60 Moroccan workers from Agadir were hired in April to work at the Phos Boucraa phosphate mine, whereas the Moroccan authorities are encouraging Saharawis to emigrate to the Arab Emirates to work as waiters and baggage porters... (corr.)
High school pupils from the Hassan II lycée in El Ayoun have re-named their school after Mohamed Fadel Ismail. On the special web page condolence messages keep coming in.
According a Moroccan paper "the Security forces of Laayoune on 10.05.02 seized 70 vehicles transporting mourners wishing to take part in the Prayer for the Absent One (in Fadel Ismail's memory, see week 19 ), and children threw stones at the pacha. (...) Three members of the Truth and Justice Forum were arrested for "incitation to prayer" .
According to our sources H'mad Hammad, Ismaili Brahim and Baâmar El Hafed Moundi interrogated and tortured by the judicial police for several hours before being released in the evening, without getting their cars back.
17 Swedish MEPs and MPs from six different political parties in a letter at the end of April to the European governments insist upon the EU's acting for the Saharawis´ right to decide about their own future by a fair and internationally supervised referendum, acting for a stop for all exploitation of the resources of Western Sahara unless it is done in agreement with the elected representatives of the Saharawis, to act for an increase in the humanitarian assistance to the refugee camps, above all through WFP. "...We urge all the governments of EU to listen to their conscience and reason and to work for alternative 1 within the UN - a continued work for the peace plan and a referendum. All the other alternatives, which imply a support to the occupation force, must be rejected!... It would be a shame if countries of the European Union continue to contribute to the exploitation of Western Sahara and its people!..." are some of the statements in the letter.
On 6 May the NGO Afrikagrupperna (Africa Groups of Sweden / Grupos Africa da Suécia) sent a letter to the members of the Security Council and to the Ambassadors in Sweden of the five permanent members, to "ask the Security Council to reject any solutions without a full respect of the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people, and to implement the Settlement Plan without delay".
The draft budget for MINURSO's exercise from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 amounts to 41.529.500 dollars gross, which represents a reduction of 15% in relation to the period of the previous exercise.
The Moroccan human rights Association reckons there to be still "at least 45 political detainees" in Morocco, mainly Islamic militants or Polisario Front sympathisers. "Advances made in regard to freedom of expression since the beginning of the 90s, remain relative, fragile and limites", its president explained during the presentation of his annual report to the Moroccan media.
The AMDH believes that "Morocco is still far from the construction of a state of law". The "Moroccan political system is still characterised by the eviction of popular sovereignty" Mr. Abdelhamid declared, "the most essential powers of the state remain concentrated in the hands of the monarchy".
The president of the Amazigh World Congress demanded that the Moroccan constitution should recognise the rights of the Imazighen and autonomy of the zones in which the majority of the population speak that language. It considers that the government, which decided to offer autonomy to Western Sahara, should offer the same thing to the Imazighen.
The administrative council of the WFP decided unanimously on giving food aid valued at 30 million dollars for 155,430 Saharawi refugees. This humanitarian aid, denoted by WFP experts as a long term restoration and aid intervention (LPSR), covers the period 2002-2004 and is part of the extension of a similar operation over the years 2000-2002. It benefits also from a budgetary increase of 2 million dollars.(APS) (see week 16)
Early Day Motion put down by Jeremy Corbyn in the UK parliament stating « That this House notes with deep regret the death of the Polisario representative to the United Kingdom, Fadel Ismael; recalls his life as one of the leading thinkers of the movement for self-determination of the Saharwi people; expresses sympathy to all his family; and hopes that the people of the Western Sahara realise their own self-determination.» at present 17 signatures.
18.05.02, Lorca, Andalucia: Inauguración de una plaza dedicada al pueblo saharaui.
COMING UP ...
Une société de production française a réalisé, du 30 avril au 6 mai, un documentaire sur le secteur de la pêche artisanale dans la région de Dakhla, pour le compte de la chaîne de télévision française France 3. Ce documentaire de 26 minutes sera diffusé sur France 3, dans le cadre de l'émission Thalassa.
21.05.02, 20 h., presentación del libro Relatos del Sáhara - La literatura española del desierto, Intervendran en el acto Ramón Mayrata, Escritor y autor de la selección y del prólogo, Javier Ruiz, Escritor y arqueólogo, José María Parreño, Escritor y Director de la colección, Delfin Seral Aranda, Director de Clan Editorial. El Ateneo de Madrid, Calle Prado 21, 28014 Madrid.
25.05.02: La Asociación de Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui de Alcobendas y S.S. de los Reyes, os invita a participar en la conferencia y posterior debate que tendrá lugar el dia 25 de Mayo a las 19:30, en el centro cívico Pablo Iglesias de Alcobendas. Contará con la presencia de Ahmed Mulay, representante del Frente Polisario en la Comunidad de Madrid. El acto está convocado por la Coordinadora de Asociaciones de Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui. A las 21:30 se celebrará una cena de hermandad en el restaurante JUMAR II c/ Severo Ochoa nº31, Alcobendas,precio por cubierto 20 euros. Se ruega a los asistentes a la cena se pongan en contacto con Cristina, telef.: 91 650 41 06; o con Julio telef: 696 74 47 94, lo antes posible, pues hay que reservar.
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]