Freedom and development for the Saharawi women

120 persons from 36 different organizations and political parties participated in a Nordic conference, Western Sahara and the referendum, in Stockholm.
A delegation of Saharawi women participated as the main speakers at the conference. They will stay another 10 days in Stockholm following a comprehensive program arranged by 13 Women Unions and organizations.
In a resolution adopted by the conference the governments of the Nordic countries are requested to follow closely the development in Western Sahara and to act immediately in e.g. UN and EU, should the peace plan be threatened, to increase the humanitarian assistance to the refugees, to send a great number of observers even now to Western Sahara and to support Polisario economically and with equipment in the referendum. Mass media is requested to report from the development in Western Sahara and political parties and organizations are asked to support Polisario in the referendum.
A letter is being sent to the Secretary General of the UN asking him to use all his power to ensure that the peace process leading to the referndum will take place in free and fair conditions and wholly controlled by MINURSO.

A demonstration took place at one of the identification centers in El Ayun. The candidates (between fourty and a hundred according different sources) were protesting because they had been rejected by the commission. According to Mr Erik Jensen the civil police of the MINURSO prevented them from entering the office. The United Nations on Monday 19 played down the demonstration after Moroccan local authorities denied the protesters tried to get into the building.


In a declaration the speaker of the Polisario Front M'hamed Haddad said that the Moroccan authorities have been trying since December to register voters who have not been asked by the U.N. identification commission to do so and they are organising demonstrations of candidate-voters rejected by the commission.

In the Moroccan media
At the same time the Moroccan media is marked by an alarming verbal escalation against the Polisario. First the Moroccan journalists attacked the Saharawi notables named by the Polisario as well as their observers. Moroccan journalists now do not hesitate to criticize directly the work of the MINURSO and its chief Mr Erik Jensen. For Morocco's part the Saharawi chioukhs who do not accept as voters people who obviously do not correspond to the UN criteria are creating "obstruction", and are "dishonest", for "rejecting systematically the demands" of applicants. The Moroccan press systematically accuses POLISARIO of disrupting the process, the Polisario Front "threatens the identification operations with its obstructing exercises", its "equivocations", its "delays", its "blocking", its "systematic refusal of the inscription demands" and its "intentional will to limit the electorate". The UN representatives are not spared criticism, because they "endorse the Polisario's reject ion of candidates". Erik Jensen will "make believe to the international opinion that the demonstration of El Ayun is a manipulation of the Moroccan authorities". If Jensen continues to practice the identification in such an unfavourable way for Morocco ," it will be necessary to undertake more than just demonstrations outside the MINURSO centers", writes a journalist.

Security Council

In a press declaration held after the first examination of the S.G report on Western Sahara, the French president of the Security Council says his satisfaction about the realized progress of the identification, adding that there are some "operational difficulties". He concludes that the S.C. will provide additional effectives to MINURSO if the identification process is going on as foreseen. The Council will decide on January 26.
Un officials worry that the Security Council is still moving too cautiously at a time when the world body is under pressure to stage the referendum by December 1998. In fact, as funds have not yet been made available for the engineering unit, demining activities will not begin in February, thus affecting the timely deploiment of the military component of MINURSO.

New responsibles for the SADR Government

M. Mahfoud Ali Beiba

Prime Minister

M. Brahim Gali

Minister in charge of the occupied territories

M. Khalil Sidi M'Hamed

Minister of Interior

M. Mohamed Salem Ould Salek

Minister of Foreign Affairs

M. Bouchraya Hamoudi Beyoun

Minister of Economy and Development

M. Bachir Moustapha Sayed

Minister of Public Health

M. Larabass Said Joumani

Minister of Equipment

M. Brahim Mohamed Mahmoud

Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defense

M. Boulahi Mohamed Fadel Essid

Minister of Education

M. Khatri Adouh

Minister of Information

M. Hametti Rabani

Minister of Justice and Religious Affairs

M. Sid'Ahmed Batal

Minister of Culture and Sport

M. Habiboulah Mohamed Kori

Minister of Transport

M. Sidati Mohamed

Minister Counselor of the Presidence

M. Malainine Sadik

Minister Counselor of the Presidence

M. Daf Mohamed Fadel

Secretary General of the Government

M. Salek Baba Hassena

National Director of Cooperation

Two new ministeries are created. The Ministry of Equipment and Transports is divided in two parts. The Minister of Defense is replaced by a Secretary-General, and the former Minister B. Ghali is in charge of the new domaine of the occupied territories.
Bachir Mustafa Sayed leaves the Foreign Affairs for the Public Health, Mohamed Salem ould Salek replaces him. He is replaced at the Ministry of Education by the former Minister of Health, Boulahi Mohamed Fadel Essid. The new Minister of Transports is Habiboullah Mohamed Kori, former Polisario representative in Switzerland. The last changes took place on 28.02.1997.

Unexplained death

In a press release the AFAPREDESA announces the unexplained death of a Saharawi cheikh which worked with the Identification Commission, Mr Sid Amed Mustafa Aaraua. He died on 10 January in Rabat. According to his family he was in good health when he was taken to the capital by the Moroccan authorities. This eminent person was under pressure by Moroccans to accept Moroccan citizen as voters before the Identification Commitssion, something he had refused to do.

Balance of identification operation from December 3, 1997 to January 23, 1998

Total of convoked persons : 29,796

Total of identified persons: 20,268

Total since beginning of the operation in 1994 : 80,380 identified persons.

In the occupied territories the operations are complete in Smara and will begin in Dakhla on January 26.




Website of the "Asociacion Comarcal de ayuda al Pueblo Saharaui", Denia (Alicante, Spain):

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