WEEK 01, 01-07.01.1996

About Morocco's demand of freezing the activities of the Arab Maghreb Union (Morocco asked on 21 of december for the freeze of the AMU in order to protest against the algerian position in the Western Sahara conflict), the President of Tunesia responded negatively on december 26. Three legal opposition parties of Tunesia appealed to Morocco to renounce to its demand to stop the activities of the AMU.

Mr. Boutros-Ghali's special ambassador Mr. Chinmaya Gharekhan conferred at Rabat with Mr. Abdellatif Filali and Mr. Driss Basri, ministers of interior and of foreign affairs.

A Frenchman competing in the Granada-Dakar Rally was killed when his lorry hit a suspected mine close to the rally route between Foum el-Hassan (South-Morocco) and Smara (Western Sahara). Polisario Front appealed several times in the last years not to cross the Western Sahara territory because of the danger of mines.

US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Pelletreau, in charge of Middle East and Maghreb, visited Morocco in december. According to the newspaper "Jeune Afrique" he repeated, at an encounter with moroccan political parties of opposition, that the referendum in Western Sahara has to be transparent.

The European Commission has released an emergency food aid of 1.3 million $ for the sahrawi refugees. This new aid brings the total of EU aid to refugees from the Western Sahara to 6.5 millions $ for 1995.

Mr. Chinmaya Gharekhan reaches the sahrawi refugee camps in company of M. Erik Jensen, special representative of the U.N. Secretary-General. Mr. Gharekhan explains to the sahrawi responsibles the new U.N. proposals supposed to boost the peace process in Western Sahara. He will continue his trip to Nouakchott (6.1.96) and El Ayoun.

The U.N. special Ambassador is warmly welcomed by the population of the refugee camp of Smara. In his speech the Wali declared nevertheless: "We have no more concessions to bring to the U.N. (..) There is no more place for patience".

Mr. M'Hamed Khaddad, president of the sahrawi Identification Commission, in a declaration to an algerian press agency, cannot evaluate the results of the visit of the Secretary-General's Ambassador: "We must wait for the report of the Secretary-General on next january 15 th. The U.N. will pursue its efforts in order to find an agreement between the moroccan and the sahrawi position.

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