Mr. Eagleton's visit (follow up)
SADR: Second day
Mr. Eagleton met with chioukh who warned him that their
cooperation with the UN was contingent on its impartiality and
rigourous respect of standards by the Identification Commission. They
called on the UN to ensure that they would be able to fully exercise
their function, in Morocco and the occupied territories, free from
any harassment by Moroccan authorities. Mr. Eagleton promised to look
into their concerns. He repeated that the Security Council "is
determined to see a free and fair referendum in Western Sahara."
Stated intentions and "promises of cooperation" made by the two
parties must be "translated into action." Mr. Eagleton concluded that
"we'll see over the next few weeks," as identification operations
resume, how things develop on the ground. The Identification
Commission will begin its work next June 15. Every ten days, until
operations are complete, the Commission will announce the number of
applicants accepted and rejected.
El Ayoun: 06.-08.06.99
Mr. Eagleton was met upon his arrival at the airport by Allal
Saâdaoui, Wali from the region of
Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakiat Al Hamra, Mohamed Azmi, Moroccan
coordinator with MINURSO, governor attached to the department of the
interior, several MINURSO officials as well as members of parliament,
elected officials and chioukh. During his stay, he had meetings with
Moroccan authorities and MINURSO officials.
Mr. Eagleton met with Mauritanian President Ould Sid Ahmed Taya.
According to reliable sources, Moroccan authorities led a major
campaign to coach future applicants and simulated identification
procedures, in preparation for the resumption of identification
operations on June 15, 1999. In these training sessions "Sahrawis"
were coached in preparation for their hearing (see
Basri directives, January 1999). In El
Ayoun, authorities tampered with old Spanish documents supplied to
the applicants. To slow down the process and win time, they plan to
only allow 80 applicants to meet with the Identification Commission
per day, rather than the 120 scheduled by MINURSO. They apparently
also issued instructions to families of 5 or more to not present
themselves all at once at the Commission.
AFAPREDESA has learned of a number of arrests of Sahrawi students in
two high schools in the occupied territories, Bir Enzaran and El
Khansaa, on June 7, 1999. The reasons cited for the arrests were the
tattoos and other symbols sported by the students referring to the
Polisario Front. Informants claim there are some 20 detainees, 8 of
whom have been identified. They are: Laila Bachir Labiehi, Suada
Mohamed Cheikh, daughter of Aabdati Babiet, the two daughters of
Fadli Baba, the son of Mustafa Errami, the daughter of Mr. Butabbaa,
the son of Mr. Buchanna.
AFAPREDESA is calling on MINURSO to investigate and ensure the
physical well-being of the young detainees.
Statement by the Secretary General of the OAU, Salim Ahmed Salim:
"The issue of Western Sahara is of particular importance to us. (...)
The OAU was the originator of the settlement plan adopted by the
United Nations. We expect it to be scrupulously implemented."
Preparation for the 10th congress of the Polisario Front
Sub-committees have been set up to look after various national
questions by the Preparatory Committee, composed of over 70 members
and led by the President of the Parliament. The Congress is scheduled
for the end of the summer.
Interview with Bouteflika
Statement by the President of Algeria in the Jordanian newspaper
"Al-Rai" on the issue of the Western Sahara: "(...) the question of
(the Western Sahara) is one of self-determination within the
framework of the UN resolutions and the Houston Agreement, as
accepted and signed by the protagonists (...). As for relations with
the Kingdom of Morocco, they are not what they should be, which is
deeply regrettable." (APS)
Algiers: Sahrawi cultural week
The program includes evenings of music, dance and poetry by some
fifty artists at the Palais de la Culture and in the Atlas theatre, a
play "yaoumiyata lajie" (the tale of a refugee), art, photo, book and
newspaper exhibitions, films as well as an archeological and
anthropological exhibit. The event will close with a talk on Sahrawi
thought, by the executive assistant to the Sahrawi Minister of
Information, Mr. Talmi Mohamed el-Naki (SPS, ONCI).
A campaign to destabilize the King of Morocco, orchestrated by
members of his inner circle in summer 1998, failed. A dozen blank
cheques belonging to the King were stolen. The conspirators attempted
to cash them for significant sums in order to finance their
operation. Suspicious bank officials alerted Hassan II's personal
secretary. Several people were arrested in Morocco. In related news,
a personal advisor to the King, Hicham Mandari, published an open
letter in the Washington Post of 06.06.99, claiming to be a victim of
a plot and demanding compensation by threatening to reveal explosive
information about the King. Mandari is wanted by Morocco for his
participation in the theft of the cheques. (Le Monde )
During a visit to this community by the Sahrawi Justice Minister,
Hameti Rabani, a project to train Sahrawi jurists was officially
launched. Mr. Rabani stated that his people are convinced that "Spain
can and must develop initiatives to unblock the peace plan and oblige
Morocco to respect it." (Diario de Las Palmas)
In an open letter to the President of the region of Andalucia, Manuel
Chaves, the Association of the friends of the Sahrawi for the region
of Gibraltar, called on him to show his support for the Sahrawi
struggle by taking concrete political action, either by visiting the
refugee camps or receiving Sahrawi officials.
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