During President Clintons visit to Chile, White House deputy national security adviser James B. Steinberg said, President Eduardo Frei told Clinton that Chile is prepared to join the U.N. mission in Western Sahara.(Washington Post 18.04.98)
Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar reached Rabat with an important delegation of his government . On his 48 hours visit he discussed with King Hassan II and several officials mainly about bilateral cooperation, fishing agreements and foreign debt. Sensitive themes like the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Mellila as well as the Western Sahara have been avoided. The Spanish Prime Minister just declared that Spain «clearly supports and without reservations the United nations peace plan in the Western Sahara...any other position would not be ours», while Foreign Affairs Minister Matutes precised that his country adopts a strictly neutral position in this conflict.
Visit of UN Human Rights High Comissioner in Morocco
Mrs Mary Robinson met King Hassan II and members of the Moroccan government and signed on April 28 an agreement about a UN Human Rights Center in Morocco. She participated also to the first Mediterranean Meeting of National Human Rights Organisations in Marrakech.
Brussels: meeting of the Development NGOs of the European Union
In their final resolution the assembly asks to the E.U. recording to Western Sahara:
Fifth General Assembly of AFAPREDESA
In presence of members of the UNHCR and MINURSO as well as representatives of the Saharawi organisations of women, workers, youth and journalists, the members of the Saharawi Human Rights NGO elected a new direction and Mr Abdeslam Omar Lahsen as President.
The AFAPREDESA announces that a former disappeared Saharawi, Mr. Laroussi Mohamed Abderrahman was found dead near El Ayoun on April 3 . Laroussi had been arrested in 1976 for his sympathy for the Polisario Front and kept in the secret jail of Kaalat MGouna. In 1991 he was released with 310 other disappeared people after an international campaign of H.R. defense organisations. Since then he was under house arrest. Laroussi disappeared on February 7, 1998. The AFAPREDESA denounces this assassination and the responsibility of Morocco. The Human Right organisation asks for neutral investigations and appeals to the MINURSO to clear the circumstancies of this crime and to protect the Saharawi citizen in the occupied territories, especially the former political detainees.
Trial of the 20 manifestants of Lemseyed
The Saharawi Union of Lawyers protests against the judgment of the trial of Agadir. It claims its solidarity with the people in the occupied territories subject to permanent violations of their basic rights.
A Saharawi delegation leaded by Minister Counselor at the Presidence Mohamed Sidati met the Belgian Parliamentary Group "Peace for the Saharawi people" and the Belgian Support Comittee. In the evening a solidarity meeting took place. On next day the Free University of Brussels organized, in collaboration with the Brussels Center for African Studies and the Support Comittee, a symposium about the self-determination referendum, with scientific contributions and statements of members of the Saharawi delegation visiting Belgium.
Bask Country, Spain
Two hundred persons including many responsibles of the Bask authorities visited the refugee camps. Several city twinings have been signed between Saharawi and Bask cities, among them Bilbao twinned with Dakhla. The number of these solidarity relationships reaches over 30 only in the Bask Country.
A charter flight with numerous responsibles of official intstitutions, regional and local governments, ONG members and solidarity groups begin a three days visit in the refugee camps.
The Association Hammada and the Trade Union CGIL of Rimini organize different solidarity manifestations : music, video-projection, exhibition, football plays and so on in the aim of sensibilize the public and raise money for humanitarian aid and the referendum campaign.
Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
After a meeting consecrated to the role of the Saharawi woman, on April 17, a music night took place on April 26. From 6 to 17 of May it will continue with the "Days of Sahara": exhibition, movies and conferences in the city and surroundings.
Spanish-Moroccan Summit in the Spanish press:
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