WEEK 33, 12-18.08.1996


Manifestations of young Sahrawis in Rabat
Liberation of prisoners
Parliamentary friendship group Venezuela - Sahrawi Republic

Interior Minister meets unemployed youth from Western Sahara
According to official Moroccan sources, transmitted by Reuters, "Interior Minister Driss Basri, accompanied by Minister of Marine, Fisheries and Merchant Marines Mustapha Sahel and Minister of Vocational Training Abdessalem Baroual, met the group of youths who came to Rabat from Western Sahara. At the beginning of this meeting, spokesmen of the group expressed their loyalty and allegiance to King Hassan The speakers then went on to affirm that their coming to their kingdom's capital, Rabat, aims to draw the public authorities' attention to some of their problems, especially those related to youth employment, improving housing opportunities and the settlement of various private and personal cases.
Interior Minister Driss Basri emphasized King Hassan's particular attention to the southern provinces - and to all his subjects in those provinces, which have a special status in the hearts of all Moroccans - so as to revive them and bring them to the standard of the rest of the happy kingdom. Mr Driss Basri then went on to stress the government's intention to intensify efforts to find the appropriate solutions to all the issues raised and increase efforts to improve the economic and social standard of these provinces and their inhabitants. He announced that a ministerial delegation will shortly go to the concerned provinces on a mission to decide, on the spot, the measures needed... "

The returning to their country, escorted by police forces, of the young Sahrawi demonstrators provoked violent troubles.

According to a communique of the Sahrawi Information Ministry, on Saturday 10th the young Sahrawis were ill-treated by civil members of police near Agadir, in presence of the police. Several persons were hurted and transported to a hospital. The same day similar provocations took place in T'Let-Lekhssess and Bouzakarn, between Agadir and Goulimine.
The day later, the young demonstrators were held back by the Moroccan police at the entry of El Ayoun, the capital of the occupied Western Sahara. During 7 hours the policemen interrogated the young people to establish their identity and to search for their leaders. The Moroccan authorities did'nt appreciate the fact that the young people were all dressed with traditional Sahrawi clothes to outstand their national identity. The Sahrawi press release concluded with an appeal for a quick intervention to avoid the Sahrawi people from a new cycle of repression.

According to the Spanish news agency EFE, a dozen of people were injuried after confrontations between young Sahrawis and Moroccan civilians near Agadir. Eye-witnesses say that the confrontations took place after the refusal of the Sahrawis to pay the food and drink they consume. The inhabitants attacked them with sticks and throwed things. The Sahrawis were returning to Western Sahara after beeing stopped more than a week at the entrance of Rabat, where they were asking for work and social help. The witnesses affirmed that the Sahrawis were escorted by police forces, which were ran over. Only the nationalist daily newspaper "Alam" accounts for the riots, but without specifying the number of casualties. No other media echoed the confrontations, the first between Sahrawis and Moroccan civilians in the 90s.

Liberation of prisoners

The eight young Sahrawis, condemned in June 1995 to sentences of 15 to 20 years of jail, and who should be liberated in Mai 1996, leaved finally the prison of Sale. All of them returned to their homes in the occupied Western Sahara, according to AFAPREDESA.

Constitution of a parliamentary friendship group between Venezuela and the Sahrawi Republic
The group is composed by numerous senators and members of the parliament of all political parties. It shall establish close relations with the Sahrawi parliament and strengthen the friendship between the two peoples. President of the group is Segundo Melendez, member of the parliament.


Junge Sahraouis in der Falle Rabats, Luethi Walter, Der Bund, CH-Berne, 14.08.96.

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