Moroccan lobbying

A special envoy of King Hassan II gave Russian Prime Minister Primakov a message from the King to transmit to Boris Yeltsin. Primakov restated Russia 's support for Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to save the peace plan and ensure the holding of a self-determination referendum in the Western Sahara. He stressed that Russia's position on this issue is that the principle of self-determination should be respected while taking into account the interests of all parties concerned (Itar-Tass).


Following months of delay, Morocco signed the "Status of Forces Agreement" with the United Nations defining the legal status of U.N. troops in the disputed Western Sahara territory. Signing the pact was Ahmed Senussi, Morocco's U.N. ambassador, and Bernard Miyet, the U.N. undersecretary-general in charge of peacekeeping. Algeria and Mauritania signed in November.

Security Council Resolution S/RES/1228, 1999

The Security Council adopting resolution 1228 (1999) unanimously, extends the mandate of the MINURSO, until March 31, "to allow for consultations in the hope and expectation of agreement on the protocols on identification, appeals and repatriation planning activities, as well as on the essential issue of the implementation calendar, without undermining the integrity of the Secretary-General's proposed package or calling into question its main elements, for the prompt resumption of voter identification and initiation of the appeals process."

Sahrawi statement

The Polisario representative to the United Nations, Ahmed Boukhari, stated that Morocco's signing of the Status of Forces Agreement is "certainly a gesture, but a lot remains to be done." The resolution gives Morocco a reprieve to accept the Secretary-General's proposals and, according to Boukhari, "if Morocco bends to the will of the international community, which is what we are hoping for, the referendum process could be undertaken without great difficulty. But if Morocco continues its intransigence, it will have to take responsibility for derailing the process."

SADR: Government reorganization

Following a vote of non-confidence by the Sahrawi parliament, President Abdelaziz named a new government of SADR composed as follows:

Prime Minister

M.Bouchraya Hamoudy Beyoune ( former Minister of Commerce)

Minister of Occupied Territories and Emigration

M. Mahfoud Ali Beiba (former Prime Minister)

Minister of Interior

M. Bachir Moustapha Sayed ( former Minister of Public Health)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

M. Mohamed Salem Ould Salek

Minister of Economic Development

M. Boulahi Mohamed Fadel ( former Minister de l'Enseignement)

Minister of Public Health

M. Mansur Omar (Polisario representative to Spain )

Minister Equipment and Construction

M. Larabass Said Joumani

Minister of National Defense

M. Mohamed Lamine Bouhali

Minister of Education

M. Salek Bobih (Ambassador to Algeria)

Minister of Information

M. Mohamed Fadel Ismaïl (Polisario representative to France)

Minister of Justice and Religious Affairs

M. Hametti Rabani

Minister of Culture

M. Mohamed Bouzeid

Minister of Transports

M. Abeida Cheikh

Minister Councellor of the Presidency

M. Mohamed Sidati

Minister Councellor of the Presidency

M. Malainine Sadik

Secretary General of the Presidency

M. Daf Mohamed Fadel

Secretary General of the Government

M. Habiboullah Mohamed Kori ( former Minister of Transports)

Democracy at work

The British daily The Guardian reports that the reshuffling of the SADR government was the outcome of a vote of no confidence by the Sahrawi parliament. The Guardian journalist who was present during the session argues that this is an indicator of the remarkable situation in the Western Sahara and a demonstration of democracy at work, and, as the Saharawi President Mohamed Abdelaziz himself said, an independent Western Sahara could become a "beacon for democracy" in the region. (The Guardian/APS)


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