Dozens of Saharawi unemployed organised a sit-in in Rabat in front of the Ministry of Employment. They denounce the policy of marginalisation and deportation of Saharawis from the occupied territories and southern Morocco, as well as repressive practices such as the inhuman treatment suffered by the Saharawi students imprisoned in Marrakech. (SPS)
The Moroccan Minister of Economy and Tourism has signed an agreement with the managing chairman of Club Méditerranée, which is asking Morocco to install the means and the infrastructure necessary for a huge programme of investment and expansion by the Club. Figuring among the six new sites planned is a nature resort at Dakhla in the occupied territories. The Moroccan press comments that "it is, moreover, one of the first international operators to set up in the Moroccan Sahara".
The Canary Islands press reveals that two American ships of commercial appearance, equipped with depleted uranium arms, are sailing in the ocean around the Canary Islands since about 2 weeks with the agreement of Spain. They would be part of the support for a rapid intervention force of the American army on the model applied in the Gulf and Yugoslavia. This presence could serve for an intervention in the Congo or in Western Sahara, hotspots on the near African continent.
The Socialist Party of Chile has voted for a resolution on Western Sahara during its congress in Santiago. It asks 'insistently' that all the obstacles hampering the implementation of the settlement plan should be lifted. (Saharawi Ministry of Information communication, SPS)
The Saharawi Ambassador in Angola was received by Sam Nujoma, president of Namibia, to whom he gave a message from the SADR president. Namibia reaffirmed on this occasion its solidarity and support for SADR and its firm support of a fair and complete implementation of the UN settlement plan. (Saharawi Ministry of Information communication, SPS)
Sale of arms
The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Robin Cook, created surprise and consternation when he revealed that his government had given the green light to a sale of arms to Morocco amounting to 3.5 million pounds. It concerns spare parts for canons stationed on the Moroccan defensive wall in Western Sahara.
The first request was refused in 1998 because of the conflict in Western Sahara. By way of excuse, the minister argued that the United Nations, when consulted, had presented no objections, Morocco not being subject to UN sanctions. The affair aroused much criticism and protest. Tess Kingham (Labour MP), NGOs such as War on Want and the Western Sahara Campaign regretted that Great Britain should be helping Morocco in this way to prepare for a new war in the Sahara, while for the last ten years the international community has been asked to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. The NGO, War on Want, is contemplating a judicial procedure against what it considers to be a violation of the directives of the Foreign Office and the European Union concerning export of arms.
09.02.01, Limoges, France, 20h30, CCSM Jean Gagnant: "25 ans de Solidarité Européenne avec le Peuple Sahraoui". Conférence de Pierre Galand, Président de la "Coordination des Comités Européens de Soutien au Peuple Sahraoui". Organisation: Comité Limousin de Solidarité avec le Peuple Sahraoui, Ligue des Droits de l'Homme et Les Amis du Monde Diplomatique.
22.02.01, Rome, Palazzo Marini, via del Pozzetto 158, 10.00 - ore 17.00, Celebration of the 25th anniversary of the SADR, organised byr ANSPS and Comitato interparlamentare Italia-Sahrawi. (info: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
27.02.01, Geneva, Switzerland: 25th anniversary of the SADR, Reception 19 h., Forum, Hôtel Le Grenil, 9, avenue Ste Clotilde, 1205 Genève-Jonction.
27 février, Refugee camps: Sahara Marathon
19 March to 27April, Geneva:
57th session of UN Human Rights Committee
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]