United Nations, Economic and Social
In a Report alongside the governmental report relative to economic, social and cultural rights in Morocco, AMDH (Moroccan Association of Human Rights) writes: "As for the problem of Western Sahara raised by the report, international bodies are better able to judge its progress since the Moroccan people do not have the right to express an opinion contrary to the official position; worse still we note continual repression of any opinion contrary to that of the official position (the last one was that of the papers Le Journal and Assahifa)." (October 2000)
In his opening speech to the congress of the International Federation of Human Rights, FIDH, meeting in Casablanca, the president, Patrick Baudoin, declared concerning Morocco: "Other concerns must also be raised. Firstly, the question of the disappeared for which the dossier cannot be considered as closed so long as the cases of all the disappeared have not been recorded and solved in a fair manner, with independence and transparency. I think here of course of the Saharawi disappeared and detained, as well as the Moroccan prisoners in Tindouf.
As far as Western Sahara goes, the FIDH can only reaffirm its commitment to the process of self-determination, as an application of the principle of the right of peoples to determine themselves which Morocco itself rightly claimed at a certain period of its history. The FIDH invites the Moroccan authorities to show proof of the maximum of good will to permit very soon the referendum provided for within the process initiated under the aegis of the United Nations."
The official Mauritanian press agency, in order to deny certain news stories, points out that the person responsible for external relations of the Paris-Dakar Rally, Roger Kalmanovitz, announced that the accident due to a landmine did not take place in Mauritania. (AMI)
The European Commission has earmarked nine million euros for supplies to Sahrawi refugees living in camps in the Tindouf region of Algeria and to assist in selected rehabilitation activities. In July 2000, the Commission allocated humanitarian aid worth just over 4.9 million euros in response to a food crisis in the camps. The latest funding is being directed through five NGO partners of the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO).
Two Saharawi families took refuge in the Spanish embassy in Rabat, in order to ask for the protection of the Spanish state. They are Mohamed Saleh and Reigass Ennabt, their families and Aziza Mohamed Maouloud, the sister of one of the two men, who is pregnant, as well as three children aged 5 years, 2 years and 11 months respectively. These people are asking to go to Spain or to any other democratic country, as they fear for their lives in Morocco.
They had left the refugee camps near Tindouf, enticed by promises of the Moroccan government, and have been staying at the hotel Ennakhil in Rabat for three months. The eight Saharawis were brutally expelled from the embassy the same day. Members of the AMDH were able to meet them inside the embassy. The Spanish ambassador denied any political connotations to the incident. For Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front representative in Spain, the two families were asking for political asylum in Spain, otherwise why would they have taken refuge in the embassy? he declared to a Madrid daily paper. The two families have appealed to human rights organisations to intervene on their behalf.
383 participants have registered to take part in the Sahara Marathon which will take place in the Saharawi refugee camps on 27 February next. 205 runners come from Europe, 103 from the USA, 76 from other countries, including India, Australia and New Zealand. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Articles by Thomas de Saint Maurice, author of "Western Sahara 1991-1999. The stakes of the referendum of self-determination" and by Carlos Ruiz Miguel, Professor of constitutional law at the University of Saint Jacques de Compostella, a specialist on Western Sahara, are published on: http://tomdsm.multimania.com/analyses.html
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