The Fifth Swiss Congress of Women, who brought together 2 000 delegates of all women organizations of the country, adopted a resolution in which it expresses its solidarity with the Sahrawi women. It supports their efforts to provide a professionnal formation to women and greets the National Union of Sahrawi Women for its Third Congress, which will take place on February 24, 25, 25, 1996 in the refugee camps near Tindouf.
The Secretary-General's report on Western Sahara (S/1996/43) is a summary of findings of the mission headed by Under-Secretary-General Chinmaya R. Gharekhan. Mr. Garekhan quoted "as regards the possibility of talks, Morocco, while not totally opposed, was of the opinion that a dialogue between the two parties would not serve much purpose at this stage. For its part the Frente Polisario strongly favored talks, under the auspicies of the UN or with the help of a "contact group", which could consist of regional and non regional states."
The Secretary-General comes out with two options for the Security Council.
First: to extend the mandate of the MINURSO until 31 May. That should give enough time for the resumption of the identification process and an opportunity to test the political will of the parties indeed rather than merely in words.
Second: the Security Council might conclude that it could not justify a further extension of MINURSO without imposing conditions by specified dates, and that, consequently, plans should be prepared for its phased withdrawal. The Secretary-General, however, added that such action could have destabilizing consequences for the region.
For the first time the European Commission decided to co-finance a development project in the sahrawi refugee camps. It concerns a school for para-medical professions. It is a project of "Enfants réfugiés du Monde", France.
M. Bachir M. Sayed, sahrawi coordinator with MINURSO meets the UN Secretary-General in New York.
Polisario Front blames France for its lack of participation to the efforts of seeking a peaceful solution in the Western Sahara conflict. "No definitive solution will be found without the contribution of France" affirms Bachir Mustafa Sayed, number 2 of Polisario at a meeting in New York with some french-speaking journalists. Sahrawis are victims of this situation and suffering, while France has the possibility to influence the issue of the conflict, he added. Once more the Sahrawi leader appealed to direct talks with Morocco, proposing Marseille in south of France as a possible location.
Rumours around King Hassan's throne
According to Reuters the Moroccan King is giving up some of his powers in favor of his son, Crown Prince Sidi Mohamed. An opposition newspaper spoke in an editorial of a possible change in the Governement with Driss Basri as prime Minister during a transition period, in charge to prepare a referendum for a constitutionnal amendment to reform Parliament in a more democratic way. On the other side the Algerian daily newspaper "Liberté", affirms that Hassan II is creating a Regency Council in charge to manage public affairs in case of King's death until the inthronisation of the Crown Prince. According the newspaper Prince Mohamed is not able to assume the function. Hassan II would prefer his other son Rachid. But only a Regency Council could change the moroccan rule transmitting the throne to the first-born son of the king and install an other son on the throne.