quarta-feira, 29 de outubro de 2008

Two vessels on their way to New Zealand

Two bulk vessels filled with phosphates from occupied Western Sahara are within the next weeks arriving New Zealand.

One of the vessels -Tenshu Maru (IMO number 9317080) - is destined for the fertiliser producer Ballance Agri-Nutrients. Tenshu Maru is apparently managed by the Philippino shipping company Astro Shipmanagement from Ceby City.

The other, Alam Sempurna (IMO number 8312071), is for the importer Ravensdown, and is managed/owned by Malaysian company Pacific Carriers.

Tenshu Maru is estimated to arrive Northport (Marsden Point), berth MP1, on 31st of October, to discharge phosphates rock. Estimated to continue on the 1st of November.
Then she arrives Tauranga on the 1st of November, continuing towards Timaru Point on the 3rd, where she will arrive on the 5th, before continuing southwards on the 6th. She will reach her last port, Southport (Bluff) on 7th of November, before finishing the discharging on the 8th.

The vessel Alam Sempurna is estimated to arrive Port of Napier on the 9th of November, before continuing towards Lyttleton on the 11th. According to the Napier arrival information, she is supposed to come from "Laayoune, Morocco". New Zealand and the rest of the international community do not consider Laayoune - or El Aaiun - as it is correctly spelled, to be within Morocco.

After Napier, Alam Sempurna will reach port of Lyttleton on the 12th of November 2008.

The phosphate is shipped out of Western Sahara in the disregard of the wishes and interests of the Sahrawi people. Morocco is earning billions of dollars a year from the phosphate industry in the country that they occupied in 1975. Such trade is in violation of a legal opinion by the UN from 2002. Three shipping companies have over the last year announced they will not longer ship such phophates, out of ethical concerns.

Colombia imports from Western Sahara

16.000 tonnes were received in October.

On 11th of October 2008, the vessel 'Ansac Spirit' arrived the harbour of Baranquilla, Colombia.

'Ansac Spirit' discharged 16.000 tonnes of phosphates, originating from occupied Western Sahara.

The ship is registered on Antigua and Bermuda registered with IMO number 9227857. Agent was Bulk Maritime Agencies Limitada.

The owner used to be Wieczorek Reederei, Hamburg, Germany, but it is unclear if this is still the case.

This vessel is carrying stolen goods

This week, the vessel Port Phillip arrived the Tasmanian port of Hobart, with phosphates from Western Sahara.

She arrived Hobart at anchor Thursday 23rd of October, together with a tug boat (below), before probably continuing Risdon to discharge, and is still in Tasmania.

Port Phillip (IMO 9377975) has deadweight tonnes of 32.500, and thus probably contains around 30.000 tonnes of phosphates. She is Hong Kong flagged, and managed/owned by Pacific Basin, a Hong Kong shipping company that is probably one of the biggest shippers of the phosphates, mainly to Australia and New Zealand.

The phosphate is shipped out of Western Sahara in the disregard of the wishes and interests of the Sahrawis. Morocco is earning billions of dollars a year from the phosphate industry in the country that they occupied in 1975. Such trade is in violation of a legal opinion by the UN from 2002.

German former MEP demands BASF clarification

German former MEP, and former leader of the Western Sahara solidarity network at the European Parliament, Margot Kessler, has this week sent a letter to the Belgian branch of the German chemical company BASF.

In the letter, Mrs. Kessler asks for a clarification on a series of questions regarding BASF’s imports of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.

Margot Kessler
Schulstr 1
99752 Kehmstedt

CEO Wouter De Geest
BASF Antwerpen NV
Haven 725
Scheldelaan 600
B-2040 Antwerpen

Kehmstedt, Madrid, 22nd of October 2008

Regarding imports of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara

Dear Mr. De Geest,

The international solidarity organisation Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), has over recent years been monitoring the importation to Europe of phosphates from a Moroccan state phosphate company’s operations within Bu Craa, occupied Western Sahara.

According to the WSRW branch in Belgium, BASF Belgium has 2 weeks ago received approximately 25.000 tons of phosphates originating from the Bu Craa mines. The phosphates were unloaded of a vessel, the Novigrad, at the harbour of Ghent.

