- HUMANITARIAN AID
- NEW PUBLICATIONS
Following the publication of the work of Fadel Ismaïl "Lettre à mon frère Marocain" (Letter to my Moroccan brother), the Limoges branch of the organisation called Convergence of Moroccan Democrats Abroad organised a meeting of young Moroccan democrats and Saharawis with three guest speakers:
Annick Miské, historian and keen pro-Saharawi activist, Abdeslam Omar Lahcen, president of AFAPREDESA, and Mohamed Habiballah, official representative of the Polisario Front in France. Habiballah said that he was there to offer his hand to Moroccan men and women to continue the dialogue in a calm atmosphere in order to find a good way out of the situation which is tearing apart not only Saharawis and Moroccans, but above all the people of the Maghreb as a whole. The three talks were followed by a fruitful debate in a calm and serene setting. (corr. and AFAPREDESA press release french)
The full text of the booklet in French is now available on internet (PDF file).
The President of the Saharawi Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, on a visit to Germany, proposed that Saharawi territorial waters should be opened to fishing by the whole Spanish fleet "without exception", and that the revenue from such contracts should be "paid into a special account managed by the United Nations pending the end of the decolonisation process which is in progress". The King of Morocco has just suggested that the ship owners of Galicia might come and fish in the Saharawi territorial waters. (SPS)
In solidarity with the Galician fishermen, 200 members of the Saharawi support association of Galicia including Saharawis will participate to the clean up actions of the oil spilled coast.
Mohamed Abdelaziz in the Bundestag in Berlin met spokespeople for the Socialist Party (SPD), the Greens, as well as the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and Liberal Party (FDP). He was received by the president of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and talked with the chair of the committee on cooperation, the chair of the sub-committee of the United Nations and the chair of the human rights committee and that of humanitarian aid, as well as the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy of Berlin, Hans Strauch. The presidential delegation also met members of the Saharawi community in Germany, particularly those living in Berlin and its surrounding area, as well as representatives of the Foundation Friedrich Ebert. The head of state has still to visit the region of Hesse, where his visit of more than a week to Germany will end.
British Parliament - Early Day Motion 298
Jeremy Corbyn and 44 co-signatories are asking the House of Commons to express their concern about human rights abuses in occupied Western Sahara and about the severe shortfall in food aid to the Saharawi refugees. They of holding the long-delayed referendum and restoring stability to the area.
The Saharawi Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, called on Spain to invest more in the decolonisation of the territory it abandoned to its fate at the hand of Moroccan invading troops in 1975. In the lecture which he gave during a Cultural Week in Huercal, organised in Almeria, the minister declared further that "the EU should support a democratic opening in the Maghreb." (SPS)
The parliamentary intergroup "Peace for the Saharawi people" met under the presidency of the German MEP, Mrs Margot Kessler. After an analysis of the development of the political and humanitarian situation, discussion took place on planning activities at European level for the first term of the coming year. The intergroup decided to contact the humanitarian agency, ECHO, in view of the urgent need for food aid for the refugees, and to denounce on the international level the violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
The Autonomous Parlament of the Canarian Islands renewed in an oficial declaration "its solidarity with the just struggle of the Saharawi people for freedom and peace".
Belgium and Morocco have signed an agreement for military cooperation for the training of Belgian cadet officers in the Moroccan military camp of Ouarzazat. In a letter (french ) to Belgian minister of Defense, Flahaux, the president of the European coordination of support for the Saharawi people, Pierre Galand, questions whether, given the Moroccan military engagement in Western Sahara and Moroccan blockage of the peace plan, Belgium is behaving in conformity with its own rules on conflict prevention and with its support for the United Nations peace plan for Western Sahara. He wonders further, whether it is well-judged, to re-launch or reinforce Belgian-Moroccan military cooperation given the proximity of Ouarzazat to Algeria and the Saharawi refugee camps on the one hand, and on the other the widespread movement against human rights abuses by the Moroccan army and harsh treatments, and personal enrichment of high ranking officers in this same army. Earlier, in March of this year Galand denounced Belgian involvement in the training of Moroccan pilots, something which was denied by the Belgian minister. (see week 10 and 13+14 2002)
The Algerian minister of communication and culture, speaking for the government, declared in Algiers that "Algeria has no problem with Morocco, a friendly, brother country, and because of this has no need for any sort of mediation". Mrs Toumi was responding to a question relating to speculations in the press making an issue of possible mediation by the French minister of foreign affairs, Mr Dominique de Villepin, between Algeria and Morocco. The French minister was expected on the 16th in Algiers for a two-day official visit with the purpose of improving Algerian-French relations.
The NGO Christian Aid is to transport by boat next January food aid worth US$ 400,000 for Saharawi refugees, in collaboration with GAIN (Global Aid Network).
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