WESTERN SAHARA - NEWS

WEEKS 19 - 20 : 06.05. - 19.05.2007

original french

SADR

06.05.07
Two Australian journalists, who were making a film on the family visits organised by the UNHCR, leave the refugee camps suddenly in unclear circumstances. They claim to have witnessed the practice of slavery.
[declarations of the journalists to agencies: IOL - World War 4 Report ]
[Reporters without borders, 09.05.07]

13.05.07
The Polisario Front publishes a statement concerning Security Council resolution 1754: For the respect for the spirit and letter of the Security Council resolution 1754 (2007) on Western Sahara. Statement of the POLISARIO Front, mai 2007.

20 May 2007, anniversary of the beginning of the liberation struggle
Mijek, in the liberated zones in the south-east of Western Sahara, will host from 19 to 22 May festivities celebrating the 34th anniversary of the start of the armed struggle of the Polisario Front for the liberation of Western Sahara. On this occasion, the Saharawi parliament will open its spring session. [SPS]

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND SOUTH MOROCCO

02-18.05.07, repression of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities
For two weeks, violent clashes have set Saharawi students, demonstrating peacefully in favour of independence, against police forces in various Moroccan universities. A heavy toll: 43 arrests, many wounded including a serious injury.
Complete round-up by ASVDH: http://asvdh.net/english/?p=195
It all began in Agadir on 2 May [ASVDH Statement  with bloody confrontations between students about the independence of Western Sahara, followed by police interventions.Subsequently, Saharawi students in the universities of Marrakech, Casablanca and Rabat organised demonstrations of solidarity, and many towns in occupied Western Sahara did likewise.
Everywhere the police forces intervened with extreme brutality, student lodgings were ransacked, and many were wounded and arrested.
Lots of students have given up trying to take exams and have returned to the Sahara, having seen their documentation lost and their lodgings destroyed.
Some related documents:
Testimony of Sultana Khaya, seriously wounded in the right eye on 9 May in Marrakech: http://www.arso.org/temoignageSultanaKhaya.htm#e
Testimonio de Rababa Amaidane: http://afapredesa.org/castellano/testimonioRababAmaidan_estudiantes_14_05_07.htm
Clashes on 14 May at Casablanca University read
AP : http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/14/africa/AF-GEN-Morocco-Western-Sahara-Saharawi-students-attacked.php and about Rabat on May 17 : http://www.lemonde.fr/web/depeches/0,14-0,39-30928081@7-60,0.html
Round up in WSahara-info: http://w-sahara.blogspot.com/2007/05/escalating-anti-sahrawi-violence.html
There are also numerous pictures and videos on arabic saharawi websites like:

http://www.sahara-occidental.net/photos.html
http://www.intifadamay.com/1/photosdusoultananew.html
http://www.sahara-occidental.net/smara15052007.html
http://www.sahara-occidental.net/rabat.14052007.html
http://www.hamada2006k.jeeran.com/videothowar.htm
http://www.intifadamay.com/1/casasalmaleghzal.html
http://www.intifadamay.com/1/videoagadir15052007.html
http://www.lescahiersdusahara.com/CB11052007.html
http://sahara-panorama.blogspot.com/2007/05/blog-post_19.html


Protests
CODESA, ASVDH <http://asvdh.net/english/?p=188> and AFAPREDESA  appeal to the international community, as well as ASVDH
The Saharawi president Abdelaziz writes three times to the UN Secretary General [SPS].
The Polisario Front representation in Geneva  asks diplomats accredited with the UN for the Council of Human Rights to examine the human rights abuses in Western Sahara and Morocco. [Statement french]

The Minister delegate for Europe, Sidati, writes to European bodies. [Letter]
The Australian Senator for Victoria, Lyn Allison, leader of the Australian Democrats writes to Ban Ki-moon.

07.05.07, El-Ayoun
Two French lawyers, Mrs France Weyl and Mrs Aline Chanu, as well as an Italian judge, Nicola Quatrano, attend as observers the appeal hearing of Naama Asfari. Sentence postponed until 21 May 2007. [ASVDH]

14.05.07, Agadir
Four Saharawi political detainees incarcerated in Inezgane appear in an appeal hearing. Spanish observers note that witnesses affirm “having not recognised any of the prisoners”. Their sentences are reduced to two years. [ASVDH]

14.05.07, El-Ayoun, forced disappearances?
Abderrahmane Bougarfa and his son are arrested about 4 am in their home. The same day, and at the same time, the police try to arrest the Ahl Essid family, without success. [ASVDH]

15.05.07, El-Ayoun
The court reduces on appeal the sentences of seven Saharawi political prisoners in the presence of two Spanish observers.[ASVDH]

16.05.07, Southern Morocco
Peaceful demonstrations in Tan-Tan, Mhamid el Ghezlan and Goulimine on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the start of the armed struggle by the Polisario Front. [SPS]

16.05.07, Tiznit
Assassination attempt on Saharawi political prisoners Choubeida Laroussi and Abdallah Hassan by a Moroccan common law prisoner in a drunken  state. [SPS]

NATURAL RESOURCES

16.05.07, fishing
Twenty Spanish fishing boats begin their activity in “Moroccan” waters.
[Afrol News]

17.05.07, stealing phosphates
A press conference in Madrid by Western Sahara Resource Watch and the Madrid Association of friends of the Saharawi people. The FMC Foret (Huelva) business is accused of illegal importation to Spain of  500,+000 tonnes of phosphate annually coming from Western Sahara.[Europa Press in English] 
[Informe WSRW, Spanish]

REFERENDUM

03.05.07
In a statement to the Moroccan press, the United States ambassador in Rabat, Thomas Riley, indicates that Washington is disposed to “facilitate negotiations” between Morocco and the Polisario Front. He describes the Polisario Front as “the only representative of the Saharawi people”. Violent reactions in the Moroccan press, which call the American declaration a “slap in the face”.
[AFP]  [Tel Quel, no 273]

07-09.05.07, Algiers
The special representative for Western Sahara, Julian Harston, is on a visit to Algiers.
He is received on 14 May in Nouakchott by the Mauritanian president.


