WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

 

WEEK 20

16.-22.05.1999

 

20-21.04.99
Human Rights

The Spanish Minister of Interior, in a response to questions of several deputees, explained that the two Saharawi citizen who have been expelled to Morocco last February ( see week.07) had no identity papers, they told to come from Morocco and did not ask for political asylum in Spain. (Boletin oficial de las Cortes generales, Congreso de los Diputados, Num. 231, pp. 12303-4)

10.05.99
Letter of the «Coordination Committee of the Saharawi victims of disappearance» in Morocco, to the President of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' working group on forced disappearance
(french)
The Committee explains the HR situation in Western Sahara and states that, among the Saharawi prisoners, 57 died in the secret jails, 15 others little time after beeing liberated in 1991. Many of these 378 liberated persons are still suffering serious organic or/and psychologic troubles. They have no civil or political rights, sustain financial difficulties and are bound by repeated controles, kidnapping attents and sequestration. Despite several attempts, the Committee could not yet be understood by the authorities. They apply to the UN to take care of the Saharawi disappeared, asking that the responsibles be condemned, the victims be indemnised and can recover their rights.

11-15.05.99
«The Hague Appeal for Peace 1999»

A Saharawi delegation participated to this manifestation, which brought together several thousands of people from 100 countries, Nobel Laureates and other VIPs, in presence of the UN Secretary General. A workshop was dedicated to Western Sahara. Mr José Ramos Horta, Peace Nobel Laureate declared: «the Saharawi people is a wonderful people, which merits our solidarity and consideration of the International community. A self-determination referendum will take place and the Saharawi people will be independent».(SPS).

16.05.99
Germany

The German Socialist Youth Organisation, on its congress at Essen, reaffirmed its support to the independence of the Saharawi people and urged its members to participate to a observator team for the referendum.

17-18.05.99
35th Meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the Arab Maghreb Union, Algiers

This meeting was the first since a diplomatic spat between key members Algeria and Morocco in late 1995. Rabat had asked for freezing of the union's activity after accusing Algiers of actively supporting the Polisario front. The delegates from Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Libya and Mauritania prepared the summit of the Foreign Affairs Ministers to be held in next October.

19.05.99
Algeria-SADR

New elected Algerian President Bouteflika in his response to SADR President Mohamed Abdelaziz' congratulation letter : «I am making a point of telling you the constant position of my country and its indefectible support to the right cause of the Saharawi brother-people, fighting for its self-determination, its total independence, in accordance to the UN resolutions and the Houston agreements, you have signed under the UN Special Envoy Mr James Baker», (SPS, APS, Reuters)

20.05.99
Commemoration of 20 of May

On ocasion of the26th anniversary of the beginning of he struggle of the Polisario Front, the SADR President declared in an interview at the Algerian Radio: «We hope the UN, its Secretary-general and his Special envoy as well as the Security Council will user this time more severiy in order to impose the respect of the timetable of the Peace Plan».(SPS, APS)

20-22.05.99
AFAPREDESA

The Association of Families of prisoners and disappeared Saharawis celebrated its 10th anniversary at La Palma de Majorca, Balearic Islands,Spain, with different manifestations.

21.05.99
Eagleton appointed

Former U.S. diplomat William Eagleton was named to be the U.N.Secretary-general's Special representative for Western Sahara. Eagleton, a Middle East expert who has also held a number of senior U.N. appointments, is expected to take up his new post by early June. He speaks Arabic as well as Spanish and French, was the U.N. special coordinator for the restoration of essential services in Sarajevo, from 1994 to 1996. From 1988 to 1994 he was deputy commissioner-general of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). His last appointment in the U.S. foreign service was as ambassador to Syria from 1984 to 1988. He has also served in U.S. embassies in Iraq, Libya, Algeria, South Yemen, London and Mauritania

21.05.99
Repatriation

According to a release of the newswire AFP, the Moroccan Interior Minister Driss Basri started the construction of a little town at Awsert, 270 km South-east of Dakhla, which is supposed to receive 40'000 to 15'000 repatriated refugees.

21.05.99
Geneva: Meeting of the Task Force of the European Coordination of the support to the Saharawi people

The Task Force examined the new challenges and timetable of the Peace Plan. A delegation met with Mrs L. Buttenheim, Political Councelor at UN, in order to explain its will to send observators to the identification centers and to meet with the new Representative of the Secretary General Ambassador W. Eagleton.

SOLIDARITY
Geneva, Switzerland
During 3 weeks in April and May the municipality of Bernex organised an information campaign about the Saharawi people with video projection,conference, photo and handcraft exhibition. The people and authorities showed a great interest and will work to concretise their solidarity in favor of the Saharawi refugees.
In the municipality of Plan-les-Ouates The Human Rights office of the Saharawi support coordination could participate to an official exhibition of all local projects.
Spain
Granada: 14 to 30 May 1999: Exhibition of contemporary art "for Western Sahara" organised by the Plateform for a free and transparent referendum in W.S. and the Friends of the Sahara of Granada. 75 pictures of wellknowm artists will be sold in favour of the referendum campaign.
Valladolid, Castilla y León, 19 May1999: Several conferences about human rights and the political situation in W.S. were organised by AFAPREDESA and the Friends of the Saharawi people of Castilla y León.
Almansa, Albacete, 21-27.05.99: Fourth Saharawi Solidarity Week , "23 years, it's enough", exhibition, conference, sport events.

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