WSRW researchers were on October 9th in contact BASF Belgium, but were unable to get any confirmation on the aforementioned, nor to get answers to questions relating to the purchases. Mr. Roland de Clerck told them to submit their questions through an online form. We believe however, that a direct and lucid clarification on such matters is both in the interest of BASF, as a socially responsible enterprise, and the Western Saharan people.

We kindly ask you to clarify the following questions:
- Could you confirm that BASF Belgium has indeed imported phosphates from the Bu Craa mines?
- Are our sources correct in stating that the received volume was 25.000 tons?
- How many times during the last 5 years has BASF imported from the Bu Craa mines? (please specify by volume and date of receipt)
- Since the vessel carrying the phosphates from El Aaiún to Ghent is now heading for Kiel, could you please clarify whether the vessel was emptied in Ghent, or whether parts of the vessel’s cargo were shipped to Kiel?
- On which plant is BASF processing this phosphate?
- And is the final product destined exclusively for the Belgian markets? If no, which other markets?

It is by no means our purpose to put BASF on the spot. But we think it is important to emphasize the fact that the natural resources extracted in Western Sahara do not belong to Morocco as the territory’s occupying power, and to clearly underline to you that imports from Western Sahara are highly unethical and politically controversial. They are furthermore in violation of international law.

As you perhaps know, Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco since 1975, and since then, the majority of the local people, the Saharawis, have been living in refugee camps in the Algerian desert. These refugees await a settlement of the conflict, but Morocco refuses to implement the peace agreements that the Moroccan and Western Sahara government have already agreed to. A minority of the Saharawi people still remains in what are now the Moroccan occupied areas, where they are subject of widespread human rights violations.

In the meantime, the Moroccan state profits from natural resource exploitation in the occupied area. The Moroccan state phosphate company, OCP, has extracted phosphate rock from the Western Sahara since shortly after the invasion. It is clear that neither the indigenous population that remains in Western Sahara, nor those who left, benefit from the Moroccan exploitation of phosphates in Bu Craa.

Carrying out trade with phosphates originating from Bu Craa clearly gives the impression of a legitimization to Morocco’s illegal presence in the territory. The trade also contributes to finance Morocco’s expensive occupation. The government in exile of the Saharawi Arabic Democratic Republic (SADR), recognized by more than 80 states, has strongly condemned international participation in the Moroccan government’s resource exploitation in Western Sahara.

It is evident that the Moroccan owned OCP’s activities in Bu Craa are in violation of international law. An opinion issued 29 January 2002 by the UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Hans Corell, looks at the legality of the Moroccan “offering and signing of contracts with foreign companies for the exploration of mineral resources in Western Sahara”. For your ease of reference, we enclose a copy of the opinion with this letter.

Summing up international law in the field, Mr. Corell emphasises that “the General Assembly has consistently condemned the exploitation and plundering of natural resources and any economic activities which are detrimental to the interests of the peoples of those Territories and deprive them of their legitimate rights over their natural resources”. His final conclusion is that “if further exploration and exploitation activities were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the principles of international law applicable to mineral resource activities in Non-Self-Governing Territories”. All evidence points to the fact that the phosphate industry is neither according to the local population’s interests nor its wishes.

The same breach of international law would naturally also apply to any party that would ship or purchase these stolen goods from OCP. Consequently, we deem it of high importance to get clarifications on the abovementioned questions.

If BASF requires further information on Western Sahara, its legal status, the opinion of the UN General Assembly and Security Council, the situation for its refugee population or the grave violations of human rights in the occupied territories committed by the Moroccan state, please do not hesitate to contact Western Sahara Resource Watch. They will be pleased to reply.

Looking forward to hear from you as soon as possible for clarifications on the above questions,

Sincerely yours,

Margot Keßler
Former Euro-Parliamentarian

Javier García Lachica
International Coordinator,
Western Sahara Resource Watch
A reply can be sent to either Javier García Lachica at j.g.lachica@gmail.com or +34-(0)615 917 339 or to Margot Keßler at telephone: +49-(0)36338-42905 or +49-(0)173-3700878

Background: The Western Sahara conflict
The conflict in Western Sahara is not a detachment struggle, but one of decolonization. Western Sahara was previously a Spanish colony named Spanish Sahara. Before Spain left the territory in 1976, the area was occupied from the north by Morocco, and from the south, by Mauritania. Since the area was never formally decolonized, as the UN had demanded for over a decade, the Western Sahara is still, to this day, treated as a decolonization issue in the UN. As a colonial issue, the UN has repeatedly emphasized the Saharawi people’s the right to self-determination over the Western Sahara’s future territorial status.

