Visit of José Ramos-Horta to the camps
The Vice-President of the National Council of Timorese Resistence who is also responsible for external relations with East Timor, visted the Saharawi refugee camps for two days. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate expressed his admiration for "the level of organisation of Saharawi society in every domain". He hoped to see cooperation between the two countries and that Saharawi specialists in various areas would be sent to East Timor to enable the Timorese people to profit from their experience. Mr Ramos-Horta pointed out that Indonesia, the second military power of the region after Vietnam, with rich oil and gas resources, and with over 215 million inhabitants and alliances with the West had not managed to annex East Timor. "We are convinced that the Saharawi people will succeed in grasping independence from Morocco which does not possess any of all that", Mr Ramos-Horta added. (SPS)
The renewal of the National Council (Saharawi parliament) took place from 21 April to 04 May. 26 members were elected in the wilayas, the 25 others by national institutions (3), the shiouk (5), the administration (4), mass organisations (3) and the army (10). Salem Lebsir was re-elected to the presidency by 43 votes and three abstentions. The participation of women has increased slightly. Nearly half of the members are newly elected. The average age is around 45 years. (SPS)
In a letter addressed to the Moroccan Minister of the Interior, Ahmed Midaoui, Reporters withour borders (RSF) protested against the ban on distribution of the Spanish weekly Cambio 16, dated 19 March 2001. The paper contained an article entitled "The Sahara is preparing for war". The author of the article, Rocio Castrillo, who explained in particular that "an army composed of 30,000 soldiers (...) is preparing to confront the Moroccan invader", interviewed Brahim Ghali, member of the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front. He spoke of "the intransigent and colonialist intentions of the expansionist regime of Morocco." (spanish article)
The yearly meeting the Africa Groups in Sweden adopted a resolution where the Swedish government, president of the EU, is asked to work for an immediate implementation of the peace plan. "Decolonize Western Sahara. Implement the referendum on independence now. The constant Moroccan sabotage of the the peace plan can no longer be tolerated", was the message.
06.05.01, Ain Temouchent, Algeria: The Saharawi cultural caravan of friendship stayed in Ain Temouchent, as part of its tour around several wilayas in the west of Algeria. (SPS)
10.05.01, Stockholm, Sweden
On occasion of the 28th Anniversary of Polisario Front a demonstration was organised by the "Foreningen Vastsahara". Many speakers from many Swedish Political parties and organisations contributed with strong messages in solidarity with the Saharawi people and called for the organisation of the self-determination referendum as soon as possible.
During this event which took place in the front the Moroccan Embassy in Stockholm a statement was distributed among the participants. It called for the decolonisation of the Western Sahara, urged Sweden, the Chair-country of the European Union, to the use it power to see that the referendum is organised as soon as possible, called on the European Union to ask Morocco to respect human rights in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and called on Morocco to continue the referendum or to give back the stolen land to its own people, and accept freedom for Western Sahara. The statement has also rejected the so-called "third option"
11.05.01, Spain, twinning: Redondela in Galicia and Edchera signed a twinning and cooperation agreement during a formal ceremony.
18.05.01, Lausanne, Suisse: 20.30 h., conférence-débat «A quand l'indépendance pour le peuple sahraoui», avec A.-C. Ménétrey, députée au parlement suisse, conseillère nationale et Sadafa Bahia, représentant du Front Polisario en France, Lieu: Pôle Sud, av. J.J. Mercier 3, Lausanne. Organisation: Groupe vaudois de soutien au peuple sahraoui.
18.05.-02.06.01, Lausanne, Suisse: exposition de photos et de dessins d'enfants réalisés dans les camps de réfugiés sahraouis du sud algérien, Lieu: Pôle Sud, av. J.J. Mercier 3, Lausanne (Ma,Jeu,Ve 16h30-18h30, Me et Sa 14h-18h, (sauf 24, 25, 26mai).
21-25.05.01, Italia: Radio 3, alle ore 18, programma radiofonico "Cento lire". Sarà trasmesso "Sahrawi, necessità dei volti" a cura di Patrizio Esposito. Le cinque puntate raccontano, attraverso documenti sonori in gran parte inediti, il conflitto nel Sahara Occidentale e l'esperienza di visione in Italia dell'archivio fotografico custodito nel Museo sahrawi della Guerra. Temi delle distinte puntate sono: La guerra, Il canto, La vita separata, Il ricordo, L'incertezza. Voci, testi e collaborazioni di: Serena Filpa, Fabrizia Ramondino, Jean Lamore, José Munoz, Andrea Renzi, Silvio Castiglioni, Silvia Pasiello, Mario Martone, Roberto Bacci, Maurizio Camardi, I Pulsantilla, Massimo Eusebio, Alessandra D'Elia, Roberto Latini, Sara Bonetti, Fadel Abeid, Roberto Paci Daló, Antonietta De Lillo, Jacopo Quadri, Stefano Ricci, Sara Marinelli, Giorgio Fornoni, Luciano Ardesi, Daniela Pampaloni, Fatima Mahfud, Pasquale Trivigno, Piero De Asmundis. Musiche e canti sahrawi tratti da registrazioni private e dal cd "Voci distanti dal mare" (il manifesto, l'alfabeto urbano, officina).
26.05.01, Madrid: El 20 de mayo se cumple el 28 aniversario de la primera acción armada de Frente Polisario, aún contra la tropas españolas que ocupaban entonces su territorio. Lo recordamos ahora en paz, con los saharauis y los españoles hermanados. Un concierto de rock a celebrar en la sala Divino Aqualung de Madrid el próximo día 26 de mayo, quiere mostrar su solidaridad con los refugiados saharauis, pero también quiere reivindicar el derecho de estos al referéndum. Además, llama la atención al Estado Español, que en todos estos años se ha lavado las manos esgrimiendo para ello sus buenas relaciones con Marruecos. Org: Plataforma Cívica Pro-Referéndum Libre en el Sáhara Occidental
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