28.12.1997 - 03.01.1998

Identification update
According to the MINURSO spokeswoman, 6 identification centers are in function: 2 in El Ayun, 1 in Smara, 1 in Tan-Tan (South Morocco), 1 in the Smara camp and one in the Dakhla camp. Since 3 December, 8,992 applicants presented themselves at the 6 offices, among 12,000 convocated. The total number of persons identified so far is now 69,104. There are still more than 150,000 applicants to identify.

Parliamentary intervention
In its answer to the question of a deputee of the Swiss Parliament concerning the support Switzerland could spend to Western Sahara ( see week 42), the Swiss government explains that it could:

  1. participate to a short civil help action in the frame of the referendum,
  2. participate to an electoral observation mission by the mean of a contingent of observers or experts, and
  3. that it will continue the material support of the Saharawi refugees through the UNHCR, PAM and the Swiss support Committee.

The government estimes that, presently, it is not advisable to suspend the current commercial negociations with Morocco, "the Moroccan authorities having shown in the last months a new will of dialogue".


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