WEEKS 27-28 : 27.06.-10.07.2004
The National Council (Parliament) adopted a law on the exercise of the legal profession and will examine its internal ruling. (SPS).
The President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, presided at the Chahid El Ouali military school over a ceremony of promotion of under-officers and troops from the Saharawi Army of National Liberation, forming four new companies. (SPS)
Summit of the African Union
3rd ordinary session of the African Union Conference of Heads of State and Government
The African Union adopted the report of its commission on the question of Western Sahara, thus reaffirming its support for the UN peace plan. The report deplored the attitude of Morocco, which persists in its rejection of the peace plan. (SPS)
The Saharawi Minister for Foreign Affairs declared that the "election of SADR to the post of vice-president of the Union is a mark of respect and consideration for the Saharawi cause. It's above all the consecration of the isolation of Morocco and the expression of the refusal of Africa to change its position in relation to the last problem of decolonisation on the continent, namely that of Western Sahara. It's another failure for Morocco's policy."
The Saharawi President, Mohamed Abdelaziz had talks with heads of state of South Africa, Angola, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Nigeria, Benin, Botswana, Tchad as well as the Prime Ministers of Mauritius, Ethiopia, the Vice-President of Kenya and the head of the delegation from the Seychelles.
See also interviews of the Foreign Minister of the kingdom of Lesotho, His Excellency Mr. Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa (SPS) and of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Namibia, H. E. Mr. Marco Hausiku (SPS).
Report and comments on the experience of a group of unfortunate Asians with the Moroccan system of oppression by Malainin Lakhal, Saharawi journalist (full text with list) (see also weeks 25-26 )
A dozen NGOs from the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Australia and Switzerland launched a new campaign against the pillage of hydrocarbons in Western Sahara. In a letter sent to the companies Fugro N.V., Robertson Research International and Fugro SL limited (Svitzer) they ask for clarification on their activities in the field of oil research on the territory of Western Sahara and accuse them of complicity with the illegal occupation of this territory.
- Press release
- Lettter to Fugro
- Campaign to stop oil exploration in Western Sahara, afrol News, 30.06.04 / Campaña para detener la exploración petrolífera en Sáhara, afrol News, 30.06.04
- Stop the Illegal Exploitation of the Saharawis' Riches ! Ali-Salem Tamek
- Le Maroc ouvre le territoire du Sahara Occidental à l'exploration pétrolière, dossier, Philippe Riché, Association des Amis de la R.A.S.D., Paris, juillet 2004.
Morocco begins the destruction of la Factoría de Villa Cisneros (Dakhla), a 120-year-old Saharawi heritage, Joint Press Release AFAPREDESA / UJS
Marruecos inicia la destrucción de la - Factoría de Villa Cisneros (Dajla), un patrimonio saharaui de 120 anos, comunicado conjunto AFAPREDESA / UJS
Letter to the Norwegian Prime Minister
Saharawi human rights activists in the occupied territories of Western Sahara sent an appeal to the Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, asking Norway to intervene to "bring lasting peace" in their country, exhorting him to defend the human rights of Saharawis under Moroccan occupation. (SPS - Sahara update )
The Americans considered the words of the Moroccan Minister for Foreign Affairs to be offensive to James Baker. The Department of State asked officially for an explanation from the Moroccan government, who immediately replied that the official position was that expressed in the communiqué from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and not that contained in Benaïssa's statement which expresses only his own opinion. (AL-OUSBOU dans Sahara -info du 02.07.04)
Confidence building measure- interim assessment
The UNHCR pointed out that this project which is part of their confidence-building measures, is very popular and much appreciated. 800 people have been carried since March 2004, while 18,000 are on the waiting list... The action expected to last until August could be extended if finance can be found. The UNHCR would also like to extend the telephone service which has enabled 3000 calls to be made of which 60% are by refugee women.
- Family visits pilot project extremely popular, UNHCR Briefing Notes, Geneva 29.06.04:
- Western Sahara family visits off to flying start, UNHCR, 29.06.04
avec / with web VIDEO- Gran éxito del programa de visitas del ACNUR para personas del Sahara Occidental, Noticias del ACNUR, 28.06.04
- Sahara Occidental: gran éxito del proyecto piloto de visitas familiares, Notas breves ACNUR, 28.06.04
- Sahara occidental: Les familles séparées se retrouvent, un reportage de Sébastien Jedor, RFI, du lundi 5 au vendredi 9 juillet 2004.
