WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

 

WEEK 13

28.03. - 03.04.1999

 

ICRC
Between 6 and 20 March an International Committee of the Red Cross team visited a large number of the 1,877 Moroccan prisoners held by the Polisario Front. The main purpose of the visit was to assess the men's state of health and the availability of medical care for them in the region. As delays regarding the UN settlement plan have held up the prisoners' repatriation, the ICRC is trying to find ways of providing these men, most of whom have been held for close to 20 years, with more specialized care on the spot. The doctor found that many of the prisoners needed special tests and treatment that could only be given in a properly equipped hospital. The ICRC delegates paid particular attention to the 83 men freed in April 1997 and still awaiting repatriation to Morocco. Two of the men released at the time have since died. (full text)

European Union
The European deputy Marianne Eriksson, Left Party Sweden, has put a question to the Commission about the allowances to Morocco. "Is the commission planning to stop or cut down the allowances ?

29.03.99
Diplomacy
During an African tour, the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ould Salek was received by Malawi's Minister of Foreign Affairs, who restated Malawi's support "for the just cause of the Sahrawi people and its unwavering support for the peace plan." Ould Salek also met Namibian President Sam Nujoma in Windhoek in early February. (Sahrawi Ministry of Information)

29.03.99
Sahrawi press agency

The Sahrawi government, upon the initiative of the Ministry of Information, decided to create a national press agency, Sahara Press Service. (SPS)

SADR Government activities
The Sahrawi government heard reports from the President of the Sahrawi Red Crescent and the Director General of Cooperation on their recent missions to Europe. The government decided to undertake a study tour, beginning April 3, of all the wilayas to consult residents on how to resolve daily problems. (SPS)

29-30.03.99
Socialist International

Malaïnine Sadik, Minister-Counselor to the President, represented the Polisario Front at a meeting of the Africa Committee of the IS in Bamako, Mali, upon invitation by the International Headquarters of the IS. The agenda focussed on globalization, regional conflicts and the advancement and promotion of democracy in Africa. The meeting was in preparation for the IS Council meeting in Buenos Aires on June 25 and 26. (Sahrawi Ministry of Information)

30.03.99
Security Council Resolution S/RES/1232 (1999)

The Security Council unanimously decided to extend MINURSO's mandate until April 30, 1999 "so that all parties can reach an agreement."

HUMAN RIGHTS

30.03.99
Morocco, forced disappearances

In the face of lack of progress on the issue of forced disappearances, Morocco's four human rights associations, along with the Moroccan bar association and the Comité de coordination des familles des disparus, made up of former political prisoners and family members of the disappeared, have decided to create a single organization to speed up resolution of this issue. (Reuters)

22.03.-30.04.99
United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, 55th session, point 5, the right of a people to self-determination.

Several delegates brought up the question of the Western Sahara, including representatives from Algeria, France Libertés and LIDLIP. The Algerian delegation stated that despite the recent agreements between Morocco and the UN, "a lot remains to be done," but "Algeria will spare no efforts to see the Western Sahara peace process brought to fruition." France Libertés condemned Morocco's obstruction of the peace process.

SOLIDARITY

Cagnano Amiterno, L'Aquila, Italy: this municipality adopted a resolution calling on the Italian government to suspend all arms sales to Morocco, prevent threats to Western Sahara's resources, participate in clearing the territory of landmines, increase humanitarian aid to the refugees and recognize the SADR.

31.03.-03.04.99: An Italian delegation made up of representatives of political parties, communes, provinces and Sahrawi support associations as well as journalists visited the refugee camps and liberated zones in the SADR. This visit was organized by the Associazione Nazionale de Solidarietà col Popolo Sahrawi (ANSPS) in collaboration with the Associazione di Solidarietà e Amicizia col Popolo Sahrawi "Enzo Mazzarini."

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