WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

 

WEEK 41

10.-16.10.1999

 

05.10.99
50th session of the Executive Committee of the HCR, Geneva
The Sahrawi refugee problem has not yet been resolved because the program to repatriate refugees to the Western Sahara depends on the advancement of the Peace Plan, stated the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Ogata.

HCR's biannual report
The HCR stressed that its goal is to complete preparations for the voluntary repatriation of Sahrawi refugees by March 2000. Information gathering and logistics planning have been finalized. The HCR had undertaken a geophysical study, using satellite imaging, to complete exploratory boring for water in order to plan and set up the transit centres. Refugee pre-registration and evaluation of refugee needs have been completed in two of the four camps in Tindouf, and are slated to be completed in the other two by the end of September 1999. The HCR will continue to supply support to the refugees including booster power supply, the development of water supply systems, health care, education, agriculture, livestock production and income generating services.

06.10.99
Congratulations

Nayat and Nayit, twins, were born in Barakaldo (Basque Country). Congratulations to their happy parents, Oum'rkia Abdulah et Khatri Addouh! (
Deia).

08.10.99
Resolution of the fourth committee of the UN General Assembly

The draft resolution adopted by consensus by the committee stipulates that the General Assembly calls on Morocco and Polisario to faithfully and honestly implement the measures proposed by the Secretary-General for the identification and appeals process as well as for the revised implementation schedule. It calls on both parties in the conflict to immediately execute the accords designed to implement, in full and in good faith, the Settlement Plan in all its phases, to continue to collaborate with Kofi Annan, his personal envoy and his special representative and to avoid any initiative that could compromise the execution of the settlement plan and the accords regarding its implementation. Through this resolution, the General Assembly has reaffirmed the UN's responsibility vis-à-vis the people of Western Sahara for the organization of an impartial and free self-determination referendum. In assessing the debate, Ould Salek, Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that the most important initiative continued to be the support accorded by representatives of numerous countries and groups of countries (Rio group, Mercosur, European Union) who have also called on the UN to ensure the safety of the Sahrawi people.

08.10.99
Convictions

The Court of Appeal in El Ayoun convicted 27 people of pillage, including 3 Sahrawis and 2 women. Sentences range from 10 to 15 years in prison. (
AFP).

09.10.99
Under Military command

According to El Watan, management of the "southern zone" (southern Morocco and Western Sahara), previously under the trusteeship of the Minister of the Interior, has been transferred to a military triumvirate made up of General Kadiri, chief of military intelligence, General Benslimane, leader of the military police, and General Benani, military commander of the southern zone.

Reactions to the violence in El Ayoun
Following in the footsteps of the Basque parliament, the Navarre parliament and the municipality of Iurreta (Basque Country) have given their support to the declaration adopted during the demonstration in Madrid. The Sahrawi embassy in Caracas (Venezuela) issued a press release denouncing the Moroccan repression. Two dailies published articles on October 9 on the Western Sahara issue. The Association of Indian Africanists issued a press release in New Delhi on October 14, condemning the Morocco's repression and demanding that the UN ensure that there be no recurrence (
agency, corr.).

12.10.99
Sahrawi national unity day

Following an appeal by Esquerra Republicana Catalunya, some 100 people came out to commemorate the Sahrawi day of national unity, in Barcelona, at the same site and on the same day as the Spanish national holiday (
El Periodico).

14.10.99
The socialist group in the Spanish Senate denounced the removal by Spanish authorities of 460 Sahrawi citizens to Morocco, despite their possession of SADR or Polisario Front identification papers. Senator Mercedes Pérez Schwartz asked that these people be accorded the right to choose their country of refuge and stated that their return to Morocco could have very serious consequences (
La Provincia).

SOLIDARITY

Ljubljana, Slovenia: The Polisario representative in Vienna was received by the chargé d'affaires for relations with the UN at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as by a member of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, and by members of the opposition and the media. In a letter to the Western Sahara solidarity committee, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs confirmed Slovenia's support for the UN Peace Plan and for Kofi Annan's efforts, and called on Morocco to remove all obstacles to the holding of a referendum.

10.10.99 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy: 1999 Convention for support to the Sahrawi people. In his message to the meeting, Mohamed Abdelaziz stated that Morocco continues to play its pernicious and futile game, and has called into question the results of the identification commission by inundating MINURSO with thousands of appeals. The Sahrawi President also stated that nothing justified the UN's silence following the repression against demonstrators in El Ayoun. He concluded that Europe should denounce what is going on in the Western Sahara (SPS).

COMING UP

17.10.99, Rome, Italy: National Conference, "Peace in the Western Sahara and Self-Determination of the Sahrawi People" organized by the national Sahrawi support association. The goal is to bring together in a single national platform associations and individuals in order to work toward a just and peaceful resolution in the Western Sahara.

Charter
The association of friends of the Sahrawi, in Murcia, is organizing a charter flight to Tindouf, departing from Alicante, December 3 to 8. Information: Pedro José Cobacho: +968/192092 - +968/191472 - +609/368902 <pedroj@accesosis.es>

NEW PUBLICATIONS

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