Netherlands government decided to send troops to MINURSO. About 230 Blue Berets will form together with 100 Danish soldiers a company under command of a Netherlands officer.

Morocco and Australian Firm Signs Oil Search Accord
Morocco's state oil research sea office and an Australian oil company have signed an agreement to hunt for oil in an off-shore zone. The company would spend $1.0 million in geological and geophysical research on the 6,000 sq km zone known as Foum Draa.
In addition, the Australian firm would aim to bring upto date a feasibility study on exploiting a heavy oil discovery made off Tarfaya on the Atlantic coast in southern Morocco by Esso in 1969..(Reuters, MAP)

Balance of identification

50.661 applicants have been convoked since December 3 1997

38.039 applicants have been identified since December 3 1997

98.151 applicants have been identified since August 1994

The President of the Moroccan House of Representatives denounced in Paris the «Malthusian politique» of the Polisario which tries to limit the number of voters participating to the referendum.On its side the MDS (Social and Democratic Movement), a Moroccan party, denounced in a memorandum addressed to the MINURSO «the discriminatory attitude of the Polisario» in the identification process and «the partiality and complicity of some MINURSO members».

Question at the Spanish Parliament (Cortes)

The socialist deputee of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canarian Islands, Belarmina Martinez asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Matutes some questions about the participation of the Spanish government to the financing of the UNHCR repatriation programme in Western Sahara and the attitude of the Spanish government in relation with the planned referendum.
In his answer Mr Matutes declared that Spain has to remain strictly neutral. He precised that $ 4 millions have already been freed for the UNHCR repatriation programme and that Spain is ready to contribute in different matters to the peace process in Western Sahara.

In its annual report the AMDH, one of Morocco's main Human Rights Organization, notes an increase of H.R. violations in the passed year. In 1997 it registered the disappearance of seven people, most of them in Southern Morocco, bringing to more than 110 disappearances, many dating back over three decades.

A delegation of the Foreign Affairs commission of the French Senate will visit El Ayoun in the occupied part of Western Sahara in order to establish the advancing of the identification process.(MAP)

Resolution of the U.N. Human Rights CommissionIn its 54th session the UN Human Rights Commission adopted a resolution about Western Sahara reaffirming its support for the efforts of the Secretary-General for the organisation and supervision of a referendum for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.


Prata D'Ansidonia (Italy)
Solidarity meeting on 24.02.98 and Easter Action in favor of a project of solar energy for the refugee camps. A Caravane will bring the material on place in May.

Rimini (Italy)
Football play on March 15 between the Saharawi national team and an Italian national trial for the benefit of the demining campaign.

Canary Islands, Spain
Several charter flights will bring about 300 persons from Tenerife and Gran Canaria to the refugee camps, among them numerous trade union members and women organisations. There will be celebrated the twinning of Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife) with a Saharawi wilaya (district). The trip will also convoy humanitarian aid for the refugees.

Geneva, Switzerland
20.03.98 - 04.04.98 : Exhibition: «Los saharauis, pueblo olvidado del desierto» Comunidad Católica de lengua Española, Rue Général Dufour 18. Tuesday to Saturday 9-12 a.m and 3 to 7 p.m.


The "Asociacion Galega de Amigos do Sahara", has organized a charter flight from Santiago de Compostela Spain, to Tinduf during the Holy Week, from wednesday the 8th to sunday the 12th April. For informations: call 9 86 26 42 95 (Spain).s

Geneva, Switzerland
Solidarity dinner, Saturday 9 May, 20 h, Restaurant du Verger, 9, av. Henri Golay - Châtelaine


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