WEEK 13, 25-31.03.1996

52th session of the Human Rights Committee of the UN
Under item 7 of the agenda, The Right to Self-Determination, following NGOs made interventions concerning the implementation of the Peace Plan in Western Sahara:
France Libertés-Danielle Mitterrand Foundation, American Association of Jurists, International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples and the Society for Threatened Peoples. They all established the Moroccan freezing and denounced the sending of thousands of settlers from Morocco to the occupied territories in order to pre-determine the outcome of the referendum.

The ACP-EU Joint Assembly (Lomé agreements) expressed its position about the situation in Western Sahara.
"The Assembly asked that the Kingdom of Morocco effectively implement the international resolutions and the cease-fire and that it stop hindering the preparations for the holding of a referendum. It invited Morocco to resume direct talks with the Polisario Front and asked the European Union to take account of the interests of the Sahrawi people in all agreements concluded with Morocco. The Assembly asked the Union to urgently provide the Sahrawi people with adequate cooperation and humanitarian aid. "

Shell has formed a joint venture with a Russian oil company, Evikhom, to develop fields in Western Sahara (Guardian, London).

The phosphate workers at Boucraa mines in occupied Western Sahara continue their strike for six day. The Moroccan miners at the state-owned Office cherifien des Phosphates had staged a two-day strike on March 13-14 to press for better pay and to attract attention to the poor working conditions of the miners.

The U.N. mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is preparing to scale down its operation. A spokeswoman for the MINURSO says 35 non-military personnel attached to the voter identification commission would leave El Ayoun starting March 30. This would leave behind 55 civilian in El Ayoun to staff the 4 out of 8 voter identification centers that would be kept open in case the dispute was resolved.



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