This right is widely acknowledged: in addition to the efforts by the UN Fourth Committee (the committee for decolonization issues), the UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions stating and reaffirming the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination. This was further acknowledged by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1975. In a UN negotiated peace plan from 1990, Morocco recognizes this right, which was reaffirmed in the so-called Houston Agreement from 1997. The latter agreement also includes a plan for carrying out a referendum.

While neither the UN nor any of the states in the world have acknowledged Morocco’s claim to the territory, some 80 states have to this date recognized the Saharawi Arabic Democratic Republic (SADR), announced by the Polisario Front in 1976. SADR is a member of the African Union. Polisario, established as a liberation front in 1973 during the time it was still a Spanish colony, is recognized by the UN as the legal representative of the people of Western Sahara.

Today, Western Sahara is still regarded by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and Morocco is not the legal administering Power, but an occupational power. From 1975 there was a war between Morocco and Polisario Front. Mauritania has later withdrawn, but the armed conflict between Morocco and Polisario continued until the 1991 cease-fire. With about 90 percent of its army in Western Sahara, Morocco today controls approximately two thirds of the territory.

Following the occupation in November 1975, the majority of the Saharawis fled their country under bombing. Today, 165.000 Saharawi refugees are languishing in refugee camps in the warmest part of the inhospitable Algerian desert, totally dependent on foreign humanitarian aid. The population remaining in the areas under Moroccan occupation, approximately 60.000 Saharawis, is subjected to widespread human rights violations, such as torture, forced disappearances and arbitrary detention. For more information on these violations, please see the homepages of Amnesty International.

Today, Morocco shows no intention of abiding by the peace agreements it has signed. For a long time, the key issue of the conflict was who should be eligible to vote. The Houston agreement goes into detail on this issue, but Morocco now refuses to accept the voter lists that the UN elaborated from the agreed principles. Indeed, Morocco has now gone to the point of rejecting that a referendum should take place at all, claiming, in breach of the peace agreements, and dozens of UN resolutions, that the referendum option for a Western Sahara conflict is "out of date". Polisario, on the other hand, accepts that the Moroccans living in Western Sahara should be eligible to vote. Morocco refuses even that.

Progress today is at a standstill, and intensifying Saharawi impatience over their lengthy suffering. At the same time, the natural resources of the area are depleted, with the participation of foreign companies, in disrespect of the wishes and interests of the local population.

WSRW protests phosphate imports to Florida

Florida fertilizer company Mosaic Co. has received another vessel of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara, in violation of international law. Western Sahara Resource Watch section Florida has urged the company to stop its imports. Read letter here.

After a short delay, the bulk vessel Ocean Twins arrived Tampa, Florida, on 9th of October 2008, with phosphates from occupied Western Sahara. The Panama registered vessel has IMO number 9302906, and docked at Manatee County Port Authority, Berth number 6.

Considering that the vessel has 31.699 dead weight tonnes, the vessel contained an estimated volume of around 30.000 tonnes of phosphates from the Bu Craa mines in El Aaiun. With an estimated value of 425 dollars/tonne of phosphate when the shipment was done, Mosaic can have paid Moroccan authorities around 12,7 million USD for the shipment.

They have done this despite the fact that Morocco does not own the phosphates that has been exported. The phosphate belongs to the neighbouring country, Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan occupation. Such trade is illegal accoring to international law. The UN states that such trade is in violation of international law.

When the shipment arrived Tampa, Western Sahara Resource Watch section Florida sent the below letter to Mosaic Co. WSRW has still not received an answer.
Mr. James T. Prokopanko,
The Mosaic Company Atria Corporate Center
Suite E490 3033 Campus Drive
Plymouth MN 55441 USA
Open letter to Mosaic

Florida, 7th October 2008

Regarding Mosaic’s phosphate shipment from occupied Western Sahara

Dear Mr. Prokopanko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mosaic,

It has come to our attention that Mosaic is involved in phosphate shipment from occupied Western Sahara. On Wednesday the 8th of October 2008, the ship Ocean Twins and its highly controversial phosphate cargo arrived at Port Manatee close to Tampa Bay. This shipment will be used in Mosaic’s phosphate facilities in Florida.

