Swiss Socialist Party

On its ordinary congress the Swiss Socialist Party adopted unanimously a resolution asking the Swiss Government to send observers to participate to the referendum and to ask the UN to allow the presence of NGO observers.

A Saharawi born in Western Sahara, at the time it was a Spanish province, with a Spanish identity card and who was former Spanish official, has won his trial. His Spanish nationality has been recognized.

Report of the Secretary General S/1998/997

In his report issued shortly after the visit of a UN delegation leaded by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr Bernard Miyet, the SG explains that "since the current deadlock is due primarily to the inability of the Moroccan Government and the Frente POLISARIO to reach a compromise on the much debated issue of tribal groupings H41, H61 and J51/52, I have decided to present my own arbitration in order to move ahead on this issue."
In agreement with James Baker he decided "to ask the Identification Commission to proceed now to consider requests from any applicants from the tribal groupings in question who wish to present themselves individually, in order to verify whether they have the right to vote, having regard to the five eligibility criteria accepted by the parties." In order not to prolonge indefinitely the Identification Commission's programme of work he proposes to launch the phase of the appeals process of the not contested groupings and to publish on December 1st the provisional list of voters. The appeals process for applicants from tribes other than the three contested groupings could conclude in March 1999. The Identification Commission's members will be gradually increased from 18 to 25.
He also insists the measures taken for the refugee's repatriation are accelerated, adding that "In that connection, the presence and establishment of UNHCR in the Territory must be formalized in the very near future."
The SG declares that in the contacts his envoys established last week with the Moroccan Government as well as with the Polisario Front, both did not have voiced objections and have stated their intention to cooperate actively with MINURSO in implementing the proposals presented in this report.
According to the new calendar transitionnal period will begin on June-July next, the referendum is foreseen for December 1999. The full deployment by MINURSO should be effective 1 January 1999. Consequently the SG asks the Security Council to extend the mandate of MINURSO to 30 April 1999.
The renewed commitment of the parties to continue the implementation of the Settlement Plan should be confirmed within the next few days, afterwards the SG will undertake a visit in the region from 7 to 16 November. From Paris Kofi Annan will reach Nouakchott first and El Ayun on next day. From 9 to 11 he will stay at Rabat, on 12 November he visits the refugee camps near Tindouf, on day 13 he will be at Tunis and on 14 and 15 at Algiers. The trip ends on November 16 at London.

Security Council Resolution 1204 (1998)

The Security Council extends the MINURSO mandate untill December 17 1998. It approuves unanimously the proposals of the Secretary General. The next SG report will be published on December 11, 1998.

Humanitarian Aid

The European Commission allowed 10 millions of ECUs for the humanitarian aid for the Saharawi refugees near Tindouf.


[Summary Weekly News,] [Western Sahara Homepage]