Commenting the Security Council Resolution S/RES/1163 (1998) approving the extension of the mandate of MINURSO, the Moroccan Ambassador at the UN, Ahmed Snoussi, declared his government is determinated to «ensure the respect of the right to participate to the referendum to all people who can prove its belonging to the region» adding that « the electorate is not only the Spanish census».
18 - 19.04.98
The leader of the Istiqlual Party, participating to the Moroccan governement, Abbas el Fassi, presided meetings in El Ayun and Boujdour in the occupied W.S.. He declared, under others, that «the Sahara will remain Moroccan with or without referendum»...(MAP)
The Moroccan Governement organized a party in honour of Mr Erik Jensen former Special UN Representative for Western Sahara, who finished his mandate in February.
Trial of 20 manifestants of Lemseyed
According to AFAPREDESA, Association of Families of Prisoners and Disappeared Saharawis, 20 individuals arrested after manifestations in Lemseyed appeared before the court of justice of Agadir. There was a great police deployment. Three lawyers, two of them trainees, defended the accused. The defence refused the policemen's reports because the lawyers could not be present and because the confessions of the defendants had been obtained under torture and pressure. The sentences are of 2 years of prison for 8 detainees and 3 monthes of jail with a penalty of 500 dirhams for the 12 others. In its communiqué, the AFAPREDESA asks for immediate release of all the prisoners and disappeared and asks for an inquiry.
After the judgment dozens of Saharawis, staying around the Court House, exprimed their solidarity with the condemned claiming victory with gestures of the hands. Mothers and relatives of the accused went also to Rabat where they manifested for the release of their family members. (Ministry of Information of SADR)
Manifestation before the Parliament organized by the National Coordination for a free referendum in Western Sahara. One hundred people, wearing traditional Saharawi clothes, appealed to the Spanish Governement to support the Peace Plan and to increase the aid to the refugees.
Balance of the identification
The center of Kalaâ tdes Sraghna opened in Morocco.
The Swedish government took the decision to participate with a mine clearance unit within MINURSO. The 75 persons, who will be working for 4 months, will start their task in the beginning of June. (Preparations and education will take 1 month.) The Swedish government is ready to give more support to the peace plan, e.g observers and an enlarged support to the refugees. «It is a difficult task but very pleasant to know that Sweden has been entrusted with this task», said the foreign minister Lena Hjelm-Wallén and the minister of defence Björn von Sydow.
NEWS FROM THE REFUGEE CAMPS
Well known music groups from Mauritania go round the camps and the liberated territories as a gesture of solidarity with the Saharawi people. They also will participate to the celebration of the 25 the anniversary of the Polisario Front on May 20.
In its general assembly the regional coordination of support to the Saharawi people of Emilia -Romagna approved a declaration in which it manifests its satisfaction about the Houston agreements but exprimed its concern about some lacks and diverging interpretations. It appealed to the Italian government to look for a strict application in presence of observers and international media. It asked also the government to stop arm selling to Morocco, to avoid the exploitation of the ressources, especially fishing, of Western Sahara, to increase the humanitarian aid and to recognize the SADR. The participants declared to be ready to act as observers.
The Assembly of Democratic Left of Tuscany adopted a similar declaration on March 14, 1998 at Pietrasanta.
Barcelona: Film and debate on April 28 « The Saharawis, people in exile»
Roundtable organized by the NGO SALAM and the University on 29.04.98 with former Spanish colonial officers, a politician, a Human Rights defensor, a writer and the President of the International Association of Lawyers for Western Sahara.
Rockconcert in favour of the referendum Campaign on May 4.
Solidarity dinner on May 9, for information contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
24th European Coordinating Conference of support to the
Saharawi people, Manchester UK, 9 - 11 October 1998. Conference
Administrator: Julie Thorpe, 5 Mason Street, Hebden Bridge, Halifax
HX7 6AW, UK.
Telephone/fax +44 1422 846214
Sahara, Pel referendum, Cap a la independencia - Plataforma de Sant Martí (ACAPS)
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