We would like to underline that trade with and transportation of mineral resources from occupied Western Sahara is highly unethical and politically controversial.

As you know, Morocco is an illegal occupying power in Western Sahara. The Sahrawi population remaining in areas under Moroccan occupation is subjected to grave human rights violations, such as torture, forced disappearances and arbitrary detention. Most importantly, however, they have not been allowed to freely exercise their right to self-determination through a free, fair and transparent referendum. This right was established through UN General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) (1960), and has since been supported by more than 100 UN resolutions.

The occupation of Western Sahara has resulted in enormous suffering and deprivation for the Sahrawi people, the rightful owners of the land and the natural resources of Western Sahara.

Approximately 165,000 Sahrawis are languishing in refugee camps in the inhospitable Algerian desert since 1975. A May 2008 report by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) notes that 19% of children living in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria are suffering from malnourishment. Just for comparison, the percentage among children in Darfur is 16%.

Ocean Twins was, according to our information, carrying around 30.000 tonnes of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara. Since 1 tonne is worth around 425 dollars, the value of the cargo is 12,7 million dollars. This money is given directly from Mosaic to the Moroccan state phosphate company. It equals more than 1/3 of all multinational aid given to the refugee camps in the entire 2007 (through WPF, ECHO, UNHCR)!

In light of the above facts, other corporate entities have responded appropriately. Yara, the world’s biggest fertilizer company, terminated the imports of phosphate to Norway in 2005, for ethical reasons[i].

"Now that we understand the issue we will not directly contract any more business out of there," said vice-president of the Chinese shipping company Jinhui Shipping to South China Morning Post on 11th of May 2008, after it had been discovered they had carried out a shipment with phosphate from occupied Western Sahara to New Zealand [ii].

In addition to ethical concerns, companies involved in the phosphate trade from occupied Western Sahara should be aware that the trade is most probably in violation of international law. The International Court of Justice in its 1975 Western Sahara Advisory Opinion established that Morocco has no legal claim to Western Sahara. That same opinion affirmed that the Sahrawi population has a right to self-determination, which includes, inter alia, the right of permanent sovereignty over its natural resources.

Permanent sovereignty over natural resources is a customary principle of international law [iii]. Numerous resolutions of The United Nations Security Council and General Assembly and a legal opinion by the former UN Under-Secretary General of Legal Affairs, Mr. Hans Corell on 29 January 2002 affirm this position [iv]. Because the Sahrawis have not been able to exercise their right to self-determination, and because they have not been properly consulted, trade with Morocco of natural resources emanating from Western Sahara is a violation of the Sahrawis’ right to permanent sovereignty over their resources.

Morocco’s control and exploitation of Western Sahara also hurts the Sahrawis’ labor rights and their economic development, something which clearly underlines the legally controversial nature of this trade. According to a report by the French organization France Libertés -Fondation Danielle Mitterrand, the Sahrawis have been systematically marginalized from the phosphate industry in Western Sahara. In 1968, before Morocco took control over the phosphate mines, all 1600 workers in the industry were Sahrawis. Today, 1800 of 2000 workers are Moroccan settlers who have illegally been moved into the territory [v].

The Mosaic phosphate shipment is in the interest of Morocco, an illegal occupier, and clearly lends legitimacy to the illegal Moroccan occupation of the territory. This kind of support makes Morocco less inclined to contribute in finding a solution to the occupation, and makes delaying tactics and attempting to profit from the existing situation more attractive. The phosphate trade in Western Sahara therefore increases the risk of further armed conflict, destabilization and suffering in the region. This increased tension actively undermines the hard work of the United Nations to solve the conflict in Western Sahara.

We hereby appeal to Mosaic to do the same as Yara, Jinhui and other international companies. We urge you to demonstrate your attachment to International Legality, Human Rights and basic standards of Corporate Social Responsibility by reconsidering your involvement in shipping phosphate of Western Sahara origin.
We urge Mosaic to issue a statement that your company intends to no longer ship phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.

We will be more than happy to provide you with any additional information that you may require to study this matter more closely.

