the US Congress was to be noted, as well as a delegation from MINURSO.
Ceremonies began with a traditional military parade of 1500 armed men and 300 armed women, combat vehicles, rocket launchers etc. It was followed by a popular march past, during which school children gave visitors messages for the international community.
In his address, the Saharawi President completely rejected any abandonment of the referendum and any negotiation for a third way, making clear that nobody was able to decide in the place of the Saharawi people. Referring to the latest developments in the peace plan, he welcomed the adoption by the Security Council, of a resolution which remains attached to the settlement plan, and asked for its implementation as soon as possible, adding that the status quo will not last. He warned that the abandonment of the peace plan by the UN threatened peace in the region. The President of SADR congratulated the participants and organisers of the 'Sahara Marathon 2001', announcing in passing the creation of a Saharawi Olympic committee.
The evening was enlivened by performances of song, dance and poetry. Exhibitions of photos, paintings and craftwork were also on show for the visitors.

28.02.01
Morocco
The Moroccan Minister of the Interior Midaoui, returning from a fruitless meeting in Algiers with his Algerian counterpart, announced, on the subject of the Sahara, that Morocco is refusing any third or fourth way, as well as any negotiation or solution which puts national sovereignty into question.

28.02.01
Trial in Rabat
36 AMDH members, accused of having taken part in a peaceful sit-in on 9 December in Rabat against the impunity of those responsible for human rights abuses, appeared before the Magistrate's Court.. The trial was held in the presence of around a hundred lawyers and more than 200 militants. The judgement will be handed down on 5 April.

01-02.03.01
Extraordinary OAU Summit
The fifth extraordinary summit at Syrte, in which the Saharawi President took part, was exclusively devoted to the implementation of the solemn proclamation of the African Union. 45 African countries have signed it, among them 21, including SADR, have ratified the constitutive act creating the African Union. This will not become effective until 36 states ratify it..
The summit was preceded, as usual, by the meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors, as well as by that of the Council of Ministers, which examined the Secretary General's report. Mr Salim Ahmed Salim writes on the subject of Western Sahara that «the OUA will continue to support the United Nations in its efforts towards the implementation of the UN Settlement Plan for Western Sahara. It will also continue to appeal to both Parties to fully cooperate with the United Nations in its efforts to organize a free and fair referendum for the people of Western Sahara.»
The Council of Ministers examined the follow-up of the Africa-Europe summit in Cairo. During the debate, several heads of delegations renewed their homage to SADR for its decision to abstain from taking part in this summit. Several delegations, in particular those of Tanzania, Lesotho, Nigeria and South Africa, emphasised that in the future it is not fitting that these Africa-Europe meetings can and should be hostage to a non-member country of the OAU.

SOLIDARITY

For the 25th anniversary
Demonstrations took place in
Barcelona, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Alicante, Almansa, Pistoia, Genève, Sidney (07.htm#ANCREaustr.), Ljubljana, au Mexique, Mexico, etc.
... other demonstrations are yet to take place: in Spain:
Barcelona, Viladecans-Barcelona, Cuenca, La Coruña ), Perillo (Olleiros),Malaga, and France in Pantin, in Mexico, Mexico.
Statements have been published by:
the
Association française des Amis de la RASD and the European Parliamentary Intergroup "Peace for the Saharawi People".
A decree in favour of the settlement of the Saharawi conflict was voted by the
Commune of Ascea (Salerno)
and the municipality of Barakaldo (Basque Country) adopted a motion with the same intention.

Twinning
The municipality of Bergara concluded a twinning arrangement with Gleibat el Foula, which will soon be ratified in the camps.

Italy: The caravan 2001 of solidarity with the Saharawi people will leave from Livorno on 6 March.

COMING UP...

Köln ,Germany, Exhibition/Austellung
09.03. - 29.07.01 Söhne und Töchter der Wolken - Vertreibung und Exil in der Westsahara, Ausstellung zur Westsahara im Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum für Völkerkunde, Ubierring 45, D-50678 Köln, Auskunft 0049 221 336 940. Eröffnung: 7. März 01, 19.00 Uhrmit Herrn Jamal Zakari (POLISARIO) und Herrn Dr.Klaus Schneider (RJM) Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Ubierring 45  50678 Köln  Tel. 0221/336 94-0/-13 . Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr. 10.00 - 16.00 Uhr, Sa u. So 11.00 - 16.00 Uhr. Das Begleitheft ,( 68 Seiten, DIN5) kann für 6,00 DM zugesand werden: GFSV-Hamburg, Grosse Freiheit 75, 22767 Hamburg, Tel 040/319 64 42, fax 040 /319 64 26 Spendenkonto: Sonderkonto C.Stöppler, Postbank Hamburg BLZ 20010020 Kto. 793335202, e-mail:
cst.@gmx.de - http://www.museenkoeln.de

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