25, 26, 27.06.01
Security Council Resolution
Among the many reactions and steps taken with the UN Secretary General and the Security Council concerning the decision on Western Sahara, we must point out the Australian interventions of members of parliament and Senator Lyn Allison as well as the ACTU - the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
The petition of seven NGOs from the European Consortium working in the Saharawi refugee camps, was co-signed by 18 associations and 10 celebrities.
In a statement, the Maghreb association for the defence of human rights, Hourriya/Liberté expresses the view that the autonomy agreement "goes against international law regularly reaffirmed by the United Nations, by depriving the Saharawi people of its right to self-determination through a referendum. Such an agreement puts into question the exercise of the right of peoples to determine themselves". See also the press release of the french AARASD association.
On 26 June, "World Day against torture", mothers of Saharawi political detainees accompanied by former Saharawi victims of forced disappearance and some Saharawi university students, observed a sit-in of two hours in front of the Ministry of Human Rights in Rabat. The mothers brandished photos of Saharawi political detainees and a banner calling for their liberation. The participants in the sit-in, encircled by forces of order, chantent slogans of solidarity with the political detainees and called for their liberation. (FVJSAH - Truth and Justice Forum, Sahara Section)
The minister allegedly promised, according to a Moroccan daily, to ask the king to grant them pardon.
Malawi has officially withdrawn recognition of the Sahrawi republic. The announcement came in a release made public by Malawi's foreign affairs department. The decision coincided with the presentation by the Moroccan ambassador of his credentials to the President of Malawi.
The Council of the International Socialist meeting in Lisbon, mentioned, in its declaration about Armed Conflicts in Africa - What are the Solutions?, «The several-decades-old conflict in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, which flows from European colonialism in this part of the African continent.» The SI stated its position in the Council meeting in Maputo in November 2000, expressing «its deep concern at the constant postponement of the referendum on self-determination and reaffirms its resolution adopted by the Council in Brussels in April 2000, calling on Morocco and Polisario to cooperate fully with the United Nations and its special envoy James Baker. The SI calls on Morocco and Polisario to open a political dialogue beyond the eventual agreements that could be made in present negotiations. In this context, the SI remains supportive of all United Nations initiatives.»
The National Secretariat of the Polisario Front denounced the contents of the UN secretary general's report, calling it a "plot" aiming to "by-pass international law". On the other hand, it "registered its approval" of the Security Council resolution 1359. The Secretariat also welcomed the insistence of the Security Council for the liberation by Morocco of "all the disappeared and political prisoners held in Moroccan prisons". (SPS)
The Secretary-General of the Polisario Front has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the rejection of the proposals included in his recent report to the Security Council. On this occasion, the president stressed that the free and impartial referendum was the only way for resolving the Saharan issue on the basis of international legality and the rights of peoples to self-determination. Abdelaziz also sent another letter to the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Western Sahara, Mr James Baker.
Margot Kessler and the intergroup of the European Parliament "Peace for the Saharawi People" welcome the resolution 1359 (2001) taken by the UN Security Council on 29th June 2001 on Western Sahara "reiterating full support for the ongoing efforts of MINURSO to implement the Settlement Plan and agreements adopted by the parties to hold a free, fair, and impartial referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara".
The Committee of Ambassadors, meeting in Lusaka (Zambia), submitted its report to the Council of Ministers on 5 July. SADR is represented on it by its permanent representative in Addis-Abbaba, Fadel Ismaïl. In the Council of Ministers, the Saharawi delegation is led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ould Salek. In his report to the Council of Minister, the Secretary General expressed his "grave concern" concerning the absence of progress in Western Sahara and "an apparent deviation from the implementation of the Settlement Plan" . "Another grave concern is that the non-application of the UN settlement plan , even temporarily, could exacerbate tensions and further hamper efforts towards finding a solution to the crisis." "The OAU, he concludes, is more than ever determined to contribute to bringing about a permanent and lasting solution to the problem of Western Sahara, accepted both by Morocco and the Polisario Front. The Council is not without knowing that the settlement plan was conceived and developed with such a result in mind and it is hoped that all the work carried out at great cost by the international community for many years towards its implementation will not have been in vain."
In the course of the debate which followed the Saharawi minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that the Security Council had not endorsed the latest report of the secretary general but that it had reaffirmed the validity of the settlement plan. The Polisario Front and SADR will never agree to discuss a third way solution, he added.
Gambia and Senegal insisted that the point concerning the admission of Morocco to the African Union should be put on the agenda, but the Council rejected their proposal, saying that Morocco had not asked to be admitted to the African Union.(corr.)
Mohamed Loulichki has been appointed deputy permanent representative of Morocco to the UN. Hamid Chabar, adviser to the Ministry of the Interior, where he has been directing the Sahara unit since 1992, replaces Loulichki in the post of governor charged with coordination with MINURSO. He took part in the meetings in London and Geneva last year with the Polisario Front.
The Association for the Right to Vote (New Caledonia) notes that the Framework-Agreement proposed by James Baker requires one year of residence in Western Sahara to obtain the right to vote in a possible referendum on self-determination. According to the Noumea Accord, 20 years of residence would be required for French residents to obtain the right to vote during a referendum on self-determination in New Caledonia. (RFO)
Independence for Western Sahara in cyberspace
Cybernauts voted massively for the independence of Western Sahra in a poll on the website of the French-language weekly, Jeune Afrique/l'Intelligent. When the vote closed at 18.00 hours, 6025 people had expressed themselves, including 65.2% in favour of independence and 33% in favour of integration with Morocco. In the following hours, by a scandalous manipulation, the number of voters continued to grow in the site's archives at a faster rate than ever, reversing of course, the final result. In fiction as in reality, any means is good to rig the vote on the question of Western Sahara.
Protests have been sent to the weekly, judicial steps are being studied.
Elsewhere, the NGO France Libertés, in a letter (french) to the weekly raises the question of the legitimacy of readers and internet surfers responding to this poll. It applies a new form of imperialism to invite readers to express themselves in the name of a people.
The German organisation Kritische Oekologie (Critical Ecology) notes that policies are not developed any more, but enacted. What the international community is refusing to the Saharawi people is "permitted" to internet surfers, but only as a game.
France: L'association havraise " Un Camion Citerne pour les Sahraouis " était présente à "LE HAVRE fête les Associations" les 30 juin & 1 juillet 2001 par la tenue d'un stand. Ce fut l'occasion de présenter au public l'action de solidarité de l'association en faveur du peuple sahraoui et de faire signer une pétition destinée aux autorités françaises, leur demandant d'intervenir auprès de l'ONU pour le respect du Droit International et l'esprit de la Charte des Nations Unies.
Italia: L'Associazione di Solidarietà con il Popolo Saharawi "Ban Slout Larbi" e presente, a partire da venerdì 6 luglio 2001, alla Festa nazionale de l'Unità "Solidarietà e Terzo Settore" che si sta svolgendo a Sesto Fiorentino in viale Machiavelli (all'interno dell'are del Palazzetto dello Sport) e che si potrarrà fino al 16 luglio. L'Associazione presenterà alcune nuove pubblicazioni, tra le quali il volume "Il cammino del popolo Saharawi verso la libertà, non tutti i muri sono crollati" (edizione per le scuole). All'interno dello spazio dell'Associazione, nell'Area Terzo Settore, sarà disponibile materiale informativo e una nuova serie di cartoline dedicate al popolo Saharawi. Associazione di Solidarietà con il Popolo Saharawi "Ban Slout Larbi" email@example.com
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]