Any reply could be sent to Western Sahara Resource Watch section Florida, represented by Mr. David Urnes Johnson, at davurnjoh@hotmail.com.

David Urnes Johnson Western Sahara Resource Watch section Florida

[i] See for instance Dagens
Næringsliv, 5 July 2005


[ii] Read South China Morning Post,
11 May 2008, here:


[iii] This was recently affirmed by
the International Court of Justice in its 2005 judgment of Case Concerning Armed
Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v.
[iv] Read the 29 January 2002 Legal
Opinion of the UN Under-Secretary General of Legal Affairs here:
[v] See for instance France Libertés, Fondation Danielle Mitterrand, International Mission of Investigation in Western Sahara, January 2003.


Le nouvel ambassadeur de Cuba présente ses lettres de créances au président de la République

Chahid El Hafed, Le nouvel ambassadeur de Cuba, Eumelio Caballo Rodriguez a présenté mercredi ses lettres de créances au président de la République, Mohamed Abdelaziz, en sa qualité d’ambassadeur extraordinaire et plénipotentiaire de la République de Cuba auprès de la RASD.

"C’est une occasion historique pour moi et mon épouse de transmettre les salutations du président cubain, Raoul Castro à son homologue, Mohamed Abdelaziz et lui remet mes lettres de créances au président de la République, Mohamed Abdelaziz, en ma qualité d’ambassadeur extraordinaire et plénipotentiaire de la République de Cuba auprès de la RASD", a déclaré M. Rodriguez à SPS.

Il a également exprimé l’engagement de son pays à défendre les droits légitimes du peuple sahraoui dans tous les fora internationaux.

"J’ai discuté avec le Président sahraoui, les relations historiques, ainsi que les liens d’amitié et de coopérations qui unissent les deux peuples frères, cubain et sahraoui et les moyens de les consolider", a ajouté M. Rodriguez.

Ont assisté à cette cérémonie du côté sahraoui, le secrétaire général à la Présidence de la République, Daf Mohamed Fadel, le ministre de la coopération, Salek Baba Hassana au nom du ministre des AE, la ministre de l’éducation, Mariem Salek Hmada, le représentant du Front Polisario aux iles Baléares, Moustapha Tleimidi.

Du côté cubain a pris part, la ministre conseillère auprès de l’ambassade, Mme Gloria del Dios, également épouse de M. Rodriguez.

En marge de cette audience l’ambassadeur cubain a décoré au nom du Conseil de la révolution cubaine l’ex ambassadeur sahraoui auprès de Cuba, Moustapha Tleimidi "en signe reconnaissance aux efforts déployés par ce diplomate en faveur des excellentes relations entre les deux pays", a dit M. Rodriguez.

Auparavant M. Rodriguez avait remis une copie de ses lettres de créances au ministre des affaires étrangères, rappelle-t-on.


Appel au Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU à s'opposer aux pratiques coloniales marocaines

Alger, Les participants aux travaux de la journée parlementaire sur le thème "droit international, les bases juridiques de l'autodétermination des peuples: cas du Sahara Occidental", ont appelé mardi à Alger le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU à s'opposer aux pratiques coloniales marocaines.

A la fin des travaux de cette rencontre, les participants ont appelé, dans une déclaration finale, le Conseil de sécurité à "assumer ses responsabilités, à s'opposer aux pratiques coloniales marocaines, à amener le Royaume du Maroc à revenir à la légalité et à appliquer les résolutions onusiennes qui soutiennent la lutte légitime du peuple sahraoui, et de son représentant le Front Polisario, pour recouvrer ses droit nationaux".

Ils ont, en outre, mis l'accent sur la légitimité des droits des peuples à l'autodétermination, rappelant que "le conflit du Sahara Occidental est pour la communauté internationale une affaire de décolonisation". Les efforts consentis en vue du règlement de ce conflit visent à "permettre au peuple sahraoui de décider de son destin à travers un référendum libre et transparent", souligne encore le document.

D'autre part, le document a relevé l'importance de cette rencontre entre les parlementaires et les représentants de la société civile qui intervient à la veille de la célébration du 54e anniversaire du déclenchement de la guerre de libération, qui symbolise la lutte de tout un peuple contre le colonialisme, le racisme et le sionisme, et pour la liberté et l'indépendance.

