During his visit to Switzerland the Algerian minister for Foreign Affairs raised with his Swiss counterpart the situation in the Arab Maghreb in relation to the implementation of the UN peace plan in Western Sahara.
The lifeless body of the young Saharawi Cherif Bamba Ghaylani was found on 26 October near Dakhla, in the tent of a Moroccan settler, according to SPS (on 27 October on a beach according to AFAPREDESA). Cherif had been hit on the head with a sharp object. Before the burial his family exhibited the coffin in front of the town hall, to protest against the passivity of the authorities and to demand an inquiry into the circumstances of the assassination. Several hundreds of people took part in the demonstration. The authorities in Rabat immediately sent a forensic doctor to the scene, who refused to inform the family of the results of the autopsy, as well as an inspector from the DST (Direction de la Sécurité du Territoire). The latter claimed that Cherif Bamba had been mixed up in the assassination of a young Moroccan, the nephew of the General of the Gendarmerie in Dakhla.
The father of the victim, Bamba Ghaylani, was assassinated in August this year. Disappeared in 1976, he had spent 5 years in the prison of Kalaat-M'gouna before being liberated. AFAPREDESA thinks that it is a matter of a premeditated action aiming to physically eliminate those who are opposed to the forced "Moroccanisation" of Western Sahara.
AFAPREDESA announces that two Saharawi citizens living in El Ayoun, Embarek Mahdi El-Hafed and his friend Faraji, had been attacked and seriously wounded by Moroccan settlers, while the police, alerted by neighbours, intervened to help the settlers. Subsequently the judicial police took Mr Embarek off to an unknown place of detention and threatened the same fate to members of the family who had come to request information. Denouncing these systematic violations of human rights towards Saharawi citizens, AFAPREDESA appeals to people to write letters of protest to the King of Morocco, to the Spanish President, Aznar, to James Baker and William Eagleton.
If Morocco does not impose conditions, Nigeria is ready to play the role of mediator between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs announced. He is, however, not prepared to consider SADR as an integral part of Morocco. Mr Sule Lamido had been received by the King of Morocco accompanied by the South African Foreign Affairs Minister on 16 October in Casablanca. (SPS)
The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Benaïssa went on a mission to Abuja on 1 November where he met with the Nigerian president.
Security Council resolution S/RES/1324 (2000)
In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council "decides to extend the mandate of MINURSO until 28 February 2001, with the expectation that the parties, under the auspices of the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, will continue to try and resolve the multiple problems relating to the implementation of the Settlement Plan and try to agree upon a mutually acceptable political solution to their dispute over Western Sahara."
The Polisario Front welcomed with satisfaction the fact that the Security Council in its resolution considers that the two parties should "try to reach an agreement on a mutually agreeable political settlement". This position sets limits to Moroccan ambitions, says Ahmed Boukhari, Polisario Front representative at the United Nations, by establishing that "any alternatives to the referendum must be accepted by the two parties and not by one alone."
On the other hand, the Polisario Front believes that the position of Annan has moved away from the settlement plan. Ahmed Boukhari, in a declaration to the EFE, announced that "the UN's clumsiness" in handling the conflict in Western Sahara "increases the risk of a new military confrontation". He added that Kofi Annan "gives more weight to the search for a political solution than to his own settlement plan." He described this alternative as "a political solution with Moroccan garlic and an American chef". "It is a dish which the Saharawis are not inclined to eat", Boukhari added, for him the UN "is losing its foothold on credibility (...), by letting Morocco do or undo what it wants". (El Mundo, Spain)
In a letter to the Algerian President, the Venezuelan President expressed his "deep conviction that the Saharawi people must decide its own destiny." (...) "The implications of a failure of the peace plan would be serious, as much for the credibility of the UN as for the stability of the region", he added. (SPS)
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