WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

 

WEEK 16

18.-24.04.1999

 

15-17.04.99
25th General Assembly of Development NGOs of the E.U

This Annual Assembly is attended by elected delegates from the 900 Development and Humanitarian NGOs of the 15 countries of the E.U. In a resolution on Western Sahara, it called on the EU Council of Ministers to take positive steps to ensure:

It calls further on the EU Council of Ministers to take steps aimed at forcing the Moroccan side to abide by its commitments in holding the referendum, in particular through political pressure, the interruption of EU aid, economic agreements and financial loans, as well as the halting of all deliveries of arms and equipment for military purposes.

16.04.99
Algeria

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, president-elect of the republic, stated that the solution to the question of the Western Sahara must conform to the plan and decisions of the United Nations and Organization of African Unity as well as to the Houston Agreements, which aim to bring peace to the region. (APS)

21.04.99
UN - Referendum

Discussions with the two parties involved in the Western Sahara conflict were chaired by Bernard Miyet, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping at the UN Headquarters, in New York. The discussions have been going on for a week, reviewing the texts of the protocols and the operational directives for the identification and the appeal process. The two parties are expected to communicate shortly their formal position as a result of these discussions. Mr. Miyet informed members of the Security Council that in light of these discussions, it is preferable to postpone the submission of the Secretary-General's report on Western Sahara for a few days. It was originally scheduled to be submitted on 23 April. It's now more likely to be issued before the end of the month. (UN)

21.04.99
Human rights

Press conference at Rabat of the Coordination Committee of the victims of disappearance in the secret jails of El Ayun and Galaat M'Guna. The Committee declared that the dossier of the disappearances is not closed, as the document of the CCDH try to demonstrate. On the other hand two members of the same Committee, Tangi Hussein and Sukaina bent Jedd Ahlu, were controlled by the police, which seized documents with lists of victims of disappearance in Western Sahara, fruit of their inquiries (EFE, AFAPREDESA).

22.04.99
Morocco - Referendum

Morocco has decided to do everything within its power to contribute, as effectively as possible and in collaboration with the UN, to the holding of a self-determination referendum in the Sahrawi provinces in March 2000, stated the Minister of the Interior, Driss Basri. Along with Thami Khyari, the Minister of Fisheries, Basri chaired several meetings Thursday in Smara, the spiritual capital of the south, with city representatives, chiouk, observers, women's organizations and youth representatives. Basri called for greater solidarity among all the tribes of the region to defeat the enemies of Morocco's territorial integrity.

22.04.99
Algeria has accepted to host the seventh summit of the five-nation Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) before the end of this year, as announced in Algiers. (PANA)

23.04.99
55th session of the UN Human Rights Commission, Geneva: point 5, right of a people to self-determination

Unanimous adoption of a resolution on the Western Sahara confirming the Security Council resolutions, restating support for the Secretary-General in his efforts to organize an impartial and free referendum on self-determination, in cooperation with the OAU.

NEWS FROM THE CAMPS AND LIBERATED ZONES OF SADR

20.04.99
Following an inspection tour of the 4 wilayas, the Sahrawi government announced concrete solutions it plans to bring to various problems it observed. It wants to give greater responsibility to local authorities in the management of local problems and to promote decentralization. It also plans to take steps to promote artisanal and agricultural production. In the critical area of drinking water, the government has decided to provision all of the communes by means of water tanker trucks. (SPS )

21.04.99
Situation in the Dakhla wilaya: given its isolation, 170 km to the south of the other wilayas, the Dakhla camps, with their 49 000 residents, face special problems. The regular supply of basic necessities is never guaranteed. The total absence of telecommunications and regular transportation create serious challenges for residents. In addition, sanitary and medical infrastructures are run down. "Dakhla is a real refugee camp," stated the Minister of Information during the government visit. (SPS )

SOLIDARITY
Spain

Vega de San Mateo, Gran Canaria: 17.04.99, Celebration and meal with 300 participants, funds raised will be used to host 21 Sahrawi children next summer.
Tarragona: meeting of the coordinating committee of the Sahrawi support organization: An early review of the campaign to host children next summer has shown that the scope of this campaign is larger than previous ones, with the participation of 17 municipalities who will host 124 children.
Tarragona: During the "Trobada de Medi Ambien", an event held by environmental organizations, the Asociació Catalana d'Amics del Poble Sahrauí collected material for the 6th Catalonian peace caravan that will leave Barcelona for the camps in the first two weeks of June. The Association also presented its campaign to recruit observers for the referendum.
Elche: 23.04.99: Basketball tournament held as part of the cultural week organized by the Elche Sahrawi support committee.
Pozuelo de Alarcon, Madrid: The association Bir Lehlu "Pozuelo por el Sahara" participated, as in past years, in the campaign to host children from the camps.

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