WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

 

WEEK 37

12.-18.09.1999

 

13.09.99
Security Council Resolution S/RES/1263 (1999)

The Security Council extends the MINURSO mandate until December 14, following the recommendations of the SG Report S/1999/954. It reaffirmes the rights of the applicants mentioned in the Secretary-General's report, with an expectation that the appeals process would not be turned into a second round of identification.

Saharawi reaction
On the eve of the Security Council's decision the Saharawi press agency SPS called the Security Council to show firmness in front of Morocco. Announcing that about 60'000 appeals, but only a few hundred from the Saharawi side, have been registered, the agency remembers that this number is in opposition to the wishes of the Security Council, which hoped that the appeals process would not turn into a second round of identification. Now it seems that untill September 18, date of closure of appeals, the number of it will practically reach the number of refused candidates. The date of July 2000 for the referendum is highly improbable. In front of this new delay, carrying high costs for the international community, SPS exprimes the Saharawi people's «dissatisfaction, which cannot agree to another delay in the name of preservation of stability in Morocco, when stability can only be founded on peace and harmony between peoples».(SPS )

Moroccan reaction
In a declaration the Moroccan ambassador to the UN complains the conditions of identification of the contested tribal groups and questions the work of the Identification Commission. He demands that the applicants of these groups are considered like registered (in the Spanish census) and automatically identified. He confirms the great number of appeals which, according him, «reflects the degree of dissatisfaction» of the applicants. He recalls that Morocco is still waiting for «a fair solution promised to the applicants identified by the Commission and eliminated by the review, in contradiction to the peace plan».
M. Snoussi urges the UNHCR to progress in the repatriation preparations of the refugees, he calls «sequested in Tindouf».

14.09.99
Manifestation

The students manifesting in El Ayoun on September 10 continue their sit-in untill day 14 and start a hunger strike. They protest against false promises of employ the Moroccan government made several time.

14.09.99
Identification

At that time, according to well informed sources, the number of appeals on the Moroccan side is of 68'000 from applicants against their non-inclusion in the voters lists and 10'000 against the inclusion of other people. On the Saharawi side the numbers are respectively 840 and 2'000.

15.09.99
Press release of SFO

Alerted by the events in East Timor the French Association «Section Française de l'Observatoire International du Référendum au Sahara Occidental» exprimes its concern about the referendum in Western Sahara. Remembering similarities between the self-determination process of the two territories, the organisation warns the governments and the international community of the dangers for the referendum to be hold on July 2000 and asks them to show an extreme watchfulness regarding the conditions of the vote and the pre- and post-referendum period. It proposes a first observation mission to be sent quickly to Western Sahara.

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