Resolution of the Security Council
Commentaries and analyses:
Dozens of Saharawi women demonstrated in Smara (occupied territories) to demand the immediate liberation of Saharawi detainees held since September 1999. It is the first time that Saharawi women have organised a demonstration themselves in the occupied territories. Up until now, they have been content to participate alongside men. Dozens of people were arrested, according to SPS.
Breaking the cease-fire
For the second time in less than a week, the cease-fire has been broken: two Moroccan aeroplanes flew over the region of Mijek (liberated territories) (SPS).
Trial in Agadir
The Magistrates Court of Agadir sentenced Brahim Laghzal (Brahim Ould Baba) and Sheikh Khaya (Sheikh Abdelaziz Ould Abdallah Ould Ali) to four years of emprisonment, Laarbi Massoudi (Laarbi Ould Saïd Ould Boujemaa) to three years in prison. The three Saharawis were deemed guilty of endangering State security. These sentences are accompanied by a fine of 10,000 dirhams and the confiscation of objects seized (a mobile telephone, the constitution of SADR, a video cassette of the 10th Congress of the Polisario Front and some faxes). According to the defence (four Saharawi lawyers), the court did not present these objects in court. Delegates from OMDH and CDDH (Moroccan human rights organisations) followed the hearing. Those sentenced have made an appeal. (Spanish press, AARASD, CDDH, AFAPREDESA)
The Saharawi government considers that the judgement of Agadir 'constitutes a very clear message of intimidation' destined for the whole Saharawi population. 'It considers that Rabat has pronounced a very heavy arbitrary verdict'. It launched an 'urgent appeal' to human rights NGOs and to all governments across the world 'to support the victims of the repression and terrorism' practised by the Moroccan authorities against defenceless citizens in the occupied territories. (aps, Saharawi Ministry of the Occupied Territories)
According to the Spanish daily, El Pais, a highly placed official of Moroccan Security has announced that Morocco is studying seriously the possibility of the renewal of MINURSO's mandate after 31 July and its definitive withdrawal from Western Sahara.
Trial in Rabat
The trial of the Saharawi students imprisoned at Salé following the demonstrations on the university campus of Rabat, which was to be held on 6 June, has been postponed at the request of the procurator in order to 'better instruct the case'. According to SPS, 'this decision was only made so that (...) the Saharawi students could be burdened with more charges of which they are totally innocent'.
Saharawi President's visit to Sweden
At the invitation of the Olaf Palme International Centre and the Swedish parliamentary intergroup, Mohamed Abdelaziz was welcomed on 6 June at Stockholm airport by Mr Kent Harstedt, president of the intergroup. He held talks the next day with the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Anna Lindh, who declared that Sweden supports the completion of the decolonisation process in Western Sahara through the referendum of self-determination.
On 8.06.00 Mohamed Abdelaziz took part in a conference on the conflict in Western Sahara, which was held in the parliament. In his speech he appealed to Sweden to save the peace plan, stressing that this country should play a dynamic role within the European Union, so that the Union, which grants the greatest amount of European economic aid to Morocco, uses its weight to bring Rabat to 'respect international law'. To prevent the Saharawi people from exercising its legitimate right constitutes a real danger of return to war, 'which we want to avoid at any cost', he added. Previously, Mrs Ulricka Cronenberg, director of Foreign Affairs, confirmed 'the commitment of Sweden and its willingness to contribute to helping the Saharawi people, in conformity with the settlement plan'. She presented an account of Swedish humanitarian aid, which she estimates at 14 million US dollars during the last 20 years and of which the current figure is 3.1 million dollars a year. Mrs Eva Zetterberg, vice-president of the Parliament, spoke about the present situation of the peace plan, hoping to see the UN's efforts end with the holding of the referendum. Other speakers, including the president of the intergroup, expressed their support for the Saharawi people's right to independence. (SPS)
14.06.00, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, Sydney, Australia: Western Sahara: the unfinished struggle. Featuring speakers Jose Ramos Horta, East Timor independence leader and Kamal Fadel, Polisario representative. The film "The forgotten war" will also be screened. Venue: Theatrette, NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St. Proceeds to the Australia Western Sahara Association. RSVP The Hon Janelle Saffin MLC (02) 9230 2235.
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