Par ailleurs, les participants n'ont pas manqué l'occasion de saluer "la résistance du peuple sahraoui dans les territoires occupés" tout en mettant en exergue l'action des militants du Front Polisario qui se sont engagés dans les plus rudes circonstances à protéger le droit du peuple sahraoui de décider de son avenir, de jouir de sa souveraineté sur ses territoires et de vivre dans la paix, la dignité et la liberté".

Cette journée parlementaire a été organisée à l'initiative de la commission des Affaires étrangères, de la coopération et de la communauté de l'Assemblée populaire nationale algérienne (APN) avec la participation de plusieurs juristes, universitaires, élus locaux et représentants de la société civile et des deux chambres du parlement.


Le Parti socialiste suisse : pour l’autodétermination du peuple sahraoui

Aarau (Suisse), Le Parti Socialiste Suisse (PSS) a adopté dimanche une résolution dans laquelle il a réaffirmé son soutien à une solution définitive du conflit du Sahara occidental basée sur la satisfaction du droit imprescriptible du peuple sahraoui à l’autodétermination, à l’issue de son Congrès ordinaire qui s’est tenu de samedi à dimanche denier au Centre Schachen à Aarau en Suisse, a rapporté la Représentation du Front Polisario à Genève.

Le PSS a formulé le voeu que la désignation du nouveau médiateur de l’ONU pour le Sahara Occidental aidera à la reprise des négociations entre le Front Polisario et le Maroc "en vue d’une solution définitive du conflit se basant sur les recommandations onusiennes pour l’organisation d’un référendum d’autodétermination libre et démocratique permettant au peuple sahraoui de choisir librement son destin".

Il a également souhaité que les prochaines négociations entre les deux parties au conflit ouvrent de perspectives nouvelles et consacrent une sérieuse avancée en direction de la paix au Sahara Occidental, appelant à ce que "soient garanties les libertés d’opinion et d’expression, d’associations et de manifestations pour les habitants du Sahara Occidental".

"33 années viennent, pratiquement, de s’achever sans que le conflit du Sahara Occidental n’ait trouvé de solution et ce, en dépit des multiples efforts des Nations Unies en vue d’assurer au peuple sahraoui l’exercice de son droit naturel et inaliénable à l’autodétermination comme le stipulent une multitude de textes et différentes résolutions des Nations Unies, dont la 1754, la 1783 et la 1813, adoptées respectivement le 30 avril 2007, le 30 octobre 2007 et le 30 avril 2008" a regretté le PSS dans sa résolution.

Une délégation du Front Polisario a pris part à ce Congrès sur invitation du Parti socialiste suisse, a indiqué la même source.


Violents affrontements à Assa entre les forces de répression marocaines et des manifestants sahraouis

Assa (sud du Maroc), Des affrontements ont eu lieu, lundi, à Assa (au sud du Maroc) entre les forces de répression marocaines et des jeunes sahraouis qui protestaient contre l'indifférence des autorités marocaines face à leurs revendications légitimes et l’amélioration de leur condition de vie, a rapporté une source du ministère sahraoui des territoires occupés et de la diaspora.

Des lycéens et une grande partie de la population sahraouie résidante à Assa ont rejoint, l'évènement et ont brandi les drapeau de la RASD et scandé des slogans réclamant le retrait immédiat de l’occupant marocain du Sahara occidental et la libération de tous les prisonniers politiques sahraouis qui se trouvent encore dans les prisons marocaines.

Des forces sécuritaires marocaines munies des moyens de répression ont été violemment intervenues pour disperser les manifestants, transformant les grandes avenues de la ville à un théâtre d'affrontements entre ces mêmes forces et les jeunes sahraouis qui réclamaient pacifiquement le droit de leur peuple à l’autodétermination.

Ces forces ont été soutenues par d’autres forces des villes avoisinantes et ont procédé brutalement à disperser les manifestants causant selon un premier bilan des blessés, arrêtés et des domiciles saccagés.

Il s’agit de ; Khouah Lhayba, Mustapha Charkaoui, Lghali Chayn, Lmjakri Chrayaf, Lkntawya Banga, Souakh Brahim grièvement blessés, alors que : Abdaim Lmkhtar, Mohamed Lhchaychi, Jilali, Baldi Mohamed ont été arrêtés par les forces de répression marocaines.

