WEEK 29, 15-21. July 1996


Forgotten prisoners
Letter of the French Foreign Affairs Minister
Statement of Mr. Fadel Ismail, Polisario Representative in France
New UN initiative ?
Manifestation in Lucca (Italy)

Forgotten prisoners

The special correspondent to Sahara from the Paris weekly newspaper Le Point, Dominique Aubert, encountered a part of the Moroccan POWs in Polisario Front hands and brings back some testimonies. He evoques also the return to Morocco in November 1995 of the 185 POWs liberated by the Polisario, who were refused until this moment by Morocco. Emilio Cardenas, UN ambassador of Argentina, organized the trip. He should have become three propositions from producers to make a picture. "I think we will accept, he says, only to break down the wall of silence which condemned this people".

Letter of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs

In a response to a letter of AFASPA, a French NGO, about the Western Sahara question, Mr. H. de Charette writes that "France has always affirmed its will to see applicated the settlement plan agreed by the parties in August 1988". "France, attached to the search of a just and durable solution of the Western Sahara problem, is working in this way, at the Security Council and with the parties, especially Morocco, which is near to us and a friend. We call again our preoccupation about the removing of the obstacles to the implementation of the peace plan, every time it's usefull".

Statement of Mr. Fadel Ismail, Polisario Representative in France

After the last speach of the king of Morocco, the Polisario Representative aks: "Is it useful to make efforts and great expenses for the United Nations in a long process, if Morocco doesnt recognize its validity ?!" He adds that the king of Morocco is only willing to "perpetuate the cease fire", even when he is misleading the public opinion, passing himself off as the attacked: "We will resist and fight if we are attacked", Hassan II said. "Who is breaking the cease fire ? Who is impeding the implementation of the referendum process, trying to introduce in the Sahrawi electoral body hundreds of thousands of persons, strangers to Western Sahara ?" asks Fadel Ismail, who appeals "the international community to take its responsibilities in front of this worrying attitude of the king of Morocco, who declares openly that the peace plan is null and void."

New UN initiative ?

According to the Polisario Front's president, Mohamed Abdelaziz, only UN action can now head off renewed fighting. "Morocco is blocking every move. Morocco wants to transform the UN peace plan into nothing more than a monitoring of the cease-fire. I have had a meeting with the UN secretary-general in Yaounde and we spoke about the situation. He told me he was thinking of launching a new initiative quite soon. We are awaiting the UN secretary-general's next move. In any case, if it turns out that the Security Council and the Secretary-general fail to assume their responsibilities and fail to enforce observance by the Moroccan side of the UN peace plan for Western Sahara, then the only course of action that remains for Sahrawis is to resume the fight to defend their right to self-determination and independence" (Radio France Internationale).

Manifestation in Lucca

Organized by Kalama, an Italian NGO of Solidarity with the Sahrawi People, a manifestation took place on the walls of the ancient city of Lucca (Tuscany). 70 Sahrawi children, actually on holidays in Tuscany, participate to the manifestation named "Paint peace". The children paint together with children from Bielorussia and Lucca on the theme of peace. A member of the parliament announced, at this occasion, the creation of a parlamentary intergroup on the Sahrawi question.

Boutros-Ghali had briefings on Western Sahara with Security council members behind closed doors
According to Jeune Afrique the relations between Mandela and Arafat are worsening because of the declarations of the South African president about Western Sahara. The two men should have carefully keep out of their way at the OAU summit in Yaounde.

Mr. Erik Jensen, Western Sahara Special UN Representative, declared at Algier that a new report about the situation in Western Sahara will be submitted at the end of August to the Security council. Mr. Jensen, who had conversations with Mr. Attaf, the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs , said they evoked "the evolution of the situation in Western Sahara and the problems of the region". To the question about the resumption of the identification, Mr. Jensen answered: "It is not yet the moment, but we have our archives, our documents and all what we need to start again". About the last declaration of King Hassan, who affirmed recently that "Western Sahara belongs to Morocco", Mr. Jensen considers that this "engages only his author".


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