Visit of M6 to Washington
A White House spokesman, speaking about Mohamed VI and President George W Bush said, "The two leaders agreed on the need to resolve the Western Sahara problem as soon as possible in a manner that best enhances the security and prosperity of the people of Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. ".(Press release White House)
A spokesman of the American Department of State made clear on 09 July that "the President and the Secretary urged the King to work toward rapprochement with neighbor Algeria, as a means to create an environment conducive to settlement of the issue. The Secretary expressed a commitment to work with the United Nations and with the parties to the conflict: Morocco, Algeria, the Polisario Front and Mauritania, along the lines of the peace plan that was put forward by James Baker." (Daily Press Briefing, Richard Boucher, Spokesman)
Declarations, appeals and messages published on the eve of the visit:
- News from Congressman Joe Pitts, Don't abandon Baker plan, 06.07.04.
- US- Western Sahara Foundation Calls on President Bush to Use Influence with Moroccan King to Hold Western Sahara Referendum, 06.07.04
- Morocco: Bush Should Criticize Backsliding on Rights, Human Rights Watch , 08.07.04.
- Beyond diplomatic niceties, J. Pitts/D. Payne, The Washington Times, 09.07.04.
The Baker plan is not an "ideal solution, but a process which opens new perspectives for the region", Ahmed Boukhari declared at a colloquium in San Sebastian, organised by 140 twinned Spanish and Saharawi institutions and communities. The permanent representative of the Polisario Front at the UN explained that the Baker plan does not constitute an "ideal" solution, but that it represents a "way forward for peace" based on the principle of self-determination for the Saharawi people, adding that the "success of this plan relies on the position of Paris". In the final resolution voted unanimously, the participants called on France "to stop supporting the colonial and expansionist politics of Morocco and to practise in Western Sahara, the same doctrine as in Iraq in relation to American occupation". They demanded of the Spanish government once again "active contribution" to the solution of the (Saharawi) conflict in order to live up to its responsibilities, knowing that for as long as the conflict continues that "it perpetuates injustice against the Saharawi people and seriously harms peace in the Maghreb region and will have as a result, profound repercussions in its relations with its European neighbours".
The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Miguel Angel Moratinos, affirmed that his country "wants to contribute positively to a political solution" to the Sahara question, in such a way as to "permit the parties to get out of the present impasse". This question constitutes "a concern" for the head of the Spanish government and the government pays a great deal of attention to it during this period marked by "contact with the different regional actors", the Minister declared in an interview published by the daily "Al Ittihad Al Ichtiraki" quoted by MAP)
All the parliamentary groups represented in the Congress demanded the government to continue to be actively involved, in order to find a "quick, fair and lasting solution" to the conflict in Western Sahara within the UN framework. (EUROPA PRESS)
The President of the Spanish government Zapatero will travel to Algiers on 14 July, preceded on 12 and 13 July by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Michel Barnier. Michèle Alliot-Marie, French Minister for Defence, will be in Algiers on 17 and 18 July, and Nicolas Sarkozy, French Minister for the Economy and Finance is announced for the end of the month. (agencies)
Senegal, Morocco and Mauritania decided on the creation of a "Forum for African countries of the North Atlantic", the Senegalese President, Me Abdoulaye Wade, announced. (agencies)
Joint Manoeuvres with NATO
20,000 troops from 10 NATO countries and Morocco will take part in air and naval manoeuvres, which will take place from 11 to 16 July between Madiera and the Moroccan coast. (EUROPA PRESS)
Gijón: Marcha por los derechos del pueblo saharaui.
10.07.04, Sevilla: Marcha por la Paz 2004
Vacaciones en Paz - Vacances des enfants sahraouis - Saharawi children's holidays
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]
>> Revue de la presse internationale francophone http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/revue-de-presse-sahara-occidental/messages
English publications on Sahara Update mailinglist: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sahara-update/messages
Revista de la prensa en español: http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/revista-de-prensa-sahara-occidental/messages
Fernando Pinto Cebrián, ADIVINANZAS SAHARAUIS, Colección: Libros de los Malos Tiempos, Miraguano Ediciones, 2004, 144 p.
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