Des domiciles ont été saccagés et leurs biens ont été détruits ou volés, selon les locataires, cités par la même source.

Spain remains the administrating power until Saharawi people exercise their right to self-determination (Mohamed Abdelaziz)

The President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, called on Spain to "reconsider its position" on the conflict of Western Sahara so as to "contribute to peace and to the respect of law", taking into consideration that Spain remains "historically, politically, legally and morally accountable for the tragedy of the Saharawi people since its disordered withdrawal of Western Sahara in the eve of the Moroccan military invasion in 1975".

"This responsibility remains until the Saharawi people exercise their right to self-determination", he said during a dinner he offered on the honour a delegation from the Balearic Islands (Spain), composed of members of the two houses of the Spanish Parliament, the regional parliament, and members of the regional government and mayors of the region of Balearic Islands.

Mr. Abdelaziz hailed the movement of solidarity with the Saharawi people in Spain, unveiling POLISARIO Front’s deep concerns about the dramatic situation of the Saharawi people in the occupied zones of Western Sahara because of the Moroccan repression.

On the other hand, he denounced the intransigence of Morocco that continues to hinder the process of negotiations and the nomination of the new personal envoy of the UN Secretary General to Western Sahara, condemning the systematic plundering of the natural resources by Morocco.

Mr. Abdelaziz recalled that the signature of contracts between the European Union and Morocco in the field of fishing is a "violation to the international legality", as long as the decolonisation of the territory is not finished through a democratic and transparent referendum on self-determination, according to the Legal Opinion of the UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Hans Corell.

Concerning to the silence exercised by the UN in front of the Moroccan repression against the Saharawi civilians in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, Mr. Abdelaziz recalled that the UN promised the Saharawis since 1991 to organise the referendum, and renewed the promised in 1997 after the arrival of Mr. James Baker.

Navarre reiterates full support to the Saharawi people’s struggle for independence

The President of the Parliament of Navarre (Spain), Elena Torris, reiterated full support to the just struggle of the Saharawi people for freedom and independence during the opening of the days of studies between the Saharawi national Parliament and the Parliament of Navarre, the Saharawi parliamentarian delegation indicated.

Ms. Elena reaffirmed that "the parliament and the people of Navarre openly and unconditionally support the Saharawi people until the fulfilment of the aspirations of the Saharawi people to freedom and independence".

On his part, the Saharawi parliament, Mahfoudh Ali Beiba, stressed that the question of Western Sahara is a question decolonisation, of which "Spain remains accountable for this singular situation".

During these days, the Saharawi parliamentarians will animate conferences and debates and exchange the experiences of the two institutions, the same source stressed.

Before this, the President of the Saharawi Parliament, Mr. Mahfoudh Ali Beiba was received Monday by the President of the regional government of Navarre, within the framework of the visit undertaken by the Saharawi parliamentarian delegation to the region.

Moroccan colonial authorities kidnap a Saharawi journalist and writer

The Moroccan colonial authorities kidnapped the member of the Saharawi Journalists’ and Writers’ Union (UPES), Mustapha AbdDaiem, Monday night, in the city of Assa (south of Morocco), and transferred him to an unknown place.

The Saharawi journalist and Writer is a General supervisor of a secondary school in Assa. He was arrested yesterday because he clearly expressed support to the Saharawi demonstrators in the city who were confronting Moroccan forces after the latter attacked their peaceful sit-in.

Mr. Mustapha AbdDaiem is an active human rights activist, and member of UPES, who usually unveils and condemns the Moroccan human rights violations in the occupied zones of Western Sahara, in the South of Morocco and in Moroccan universities against Saharawi students.

He was victim to many Moroccan aggression and attempts against his life, and he was brought before court many times because of his political opinions in favour of the independence of Western Sahara.

The Saharawi Journalists’ and Writers’ Union (UPES) would like to inform all international human rights organisations, associations, and the UN relevant bodies that it is deeply concerned about the fate and safety of Mr. AbdDaiem, and calls on them to adopt the necessary demarche to help release him as soon as possible.

It also informs the public opinion that it will remain seized of the question, and will closely follow all developments with a view to adopt the necessary actions in favour of his release.