Arms supplies for Morocco
Since the cease-fire in september 91 following countries delivered arms to Morocco: France, Spain, USA, Danmark, Italy, according to SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). First of all the USA sent 320 tanks.
Morocco starts an anti-corruption campaign. More than 200 persons have been arrested according to "Le Monde". The Moroccan Human Rights Organisation OMDH is worried about this operation and speaks of "severe presumption of brutality and violence during police interrogations".
The Moroccan Human Rights Association AMDH denounces in its annual report the deterioration of the human rights in Morocco, where "torture" and "misuse of power" are still usual. The AMDH counted in 1995 thirteen "suspect deaths" which occured "during preventive detention". 58 political detainees, beyond them some partisans of the Sahrawi cause, would still be imprisonned and the case of several dozen of people who disappeared in the seventies "is not yet cleared up" (for remember: we have no news from more than 800 disappeared Sahrawi, ARSO.)
No date for the constitutionnal referendum announced for 1996 by Hassan II. It would establish a two chambers parlamentary system and after legislative elections there should be a government of alternation.
Morocco prepares a great diplomatic campaign after the signature on february 26th in Bruxelles of association and fishing accords with the European Union. According to AFP the Western Sahara conflict will also be evoked.
Publication in Paris of the book "Sahara occidental: La confiance perdue" by Martine de Froberville, who follows the problem of Western Sahara and especially the U.N peace plan since several years.This book is available at: Editions L'Harmattan, 7, rue de l'Ecole polytechnique, F-75005 Paris (price: 190 FF). (phone ++(1) 43 54 79 10, fax ++(1) 43 25 82 03)
While Morocco is one of the major producers of cannabis, Morocco "does not appear on this list since I have determined that the illicit cannabis is either consumed locally or exported to countries other than the USA" (letter of President Clinton to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations).
Third Congress of the Sahrawi Women
The Congress will take stock of the long way of the struggle of the Sahrawi people for independance and of the place of the Sahrawi women in it. This meeting will examine the work done by the Sahrawi women in the past, in order to help them to play a more important role in the future. The Congress will also reinforce the National Union of Sahrawi Women's structures and renew its programme. The Congress is dedicated to El Batoul Sidi Ali, who was emprisonned in 1976 in a Moroccan jail with her husband and two daughters and died one year after because of the bad conditions in jail and the tortures.