On condition that the parties accept the identification and appeals
protocoles as well as the operational directives harshly discussed in
the last weeks, the S.G. considers that the referendum process can go
ahead at following timetable:
- identification of remining applicants from 1 June 1999 to November
- appeals from 1 July 1999 to February 2000,
- transition period beginning in February 2000,
- vote in July 2000.
Nevertheless, Kofi Annan underlines that the success of this calendar
is predicated upon many "critical asumptions", under others (see
chap. 25) a rigorous programme of the identification "without the
delays and interruptions experienced in the past; the expectation
that the appeals process will not be turned into a second round of
identification for all applicants found ineligible; the completion by
end of 1999 of planning arrangements for repatriation; etc."
Expecting a positive answer of both parties, the S.G. proposes to the
Security Council to extend the MINURSO mandate for six months. The
parties had to convey their formal positions before 30 April 1999,
date of expiration of the MINURSO mandate.
Security Council Resolution
Missing the response from Morocco the Security Council adopts a
technical resolution extending the MINURSO mandate until 14 May
The POLISARIO Front has precised that its agreement implies that "the
appeals and identification process will go on in conditions of
exemplary severity, transparency and fairness and that the
Identification Commission will persue its mission with the same
authority, independence and impartiality as in the past".
In a press release, Western Sahara Campaign, U.K., welcomes the
report and shares the concern of the Secretary General about possible
delays or disagreements in the implementation of the process.
The 5th meeting of the Moroccan-Spanish Joint High Commission took
place in Madrid. The Moroccan Prime minister and 11 members of his
government participated. It was the first official visit of the
Moroccan Prime minister in Spain. The decision of Morocco not to
renew the four-year fishery accord between Morocco and the European
Union on 30 November next was the main discussion matter. Morocco
proposes an association agreement to Spain in order to develop the
Moroccan fishery sector. Other important economical and political
subjects were discussed.
In an open letter to the Spanish government European NGOs and
solidarity groups denounce the complicity of Spain, which ignores the
Moroccan brakes of the UN Peace Plan. The organisations ask the
Spanish government to make pressures upon Morocco urging it:
- to apply the Peace Plan,
- to suspend all economical agreements concerning the territory of
Western Sahara so long the decolonization is not concluded
- to froze economical aid to Morocco so long systematic human rights
abuses are perpetrated in Western Sahara,
- to participate actively to MINURSO.
They finally denounced the attitude of the government of Spain which
condemns the genocide in the Balkans and in the same time lets Hassan
II oppress the Saharawi people.
The POLISARIO Front on its side accused the Moroccan government to
try to associate the Spanish government for the exploitation of the
fishing ressources of Western Sahara and asked Spain to connect its
help to the progress made in the implementation of the UN settlement
A scientific team including archaeologists and anthropologists of the
University of Girona (Spain) has discovered a prehistoric site in
Western Sahara (SADR). It is one of the largest sites worlwide with
thousands of ca 10'000 years old engraved stones, covering an area
100-300 meters width over 30 kilometers in the region of Sluguilla
Lawish, located 120 km west of Rabouni and 80 km east of Bir Lehlou.
The pictures represent different animals and human figures.The
scientific expedition has been supported by the Saharawi government
and the army.
The first congress of the Arab Human Rights movement was held during
3 days in Morocco. The final declaration does not mention the human
rights situation in this country, nor Western Sahara.
A Saharawi student, Mohamed Limam ould Sidi Mohamed, died under
obscure conditions in Russia where he lived. This young men, married
to a Russian lady, prepared a PHD on nuclear energy. He had told his
family to be threatened and his life was in danger. (Saharawi
Ministry of Information)
The Moroccan official agency MAP informed on 26 March 1999 that
another Saharawi, Bichrine Dah, was found lifeless at his home of
Donesk,Ukrania. He was married with an Ukranian.
A Saharawi citizen, Malaïnine ould Bechir, disappeared from
Tan-Tan and reappeared some days later in the jail of Agadir. No
charges are known but his relatives declared he was put on file by
special services, arrested in the past and closely followed by
According to AFAPREDESA two young Saharawis, Wadoud Abdeslam ould
Sidachmed and Lahbib ould Legue, have been arrested near the
Moroccan-Algerian border trying to reach the refugee camps on 9 April
1999. Their relatives have no later news.
First of May
Several members of the Committee of coordination of victims of forced
disappearance in the secret jails of Galaat M'Gouna and El Ayoun
participated to the maifestations of Labor Day in Casablanca. Most of
them are former political prisoners detained for 16 years in secret
jails. Since August 1998 they stay in Rabat to claim for justice and
Since three years Morocco systematically exploits the sand of the
Western Sahara coasts. Thousands of tons of sand are conveyed by ship
to Moroccan touristic centers (SPS).
Lawyers of the France-Liberté foundation will reach the
regfugee camps to organise voter training courses. They will instruct
a team which will be able to teach others (SPS).
The wilaya (district) of Dakhla, located 150 km south of Rabouni has
been fit out with a TV relay station. At early April Naama Zeinedine,
Arseli Etxeguren and Julian Ozaeta, from the Bask Radioafficionados,
installed together with technicians of the Saharawi National
Broadcast a 25W transmitter operating with solar power and a 20
meters high aerial covering a radius of 10 kilometers.
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