Support to the Peace Plan (07.05.98)
The Cortes of Aragon (Spain), regional Parliament, voted a declaration in favor of the UN Peace Plan and asked the Spanish government to commit itself for a referendum held under conditions and within the required time fixed by the Security Council as well as for a strict respect of the results of the vote.
Arrests in El Ayoun (15.06.98)
AFAPREDESA announces the arrest of 8 individuals, among them
Errais Embarek ould Mohamed
Dalil Brahim ould Nouijem
Bou Azzatna Brahim
Abba Mohamed ould S'Quiha.
Examining the last SG Report of June 18, Security Council members have expressed concern over the delay stemming from three contested "tribal" groups in the identification process for the referendum on Western Sahara.
Following consultations , the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Antonio Monteiro of Portugal, noted that there had been an increased pace in the identification process in May and June. Addressing reporters on behalf of Council members, Ambassador Monteiro expressed support for the Secretary-General in calling on Morocco and the POLISARIO to cooperate fully with his Special Representative, Charles Dunbar, in overcoming all of the current problems so that an effective plan and a realistic schedule could be agreed on for the final phase of the settlement plan.
In an interview with United Nations Radio, Mr. Dunbar said the issue of the "contested tribes" remained problematic. "The parties are maintaining fairly rigid positions on that," he said.(UN news)
Peace plan: problems
The identification process is coming soon to an end. The two
parties know the current rate of voters. This number seem to be in
favour of independence. Consequently the irritability on the Moroccan
side is growing. Climate is going worse and remembers the beginning
of the implementation of MINURSO when the material of the Swiss
Medical Unit was hold back for months in the harbour of Agadir and
when Ambassador Frank Ruddy denounced, among others, the control of
telephone and mail of the MINURSO staff by Moroccan services.
The aim of Morocco is to delay the process, so it will be stopped, and the MINURSO mandate will not be extended, for financial reasons at last, and Morocco will have no shame to put the failure on the Polisario.
In the last time difficulties are increasing. Some examples:
1. Impediments to MINURSO deployment.
Two aircrafts carrying MINURSO's demining personnel from Sweden did not obtain clearance to enter Moroccan airspace and land at El Ayoune, as evoked in the last SG Report.
"Se croient-ils dans un moulin ? "(Do they think any body can go in ?) wrote ironically Maroc Hebdo International of 27 June.
The obligation for the MINURSO military units to store all weapons, munition and explosives in depots of the Royal Armed Forces has been criticized by Kofi Annan. According to the SG the deployment was made in accordance with the established practice for all United Nations peacekeeping operations. "The UN has no right to regret this measure", commented the newspaper cited before.
2. Impediments to HCR deployment
The formalization of UNHCR's presence in Western Sahara, as well as freedom of access and movement of its personnel throughout the Territory is still delayed. As a consequence the repatriation projects are late.
3. Limitation of freedom of movement of MINURSO members, their
close relations, media and visitors.
The Moroccans control and select the passengers of the MINURSO aircraft shuttle between the El Ayoun and the Tindouf centers. They keep the relatives of MINURSO on visit, journalists or TV staff from using it.
4. Blow to MINURSO's independence
The Moroccan authorities control the luggage of MINURSO members and ridicule privacy of the documents concerning identification.
This inclination to control the identification commission by the mean of telephone tapping, close police observation of the commission members, attempts of corruption, etc, interfere seriously in the independence of the mission.
5. The Moroccan press accuses the UN of partiality.
In its communique of June 16 the AFAPREDESA announced the "assassination" of a Saharawi citizen, Khatri Embarek el-Abd Hamadi. As a matter of fact it is his brother El Kori who died while trying to flee to the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria where his mother, sisters and brothers live. The World Organisation Against Torture started an urgent action to write to the Moroccan authorities. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bask Country
In the frame of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Polisario, five artists executed on May 16 a wall-painting of 20 meters long in a street of the city, showing scenes of the refugee camps and symbols of independence.
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bask Country
6th humanitarian convoy
Organized by a Bask NGO in collaboration with the regional Saharawi Support Committee, 11 vehicles, among them 6 for public transport and 2 reservoir trucks transport material for agriculture and health for the gardens of Tifariti and the hospital of Aguenit, in the liberated territories. The funds came from European Union, Bask Government and other local institutions. The material will be used for the repatriation of the refugees.
The Coordination of support to the referendum of Barcelona participated to the action with about 6 500$ earned in the district of Sants-Montjuich.
The Coordination for a fair and free referendum in Western Sahara organized on June 20 a music concert named ROCKFERENDUM, with the partecipation of nine regional rockmusic groups.
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