Kingdom of Morocco Awards $1.2 Million Contract to D.C.
On May 28 The Washington Post's "Special Interests" Column stated that Cassidy and Associates had been awarded a $1.2 million, one year contract from the Kingdom of Morocco. Under the direction of Gerald S.J. Cassidy, Cassidy and Associates will work with subsidiaries, Boland & Madigan, Inc. and Powell-Tate, Inc.
Letter of the Austrian Saharauan Society to SG Kofi Annan
In a letter transmitted by the President of the Austrian Parliament, the organisation asks several concrete questions about the observers allowed to follow the referendum process.
MINURSO: balance of identification
Identified applicants since August 1994: 127 472
Identified applicants since December 1997: 67 360
Convoked applicants since December 1997: 96 252
Manifestation in El Ayoun
The AFAPREDESA has communicated that on day 13 of May a group of Saharawi women, working in a national cleaning company has organised a peaceful manifestation. They claimed for better pay (but always under the minimum wage), the right of holidays ...They also claimed respect of human rights in Western Sahara, the respect of fundamental freedom, the right for self-determination and independence. The manifestation has been violently repressed by police, several manifestatnts have been wounded. The AFAPRDESA appeals to MINURSO to warrant the protection of the Saharawi citizen.
In a communique the AFAPREDESA announces that a Saharawi citizen, former "disappeared", was killed by the Moroccan police. Khatri Embarek el Abd, 43 years, married, father of 4 children went to Rabat at the beginning of June in order to obtain a visa for Mauritania. Later he has been arrested by the DST security forces and on June 11 the Moroccan police informed his family that Khatri «had been killed near the Morocco-Algerian border by shooting while he was trying to reach the Polisario.»
The AFAPREDESA asks once more the MINURSO to protect the Saharawi citizen, especially the former detainees.
His father, Embarek el-Abd Hamadi, 1917, disapeared in March 1976 near Bir Lahlou when he was trying to flee to Algeria with 2 sons and other relatives.
In a communiqué the Saharawi Minister of Information denounces the obstacles Morocco opposed to the implementation of the Swedish demining Unit and asks the Security Council to intervene in order to stop this manoeuvers which are harmfull for the peace process.
The recent AI Report concerning Morocco has created lots of reactions in Morocco.
In a BBC interview the Interior Minister Driss Basri declared the analysis of AI was not objective. " There are no political prisoners in Morocco."
Morocco's Justice Minister Omar Azziman has also criticised the Amnesty International report on human rights in his country. "The report we have been given reminds us of reports of ten years ago. It does not recognise the undeniable changes that have taken place in the country. (...) When you read the report you would think that in Morocco we have hundreds of people who disappeared and hundreds of political prisoners. This has not been proved" Azziman said.(Reuters)
On June 17 the Moroccan governement appointed a ministerial committee to study the report under he presidence of Prime Minister Youssouffi.
Secretary-General report S/1998/534
In his monthly progress report on Western Sahara sent to the Security Council, the Secretary-General says the substantial increase in the pace of identification would, if sustained, enable the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) to identify all applicants from tribes, other than three tribal groups which remain the subject of contention.
A total of 127,472 applicants for the referendum have been identified to date, leaving about 20,000 more still to be invoked. However, the Secretary-General says, the position of the parties regarding the identification of applicants from the 3 contested groupings is a serious concern and the problem remains unresolved. He says his Special Representative will continue to seek from the Moroccan Government and the Frente POLISARIO practical and concrete ways of resolving the problem by June. The Secretary-General urges both parties to cooperate in seeking appropriate solutions to the problem.
The report notes that the deployment of MINURSO military units, an engineering unit from Pakistan and a demining unit from Sweden, has been postponed following Morocco's decision not to permit United Nations military personnel to retain their own weapons and munition. The UN has asked for the decision to be modified in order to enable established peacekeeping practices to be followed, according to the report.
The Secretary-General has urged the Moroccan Government to conclude the status-of-forces agreements with the UN without delay to facilitate operations by MINURSO military personnel. He has also urged Mauritania and Algeria to do the same.
The repatriation programme of the UNHCR is going on. The Polisario Front and the refugees themselves have expressed some concern about the delay of the determination of the repatriation areas and security aspects. The status of the HCR has to be "officialized" in the occupied territories while the organization has free access to all Polisario controlled areas.
Resolution of the Parliament of Germany
The German Parliament adopted unanimously a resolution in which it exprimes its concern about the delay of the implementation of the peace plan due to Morocco and asks the German Government to support by all means the application of the Houston agreements. Actually a Saharawi delegation with President Abdelaziz is visiting the Federal Republic of Germany. ( Saharawi Ministry of Information)
Saharawis of the occupied territories have the intention to create a nationalist political party in favour of a regional autonomy within Morocco. According to a Spanish journalist, it seems to be a manoeuvre of the Moroccan government. It shows also that Morocco could not win the sympathy of the majority of the Saharawi peoplein the occupied territories, he added. (ABC, 20.06.98)
In the frame of the Trade Union Campaign of support of the referendum Campaign organised by the Spanish trade unions since several months, the "Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO.)" have got about 10.500.000 pesetas (70.000 US dollars) and could send to the Saharawi trade union UGTSARIO seven off-road vehicles.
[Summary Weekly News,] [Western Sahara Homepage]