55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Geneva: intervention on item11, civil and political rights.
Humanitarian Law Project, USA brought to the attention of the Commission two cases, among many, in the territories occupied by Morocco. Omar ould Moulay ould Ahmed and Moulay Ahmad ould Eslaya ould Salek were arrested on June 9, 1998 and released on June 22, 1998. Both showed clear signs of torture. Omar has suffered ever since from psychological trouble and Moulay Ahmad is partially paralyzed. Morocco is preventing MINURSO and the media from doing their work. Morocco should be condemned and the referendum should be held according to the United Nations provisions.

The crown prince of Morocco, Sidi Mohammed was in Paris to open, in the presence of President Jacques Chirac, the Moroccan exhibit "Maroc, trésors du royaume," a highlight of the "Temps du Maroc" show in France.
In response, the French association of the friends of SADR issued a press release calling into question the liberalisation of the Moroccan government. It also raised the issues of Abraham Serfaty, the Oufkir family, disappeared Sahrawis and recent arrests in the ranks of the king's entourage, the army and the media, citing the 09.04.99 issue of Libération. The Association asked "just how far is the Republic going to accommodate 'Our friend the King' and thus be an accomplice to Morocco's refusal to recognize the Sahrawis' right to self-determination?"

Belgian declaration

"There must be a way to politically resolve the problem of Western Sahara through negotiation and the use of mediators," stated Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, the day before his official visit to Morocco. In an interview with Map in Brussels, Mr. Dehaene nevertheless stressed that "if a referendum is a solution, then it should not be rejected." (MAP)

Revised texts of the identification and appeal protocols, together with a revised timetable, are being finalized by the United Nations on the subject of the peace process in Western Sahara. The documents are expected to be presented to the Moroccan and POLISARIO representatives. On 13.04., Bernard Miyet, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, will meet with POLISARIO representatives and then on 14.04. with Moroccan officials, with a view to resuming the identification process and initiating the appeals procedures in June-July of this year.

Clinton-Aznar meeting in Washington

U.S. President Bill Clinton and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar dined together in Washington and discussed Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara and Latin America, according to White House spokesperson Joe Lockhart.


The scarcity of some essential foodstuffs and the lack of housing are the main problems encountered by the government at the time of his recent visit in three of the four wilaya.The examination of the measures taken on this occasion was the subject of the last meeting of the Saharawi government. The government noted that the demographic growth since 1976 is the cause of the situation and that international organizations like the WFP dont take it into consideration (SPS).

Reactions after the announcement of the definitive closure of the human rights dossier in Morocco (see week 14)

The independent Moroccan Association of Human Rights appealed on April 12 for a settlement of all cases of HR violations. In a press release it criticizes that the cases of Abraham Serfaty, Abdeslam Yassine and Mahdi Ben Barka have not been examined. The HR organisation contests the number of disappeared people cited in the official report which is much larger than 112. It denounces the lack of accuracy concerning the place and date of death of the disappeared recognized as deceaded in jail. The announced free pardon for political prisoners is not.specifyed, the number and identity of the persons are not mentioned.

Omar Wassouli
The family of Omar Wassouli, announces that its relative is mentioned on the official list as "disappeared living abroad", but the CCDH is not able to give his address, the conditions of his disappearance or any evidence he is alive outside of Morocco. In its press release of April 14 1999 the family asks for an independent inquiry committee, an independent court to judge the responsibles, the delivery of the bodies to the families of the disappeared and the clarification of all other cases of disappeared individuals.


06.04.99 Catania, Italy: The municipality of Catania has twinned itself with the wilaya of El Ayoun. To mark the occasion, Catania donated an all-terrain ambulance.

10.04.99 SADR: The first national conference on the twinning of Sahrawi communes was held in the refugee camps. Four hundred projects were reviewed. Their completion will bring to 600 the number of twinnings. A commission was mandated to organize an international conference of twinned cities in the liberated zones before the end of the year (SPS).


Grenada, Spain: The Asociación Granadina de Amigos del Sáhara is organizing a solidarity week with the Sahrawi people, from April 19 to 25, 1999, in Baza, with photo exhibit, presentations and poetry readings.(mailto:saharagr@arrakis.es)


Asociación Granadina de Amigos de la RASD: http://www.arrakis.es/~saharagr


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