September 30th 1999



Today the Senate passed a significant motion on Western Sahara. The motion was moved by the Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown and supported by the ALP and the Australian Democrats.

The motion supports the organisation of a free and fair referendum in Western Sahara, conducted by the UN-OAU. It calls on Morocco to abide the peace plan and to fully cooperate with the UN. The motion further urges the Australian Government to extend all due assitence to the UN mission in Western Sahara and to establish official contacts with representatives of POLISARIO, the independence movement representing the people of Western Sahara.

However, there are very alarming information emanating from the ccupied areas of Western Sahara.

Durins the past two weeks hundred of Saharawis have been demonstarting in the occupied capital of Western sahar Laayoun. They have been protesting against teh Moroccan obstructions and delays of the UN referendum due to be held in July 2000.

These demonstrations were suppressed by the Moroccan forces under the supervision of the Moroccan interior minister Driss Bsri, dispatched to the territora for the occasion.

During bloody confrontation on Thursday, 23 September, two people were killed, hundreds injured but denied medical care, while hundreds of others were reported to have disappeared during the bioody clashes with the Moroccan forces. demonstrations are continuing and have spread to others areas of Western Sahara such as Smara in the East.

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