The Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, discussed the question of Western Sahara at length with Miguel Nada Segala, the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
The European Parliamentary Intergroup "Peace for the Saharawi People" wrote to Robin Cook, British Minister of Foreign Affairs, to let him know how upset and concerned they were following the statements of the British Ambassador in Rabat. The group asked Cook to clarify the position of his government on the question of Western Sahara.
The President of Ghana, receiving Salem Ould Salek, SADR Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Accra, reiterated his country's support for a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara. (PANA)
The correspondent of the Spanish agency EFE at the United Nations, believes that the situation in Western Sahara is becoming more unstable, the closer we get to the publication date of Kofi Annan's report on the question. Antonio Lafuente notes that Morocco has not so far made any proposal, as requested by the UN Secretary General. James Baker's visit to the region, which should take place before 30 April, has still not happened. James Baker is very probably going to be appointed before June to the post of chairman of the World Bank. The journalist also notes that tension on the ground only grows. He quotes Boukhari, Polisario Front representative at the UN, who points out that the construction of a segment of the Trans-Saharan highway between Bir Gandouz (Western Sahara) and Nouadhibou (Mauritania) will require the Moroccan armed forces to move at least twenty kilometres beyond the defensive wall, and will thus constitute a violation of the cease-fire. "There is a potential risk of military confrontation if Morocco starts work on its project", Boukhari stated.
Western Sahara - Human rights
In his report on Morocco to the Human Rights Commission (E/CN4/2001/66), the special rapporteur on questions of torture and detention, Sir Nigel Rodley, mentioned the case of Hammad Ali Hamad (see week 30/1997) 01-e97-30.htm#ANCREafa, indicating that he had been tortured and detained in secret for eleven days in El Ayoun in May 1997. He had allegedly been attached by his wrists to a car and dragged around the courtyard of the police centre where he was being held. He had then been released without being charged and had lost the use of his hands. The Moroccan government pointed out that this person had never been the subject of an arrest.
Meanwhile, the special rapporteur handed to the Moroccan authorities an urgent appeal for two young Saharawis arrested on 5 October 2000 near Guelta Zemmour by the Moroccan armed forces (week 41/2000)
Morocco - Human Rights
Nine Australian Senators appealed to their Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning the travel ban imposed by the Moroccan authorities on two defenders of human rights, Noumri Brahim and Elhamed Mahmoud, members of Forum Vérité et Justice, Sahara. They asked the Australian government to intervene on behalf of the two men.
Mohamed VI took the chair at a meeting of the Royal Commission on Saharan Affairs. The decisions taken concern essentially the economic development of the annexed territories - the king ordered "the examination of the mechanisms and means capable of making production processes more dynamic, of encouraging investment, of promoting employment and guaranteeing decent housing" - and "the creation of a fund for the integration of persons" who have left the refugee camps for Morocco.
Created in September 1999 following violent uprisings in El Ayoun, this commission had not met since 8 December 1999. Its members include the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Religious Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the Commandant of the Gendarmerie Royale, the Commandant of the southern military zone, the director general of DGED (Direction générale des études et de la documentation or Intelligence) and the director general of National Security.
Spain - Arms sale
According to an official report on arms exports, in the course of the first trimester of the year 2000, Spain sold to Morocco arms amounting to the value of $6.5 million. FEDISSAH (National Federation of solidarity with the Saharawi People) denounces in a statement this violation of the criteria of the EU code of conduct on the subject and notes that these arms could be used against the Saharawi people in the event of the resumption of war. (comunicado/spanish) fedissah.2001.htm
57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva
Intervening on point 11, dealing with civil and political rights, in the name of the International Youth and Student Movement for the UN, Fatimetou Mofdh denounced the clamp-down by Morocco on access to the occupied territories, which makes any campaign about the danger of mines in Western Sahara impossible.
M'hamed Khaddad, Saharawi negotiator with MINURSO, accompanied by the Polisario representative for the Scandinavian countries, Yahiaoui Lamine, visited Norway. They met officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as members of parliament, trades unionists, NGO representatives as well as the bishop of Oslo, Mgr Staalsett. Norway became a member of the Security Council on 1 January, and the visit had as its aim to encourage the government and political parties to uphold the right to self-determination and to support humanitarian aid to the Saharawi refugees.
08-09.04.01, Lomé, Togo: meeting of the Central Organ of the OAU mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution, which includes 17 countries among them SADR. The session is devoted to the Great Lake crisis and the situation in Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Liberia.
28.04.01, Paris, Seminar of lawyers on Western Sahara.
31.03. et 01.04.01, Tebessa and Souk Ahras, Algérie: solidarity meetings organized by the Comité national algérien de solidarité avec le peuple sahraoui with the participation of Mohamed Lamine ould Ahmed, former chief of the Saharawi government.
29.03.01, Ogijares, province of Granada, twinned with the daïra d'Aïn el Beida (wilaya of Dakhla).
29.03.01, Zaragoza: salón de actos de la Facultad de Económicas y Empresariales de la Universidad, 2º Encuentro Internacional de Reflexión, bajo el tema "Conflictos olvidados-Sáhara 25 años despues". La mesa redonda estubo compuesta por: Brahim Gali, delegado del pueblo saharaui en España, Luisa Mª Noeno Ceamanos, secretaria general técnica del departamento de sanidad (gobierno de Aragón), Ana Fernández Abadía, presidenta del MPDL en Aragón, Sebastian Contín Pellicer, Diputado del PP en las Cortes de Aragón, Marcelino Artieda García, diputado del PSOE en las Cortes de Aragón. Moderando la mesa se encontraba Francisco Palacios, catedratico de Derecho Constitucional en la Universidad de Zaragoza y miembro de la Unión de Juristas por el Pueblo Saharaui.
05.04.01, Espana: La Liga Española Pro-Derechos Humanos, mediante un convenio firmado con la Generalitat Valenciana, el Ayuntamiento de Elda y la República Árabe Saharaui Democrática, ha traido a España a 11 niños saharauis, en acogida familiar, para recibir tratamiento médico durante su estancia en nuestro país. Dichos niños llegán a Alicante, desde los Campamentos de Refugiados saharauis en Tinduf (Argelia) y fueron recibidos en el aeropuerto de Alicante por el Teniente-Alcade de Elda (Alicante), D. José Manuel Orovio López; el representante de la Liga Española Pro-Derechos Humanos en Elda, D. Amado Navalón; y el fiscal de Alicante, D. Felipe Briones. Las familias de destino de estos niños saharauis se encuentran en Elda, Santander, Madrid, Ciudad Real y Canarias. Estos 11 niños se suman a las 19 niños saharauis que actualmente están en España gracias a las gestiones de la Liga Española Pro-Derechos Humanos.
31.03.01, Sesto Fiorentino: nella sede dell'Associazione "Ban Slout Larbi" Momma Abdelhady (Segretaria Nazionale dell'Unione Donne Saharawi) accompagnata da Kadijettou Ramdan (dell'Unione Donne Saharawi) hanno partecipato a varie iniziative sul popolo Saharawi organizzate dalla Regione Toscana, e lunedì 2 aprile hanno incontrato a Sesto Fiorentino l'on. Rosy Bindi alla quale hanno chiesto un maggiore impegno del Parlamento italiano in sede europea riguardo alla situazione del loro popolo.
Pagina de los Amigos del pueblo saharaui (Aragón): http://www.umdraiga.com
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