US-Western Sahara Foundation
Congressmen Donald Payne and Joseph Pitts announced the creation
of the US-Western Sahara Foundation, during a press conference in
Washington attended by members of congress, ambassadors and embassy
representatives from many nations, US Congressional staff and media
According to the Foundation's Chairperson, Suzanne Scholte, "The
U.S.-Western Sahara Foundation's Board of Advisors includes an
advisory board of over 50 distinguished Americans from all walks of
life--former diplomats and military, some of whom served with
MINURSO, Christian leaders, directors of humanitarian organizations,
former U.S. Ambassadors, business people, professors, teachers,
private citizens, foundation presidents, and attorneys. We come from
many political points of view, many regions of the country, and many
different professions, but we all share one thing in common: we have
a burden on our hearts for the Sahrawi people."
The purpose of the U.S.-Western Sahara Foundation is three-fold:
Congressman Joseph R. Pitts stated that all peoples have the right
to self-determination. This right, however, continues to be denied
the Sahrawi people. He said that the investment made by Americans in
MINURSO must not contribute to an unfair vote, but rather must serve
to guarantee a free, fair and transparent referendum that conforms to
democratic standards. He pointed out that a failed Western Sahara
peace plan represents a failure not only for the parties concerned
but for the international community and the United States.
Donald Payne pointed out that interest is growing in the United
States and especially in Congress for the Western Sahara, one of the
last colonies in the world. He emphasized the need to raise awareness
among Americans of the situation and the importance of supporting the
United Nations. He also applauded Algeria's support of the
international community's efforts in this area.(Contact:
Mohamed Sidati on the BBC
The Minister Counsellor of the Presidency stated that King Hassan
II's death changes nothing in terms of the political accord on the
self-determination referendum agreed upon by Morocco and the Western
Sahara. "We are confident that the new king will have the wisdom to
continue the same policy and even accelerate the referendum process."
Morocco: Democracy must triumph!
"It is essential that all democratic forces in the country work to
support the Prime Minister and mobilize to ensure the triumph of
democracy," writes Abraham Serfaty. "It is important that we resume
our efforts to build a fraternal Arabo-Berber Maghreb, which requires
the resolution of the conflict in the Western Sahara through a
"win-win" negotiated settlement under the aegis of the United
Nations. This is the only way Morocco can save face in a future
The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) announced that the
seven young Sahrawis sentenced on June 24 have been released (see
Week 25 ).
Human Rights 1
One of the 12 members of the Coordinating Committee of Sahrawi
victims of forced disappearances (see weeks
10) who live in a small hotel in Rabat,
supported by the families of the 320 Sahrawi disappeared freed in
1991, answered to the questions of a journalist. He declared that
unlike the Moroccan disappeared, Sahrawis received no financial
compensation following their release. They have no identity papers
and cannot work or travel. Himself was arrested in El Ayoun in 1987.
Imprisoned for four years in a former Spanish military barrack in El
Ayoun, he was forced to remain standing, while blindfolded and was
only permitted to sleep two hours a day. When asked about Hassan II's
death, he answered, "Men die but the regime lives on." The Sahrawi
Committee is demanding justice although their efforts so far have
fallen on deaf ears. (Der Bund)
Human Rights 2
The Moroccan Human Rights Association (AMDH) believes that the recent
establishment of the Human Rights Movement, with the help of the
former commissioner of police Mahmoud Archane, is a creation of his
political party, the Social Democratic Movement. The AMDH denounced
the "media coverage orchestrated by official circles claiming that
the movements was created with the help of several human rights
association, while in fact only the association of Amnesty
International groups in Morocco participated in its inception."
Minister of the Interior Driss Basri stated in an interview with RFI
that the Sahara question is no longer an Algerian-Moroccan problem
but a question for the UN which will inevitably find a solution by
means of the UN mechanisms already in place.
Out of 46 212 detainees, 7988 will receive a royal mercy, commuting
the remainder of their prison sentence while the other 38 224
prisoners will see their terms shortened by two months to three years
depending on the length of the term.
Mohammed VI - first speech
"We are extremely attached to the constitutional monarchy,
multi-party democracy, a liberal economy, a policy of regionalism and
decentralization, the building of a constitutional State, protection
of human rights and individual as well as collective freedoms, and to
security and stability for all."
"We shall renew our commitment to perfect our territorial integrity,
of which the issue of our Saharan provinces constitutes a central
concern and we await the UN referendum to confirm their status.
Enemies of our territorial integrity are going to great lengths to
ensure that this referendum fails by throwing up innumerable
Manacor, Balearic Islands, 29.07.99 : A medical team mead
up of a gynaecologist, anaesthetist and three nurses from the Manacor
hospital will travel to the Sahrawi refugee camps in September to
provide medical care.
Australia: A Western Sahara solidarity committee has been
created called the Australia-Western Sahara Association. It is headed
by lawyer Jill Vidler. (Contact:
[External links to newspapers may not be valid
after some days because the servers are restarted]
Too much publications around Hassan II's death, we
cannot mention all of them.
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