28.04.- 04.05.1997



Waiting for Baker

In occasion of Baker's visit about sixty reporters were in the Sahrawi camps. They could visit the refugee camps and make themselves an opinion about the harsch life conditions of the refugees. They could also encounter Moroccan POWs.
European parliamentary groups and 25 political VIPs from Europe and Latin America were present to prove to Baker that the Sahrawi issue is not a marginal conflict, and to show that the Sahrawi people is not alone. They handed over to Baker a document ( spanish or french), in which they express their concern, asking Baker to do all his possible to save the peace plan.
In a press release ( french ) the Polisario Front resumes its position, it exposed to Baker in a memorandum.

Baker's visit
Arriving by plane at Tindouf from Nouakshott Baker reaches the wilaya of Smara by car. A sand storm did not allow to use a helicopter. Tens of thousand of refugees lined the dusty road into Smara welcoming Baker' convoy of jeeps like a liberating army with women ululating, children cheering, men in flowing robes giving peace signs and eveyone waving the Sahara flag. Some 2000 soldiers also stood at attention, many of them aged and bent, veterans of the war.
The talks with Sahrawi officials began immediately in a tent.
To the medias James Baker terms his talks as excellent. He says that the problem was complex and extremely difficult, but it was not hopeless "or I wouldn't otherwise be here". "I am convinced that the people in this region are overly weary with this issue and this problem and are ready for a just lasting and definitive solution". "I will present my report to the UN Secretary General after my return to USA. He has to decide if the peace plan can actually be implemented or not. He is likely to return to the region in June, after the UN Security Council meets to define its position.

Liberation of Moroccan POWs

Baker announced that the Polisario Front was releasing 85 prisoners of war in a surprise move that he said was "a very, very generous humanitarian gesture of support for our mission".
The AFAPREDESA, in a communique (french), exprimes its satisfaction concerning this liberation and hopes the POWs could go home rapidly. The Sahrawi Human Rights Organisation exprimed the wish Morocco could do same.

On demand we can give informations to relatives about the identity of the released prisoners.

The wives of the Ambassadors of European Union at Rabat refused an official invitation to visit El Ayoun the main city of the occupied Western Sahara.

Communique of the Sahrawi Workers Organisation

In occasion of May the first the UGTSARIO in a communique appeals to all workers organisation to call the Moroccan authorities to stop the repression against the Sahrawi workers in occupied Western Sahara.

New Sahrawi NGO
On April 18th some technicians and communication specialists have started in the refugee camps a NGO named ASC, Association pour la Communication. It will install a reliable communication network, using modern technology, in order to join the refugee camps with the whole world. The ASC ist supported by APC, Association for Progressive Communication, whose membership it will obtain. An International Conference about Communication and Information concerning Western Sahara will take place in San Sebastian, Spain, next 6/7/8.of June.

New address of the Representation of the F. Polisario in Switzerland
Mr. Habiballah, Rue de Vermont 9, CH-1202 Geneva, phone + fax: + 41 22 740 34 39


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