08.05.07
A United Nations mission will carry out a visit to the region between 15 and 20 May, the Saharawi Prime Minister, Abdelkader Taleb Omar, announces in Madrid. “There are strong doubts about the intentions of Morocco, who “has not modified its position or its policy aiming to legitimise its illegal occupation of Western Sahara in another form”, he adds.
[Europa Press]

09.05.07, Chile
The parliament adopts a resolution which asks the government to support the resolution of the Security Council on Western Sahara. The Moroccan attempt to make autonomy the only option in the resolution failed.
[Cronica digital]

09.05.07,
US Congress: Western Sahara Briefing: Current Developments and Challenges to Self-Determination
Organised by Donald Payne, president of the African Committee of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Representatives. Speakers: Frank Ruddy, Suzanne Scholte, Joseph Pitts and Jacques Roussellier. Speeches: http://www.arso.org/Ruddy2007.htm

10.05.07, Pan African Parliament
The Committee of cooperation, of international relations and conflict resolution of the Pan African parliament asks that Spain and the USA should withdraw their support for Morocco because of its opposition to self-determination in Western Sahara.
[EFE]

16.05.07, Shambles at the UN
The department of Political Affairs at the UN
[Press briefing announces, without giving a reason, that the visit to Rabat, Tindouf, Algiers and Nouakchott of the Secretary General’s personal representative, Peter van Walsum, planned for 16 to 19 May, is cancelled and that a meeting of the parties will take place in the first half of June, which the Saharawi Prime Minister confirms. [La Tribune, 17.05.07]

18.05.07, ONU
Peter van Walsum arrives in Madrid where he informs the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Moratinos, on arrangements for the Moroccan-Saharawi negotiations.

SOLIDARITY

12.05.07
About a hundred demonstrators gather outside the Moroccan embassy in Rome to appeal for the self-determination of the Saharawi people. Several demonstrations in Italy on the occasion of the anniversary of the Polisario Front and of the intifada. [corr.]

INTERNET

Nuevo Blog:
Sahara Resiste, espanol : http://www.sahararesiste.blogspot.com/
Sahablogs - Planeta de blogs sobre Sahara Occidental : http://sahablogs.googlepages.com/home
SOLIDÀRIA de ACAPS Catalunya: http://acapssolidaria.wordpress.com/  y http://acaps.unblog.fr/

Nuevos sitios:
Sadicum - Asociación de Ayuda al Pueblo Saharaui de Chiclana": http://www.sadicum.org
Etudiants sahraouis de Marrakech, arabe: http://www.smoud.jeeran.com
New look: UJSARIO, espanol, arabe: http://www.ujsario.org/
Comeback: Les Cahiers du Sahara: http://www.lescahiersdusahara.com

DOCUMENTS
Pour le respect de l’esprit et de la lettre de la Résolution 1754 (2007) du Conseil de Sécurité sur le Sahara Occidental. Déclaration du Front Polisario, mai 2007: http://www.arso.org/FPdeclSRES1754.htm
For the respect for the spirit and letter of the Security Council resolution 1754 (2007) on Western Sahara. Satement of the POLISARIO Front, mai 2007: http://www.arso.org/FPdeclSRES1754.htm#e

WS debate on Al Jazeera TV  02.05.07,  Inside Story looks at the dispute between Morocco and the independence movement, the Polisario, over the Western Sahara. (with Toby Shelley, Sidi Omar and a members of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs) --> Watch the videos on Youtube: part 1   + part 2 

Communiqué Khat Achchahid, 07.05.07: http://www.fpeluali.org/communique070507.html
Comunicado de Jat Achahid, 17.05.07 : http://www.fpeluali.org/comunicado070507.html

The worst of the worst, the world's most repressive societies 2007, Freedom House, May 10, 2007 [Morocco, Western Sahara, Pages 126- 128].: http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/press_release/worstofworst_07.pdf

Western Sahara – Continuing Standoff, By Anna Theofilopoulou, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Africa Policy Forum, 16.05.07: http://forums.csis.org/africa/?p=35

WESTERN SAHARA RESOURCE WATCH- FMC FORET EXPOLIA LOS FOSFATOS DEL SAHARA, informe, 17.05.07: http://www.arso.org/InformeFMCForet070517.pdf

A briefing note for the Pan-African Parliament. Committee on International Relations, Cooperation and Conflict Resolution: On Western Sahara By Timothy Othieno Senior researcher Institute for Global Dialogue. Briefing note commissioned by the Institute for Security Studies, August 2006: http://www.pan-africanparliament.org/DocumentsResources_DisplayDocument.aspx?Type=Docs&ID=173

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

Finnish

Norsk
- Rabab pågrepet og slått av politiet [Rabab detained and beaten by police], 10.05.2007: http://www.vest-sahara.no/index.php?cat=1&art=456
- NTB: Marokkansk politi skyter i Vest-Sahara [NTB: Moroccan police shoots in Western Sahara], 11.05.2007: http://www.vest-sahara.no/index.php?parse_news=single&cat=1&art=461
- Unge Venstre: Marokkansk politi i angrep på sahrawiske studenter [Young Liberals of Norway: oroccan police attacks Sahrawi students], 15.5.2007: http://web.uv.no/arkiv/artikler/marokkansk-politi-i-angrep-pa-sahrawiske-studenter/

Deutsch


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