Meeting of the National Secretariate of the Polisario Front
In its ordinary session of Oct. 21-23 the political direction of the Polisario takes stock of the situation and analized the latest developments ( full text spanish). The Secretariate is satisfied of the results in the educational, sanitary, economical and cooperation domains. It pays tribute to the resistance of the population under oppression in the occupied territories and exhorts all Sahrawis to assume their great responsibilities in order to realize the big deal of the referendum. It congratulates the good work accomplished by Mr. James Baker and considers that "the strict and loyal implementation of the Houston agreements is able to facilitate the organization of a free, fair and transparent referendum. Finally the Secretariate appeals to the whole international community to mobilize and particularly to the Security Council, the U.N. and the OUA to watch over the application of the Houston agreement.
International encounter on Western Sahara, Alicante, Spain
The Sahrawi Foreign Minister, invited by the Solidarity Group of Alicante, made a statement about the referendum. He asks the U.N. for steadiness and harschness. He is worry about the will of Morocco to accept the referendum result. He appeals for caution and for the respect of the schedule, in order not to let time to Morocco to change its mind.
The first biography of El Wali, foundator of the Polisario, killed on the battle field 1976, was presented to the public. The boook, titled "LUALI, AHORA O NUNCA LA LIBERTAD", is written by Felipe Briones, Mohamed Liman and Mahayub Salek, with photos of Luis Bonete Piqueras.
French visit in Morocco
The french minister of Economy signed an agreement with Morocco about debth reconversion of 1,4 billons FF by France. "A strong France needs a strong Morocco", declared Mr. Strauss-Kahn, adding "Morocco remains the privileged partner of the European Union in Northern Africa".
Referendum date according to Morocco !
Moroccan Minister of Interior Dris Basri, who names always the referendum as "confirmativ of the Moroccanity of Sahara", announces that King Hassan II will begin the referendum campaign on place in W.S. 3 weeks before December 6, 1998, supposed date of the votation.
The official spokesman of Kofi Annan could not confirm at this time the date of the vote announced by Morocco.
UN G.A. Fourth Committee
The General Assembly's Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee approved a draft resolution on the question of Western Sahara. The Assembly would take note with satisfaction of the agreements reached between Morocco and the Polisario Front for implementation of the settlement plan. It would urge them to implement those agreements fully and faithfully, to continue their cooperation with the Secretary-General and his Envoy, and to refrain from undertaking anything that would undermine the implementation of the settlement plan and the agreements reached for its implementation. The Assembly would reaffirm the United Nations responsibility towards the people of Western Sahara under the settlement plan. It would reiterate its support for further efforts of the Secretary-General for organization and supervision by the United Nations, in cooperation with the OAU, of a referendum for self-determination.
Kofi Annan meets James Baker about the implementation of the settlement plan for W.S.
Resolution of the US Congress
The resolution 245 of the House of Representatives supporting the referendum in Western Sahara, adopted by the House Subcommittee on Africa, which will reach the House floor next week, was nearly to provoke a diplomatic incident between Morocco and the USA, according to the weekly Jeune Afrique.
The original text proposed at begin two paragraphs. The first, speaking about the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 16.10.76, declaring that there are no legal ties of sovereignty between Western Sahara and Morocco, and the second, recalling that the cease-fire of Sept. 1991 between Morocco and the F. Polisario plans a referendum to be held by the legal people of Western Sahara. According to the same source, after an intense lobbying the deputy Royce finally agreed to delate those "inacceptable assertions for Morocco".
Declarations of US Congressmen
Congressmen Ed Royce and Robert Menendez, authors of the resolution 245, members of the US House International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, published statements after their meeting with James Baker. (full text)
The Secretary-General of Istiqlal, Moroccan opposition party, appeals to all political and social forces in Morocco to realize a national union behind King Hassan II, in order to put an end to the problem of the Sahara in one year (Asharq al Awsat).
President Abdelaziz in the USA
The Sahrawi president is on private visit in the USA. In a statement he affirmed that never the creation of a new state in Africa and the disparition of the last colony of this continent were so near. "If the Houston agreements are applied in their totality and with transparency, we will be very close to a perfect solution". About the number of voters he declared that it cannot exceed the spanish census of 10-15%. He insisted on the importance of the presence of observers and international medias during the whole process.
The chiukhs and officials of Smara wrote a manifest in which they express their disagreement about the new administrativ division of Western Sahara. Smara has been connected to provinces of South Morocco, and is no longer in relation to the two provinces of Western Sahara, El Ayun and Dakhla (El Pais).
The Minister Councelor to the Sahrawi President Malainin Saddick met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mozambique and the President of the Committee of Foreign relations of the Parliament in presence of the Sahrawi ambassador in Maputo, Ali Mahmud.
The Association of Solidarity with the Sahrawi people of Modena, Italy, organized recently a manifestation with exhibitions of photos and handycraft.
Third Youth Caravane for Peace in W.S.
6-13 December 1997, departure Madrid, costs 75'500 ptas for flight. Info: Consejo de la Juventud de España, José Martín, phone (91) 5218011, fax: (91) 5326529, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Caravane concerns members of youth organizations with some experience in international solidarity work, able to stay in the desert and to transmit the informations earned on place.
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