WEEK 21, 20 - 26.05.1996

Spanish, Cuban and Swedish aid convoy reaches camps

The Spanish humanitarian aid convoy for the Sahrawi people in the camps arrived May 16. This convoy complemented the previous one, which had started to arrive in the camps at the beginning of May, carrying food, blankets, medicine, children's toys and various other equipment. This year's humanitarian solidarity convoy took place with the participation of other associations from Cuba and Sweden.

Polisario warns of resumption of hostilities in Western Sahara

The Polisario Front has warned of the resumption of hostilities in the wake of the failure of the United Nations to organise a referendum on the territory. In a message to the international community, Polisario head Mohamed Abdelaziz said: "The prospect of the disengagement of the MINURSO, aggravated by Moroccan provocations, renders probable and imminent the resumption of hostilities." Abdelaziz said the UN should show firmness towards Morocco, and called for direct dialogue between the two sides.


The SADR ambassador to Algeria views the latest report of the UN secretary-general presented to the Security Council on the suspension of the Sahrawi voter-identification process as a great disappointment to the aspirations of the Sahrawi people and a serious reflection on the peace plan in Western Sahara. The ambassador said in a statement published in Echaab daily that the Polisario Front had made many compromises in order to move the settlement process forward and save the peace plan from being derailed. He pointed out that the UN, which was in charge of the matter, did not use its political and moral powers to force Morocco to comply with its resolutions and plans.

Peace for Western Sahara

The autonomous Parliament of the Canary Islands (Spain) has approved a "Declaration for Peace in Western Sahara", proposed as a resolution to the Parliament. It renews the political support of the Parliament to the right cause of the Sahrawi People, requires the renewal of the identification process by the MINURSO in presence of international observers, calls for direct negociations between the two parties, appeals to the Security Council and the European Union to avoid the failure of the settlement plan and to the Spanish Government to consider the Western Sahara question as a priority of its foreign policy.


The Security Council will likely take up the draft resolution Tuesday 29. It will endorse the recommendations of the Secretary-General, according to the draft resolution (yet under embargo).

Organization of African Unity about U.N. Secretary-General's report

In a letter addressed to Mr. Boutros-Ghali and to Mr. Qin Huasun, President of the Security Council, the current Chairman and the Secretary-General of the OAU state that they "are concerned that any relaxation of efforts of the U.N. in the implementation of the Settlement Plan could further complicate the current impasse".
"We further strongly believe that the U.N. should continue to pursue its efforts aimed at implementing the Settlement Plan for Western Sahara with renewed commitment and dynamism. In this respect we are of the view that further efforts should be vigourously deployed for the speedy resumption of the identification process. In this regard, given the nature of the situation, we feel that it is important to do everything possible with a view to encouraging direct dialogue between the two parties ...".
"We would like to reiterate our fervent hope that in addition to ensuring that the present ceasefire continues to be respected by both parties, efforts will be deployed to create the necessary conditions for an early resumption of the identification process in conditions of transparency and in conformity with the provisions of the Settlement Plan for Western Sahara".
"Finally, on behalf of the Organization of African Unity, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to support the U.N. efforts and to work closely together towards the implementation of the Settlement Plan for Western Sahara. We believe that it is in the best interest of both parties as well as in the interest of the region and the continent as a whole".

"United Nations Settlement Plan - From Stalemate to Failure"

In a long analysis of the actual situation in Western Sahara the Western Sahara Campaign UK makes following conclusions (full text):


  • Il popolo del deserto (photos de Sabine Delcour), Internazionale, no 128, 03.05.96, pp. 25-28
  • Le Polisario au pied du mur, L'événement du jeudi, 16.05.96.
  • La République des sables mobilise, Couraud Raymond, L'Alsace, Mulhouse, 16.05.96, p. 3
  • Une vie au milieu des sables, idem, 18.05.96
  • Abandonados, Montero Rosa, El Pais, 21.05.96
  • A qui profite l'impasse ? Soudan François, Jeune Afrique, Paris, 22.05.96, p. 4-5
  • Die Polisario droht Rabat mit Krieg, Veil Axel, Basler Zeitung, CH, 23.05.96
  • Zurueck zu den Waffen, Tauber Walter, Die Weltwoche, Zuerich, 23.05.96
  • Die UNO versagt in der Westsahara, Herzog Werner, Tagesanzeiger, Zuerich, 24.05.96
  • "Palaces for children": education in the refugee camps of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Velloso Agustin, Refugee network program, Oxford (Refugees Studies Program), 21, 1996, pp. 30-31.
  • Sahara-Info, Nr. 1, Mai 1996, Gesellschaft der Freunde des Sahrauischen Volkes, Bremen, 6 p.

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