17. - 23.02.1997



Mandela justifies failure to recognise the SADR

Nelson Mandela, explaining why SA has yet to accord diplomatic recognition to the Sahrawi Republic despite an undertaking to do so 18 months ago, said the views of countries which helped bankroll the anti-apartheid struggle cannot be ignored in deciding SA's diplomatic ties. Mandela denied acccusations by the Polisario-led government of Western Sahara that SA had betrayed the Sahrawi people by failing to formalise diplomatic links. Said Mandela: "Some of our closest friends who gave us enormous assistance in the anti-apartheid struggle are not happy about the recognition of Polisario." "There are things I cannot avoid listening to and if world bodies have got hesitations and a number of countries that have taken part in the anti-apartheid struggle are not happy, I have to take that into account." (Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg)

Arab Maghreb Union

In occasion of the 8th anniversary of the Arab Maghreb Union (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia) the Tunesian President exprimed in messages to the other chiefs of governments his wish to continue the construction of the AMU. Algeria and Morocco exprimed the same opinion. In December 1995 Morocco asked for a freezing of the AMU activities because of the Western Sahara conflict.

Illegal immigration

According to Moroccan sources the Spanish police would have arrested 45 Sahrawis who reached illegaly the Canarian Islands coming from the refugee camps in Algeria.

"No winner, no looser"

In an interview published by Jeune Afrique (Paris), Hamdi ould Mouknass, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritania under Ould Daddah and good friend of King Hassan II declares about Western Sahara that " Mauritania, who feels concerned by the conflict, has to act for a quick settlement" involving the U.N. Speaking about the Sahrawis visiting their families and friends in Mauritania, he said they are always wellcome. In that conflict everybody could see the capacity of resistance of both parts, adding " there is no winner and no looser. The solution is clear. It is only necessary to sit at the same table and find a solution which both can accept."


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