Balance of the identification
Applicants convoked since Dec. 1997: 115.402
Applicants identified since Dec. 1997: 85.816
Applicants identified since Aug. 1994: 145.928
The Saharawi Ministry of Information published a communique concerning the letter addressed to President Clinton by 92 US Congressmen. It remembers that the Congressmen urged Mr. William Clinton to use his influence to bring the Moroccan government to remove the hurdles standing in the way of the implementaion of the Houston agreements. They also asked the American president to take all necessary measures in order to bring the two parties to apply their commitments so that the selfdetermination referendum can take place in full liberty.
In his statement, the assistant spokesman for the State Department underlined that the US government continues urging Morocco to cooperate with the UN in order to resolve the Western Sahara conflict. He also affirmed the long-standing friendship and good cooperation between the two countries (El Hayat 14.08.98).
Two identification centers open in Rabat, Morocco.
The United Nations shut down one of the two offices in the Moroccan capital registering voters for a referendum over the future of the disputed Western Sahara, a U.N. spokesman said. The second center will close shortly.
Council of Europe
Mrs Leni Fischer, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will visit Morocco this month with a parliamentary delegation.
Progress Report of the Secretary General, S/1998/775
Concerning identification Mr Annan gives the balance and announces the end of the operation in Sidi Kacem and Kelaa of Sraghna in Morocco. On August 31 all persons which desired participate to the referendum will have been convoked excepted some hundreds living abroad and the members of the contested tribal groupings H41, H61 and J51/52.
Since the last report the same problems remain:
In conclusion the SG declares there are excellent prospects for completing, in August 1998, the identification of applicants from all tribal groups and sub-fractions, with the exception of groupings H41, H61 and J51/52. He had asked his Personal Envoy to consider engaging the parties in seeking a solution to the problem of the three tribal groupings and to other issues bearing upon the implementation of the Settlement Plan. Mr Baker is considering contacts with the parties in early September 1998, following which he will assess the implementability of the Plan in its present form and examine whether there are any adjustments to the Plan, acceptable to the Parties, which would significantly improve the chances of implementing it. The next report will be published on September 15, before the expiration of the mandate of MINURSO on September 21.
UN-Subcommittee on Human Rights, Geneva, 3-28.08.98
Haissan Abba Salek, member of the Saharawi Lawyers, speaking in the name of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, said that the right to movement was being ignored by many countries, notably Morocco. In Western Sahara, the Moroccan authorities had prohibited UN aircraft from carrying anyone other than personnel from the MINURSO. Restrictions imposed on freedom of movement were prejudicial to the results of the referendum. The Moroccan authorities were practising a policy of settlement of Moroccans in Western Sahara to change the demography of the area. The Sahrawis were not allowed to leave the occupied territories, even to visit their relatives in refugee camps and vice-versa. The Moroccan government refused to hand over to the UN Mission information that would enable the safe return of refugees. The international community had to act to ensure that everyone had free access to the territory. The UN should declare the start of the transition period, and demand the suspension of those laws which could impede the referendum.
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