terça-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2008

AWSA outraged by the killing of two Saharawi students

Members of AWSA (Vic) meeting during their ordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 3rd of December are saddened and shocked by the outrageous killing of two young Saharawi students in Agadir (Morocco).

AWSA strongly condemns the killing and send its condolences to the families of the dead and injured.

AWSA also wishes to express its solidarity with the Saharawi students and people.

Australia Western Sahara Association urges the Foreign Minister, the Honourable Stephen Smith, and the Australian Government to ask the Moroccan government to account for the killing of two Saharawi young men of 20 and 22, to investigate the circumstances surrounding their death and to bring to prosecution those responsible.

On Monday 1 December Saharawi students gathered in Agadir bus station to take advantage of a promise of transport home for the festival of Eid. There were not enough places for the students who showed up and when the authorities did nothing to provide more buses, the Saharawi students began a peaceful sit-in.

Following the arrival of police, a bus-driver drove into the crowd at speed, killing two students and injuring several others, some seriously. One student is in a coma. The police then moved in, beating the rest of the students and arresting11 of them.

According to human rights organizations, the Moroccan authorities have a policy of targeting Saharawi students. In recent years, at least seven Saharawi students have been killed and one severely burned during peaceful protests.

Moroccan authorities target the students particularly during exam periods in order to disrupt their studies.

The Moroccan authorities abhor the Saharawi young generation because of its active role in the uprising against the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.

More information:
http://www.arso.org/agadir011208.htm> http://www.arso.org/agadir011208.htm

For further information please contact: Ron Guy: 0428 173 970
Australia Western Sahara Association (Victoria) inc no: A0047692T
email: wsamel@alphalink.com.au and awsamel@alphalink.com.au

Conference on Western Sahara in Pretoria reaffirms Saharawi people’s right to self-determination

The Conference “on Multilateralism and International Law with Western Sahara as case study”, hosted by the South African Department of Foreign Affairs and the University of Pretoria, 4 and 5 December, reaffirmed Saharawi people’s right to self-determination, in a final communiqué.

Here is the complete text of the communiqué:

The Republic of South Africa
University of Pretoria
Department Foreign Affairs

Conference Communiqué

Conference on Multilateralism and International Law with Western Sahara as case study Hosted by the South African Department of Foreign Affairs and the University of Pretoria, 4 and 5 December 2008

1.The South African Department of Foreign Affairs and the University of Pretoria successfully hosted the Conference on Multilateralism and International Law with Western Sahara as a Case Study in Pretoria on 4 and 5 December 2008. This conference was the final official event of the University of Pretoria centenary celebrations.

2.The purpose of the conference was to reflect on the foreign policy precept that promotion of the rules based international order through multilateralism remains the essential prerequisite for the resolution of conflict between nations. As a case study, the conference analysed Africa’s longest-running dispute – the Western Sahara conflict.

3.The following imminent government representatives, scholars and experts reflected on the status of the territory under international law, the principle of self-determination, the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, obligations on third states and the lawfulness and/or legitimacy of natural resource exploitation in Western Sahara:

- Ms Sue van der Merwe, South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Dr Sidi Mohamed, Member of Polisario Front Negotiating team, Western Sahara
- Prof Abdelhamid El Ouali, Professor of Law, University of Casablanca, Morocco
- Prof. Macharia Munene, Professor History and International Relations, United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya
- Mr Toby Shelley, Journalist and writer, Hitchin, UK
- Prof. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco, USA
- Mr Jacob Mundy, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK
- Amb Frank Ruddy, US Ambassador (ret) and Former Deputy Chairman, Un peacekeeping Mission for Western Sahara (MINURSO), Washington, USA
- Prof. Haroub Othman, Professor of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salam, Tanzania
- Mr Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary International Platform of Jurists of East Timor, Leiden, The Netherlands
- Prof. Christina Chinkin, Professor of International Law, London School of Economics, UK
- Prof. Carlos Ruiz Miguel, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- Senator Pierre Galand, President of the European Coordination committee in Solidarity with the Saharawi People, Brussels, Belgium.
- Amb Hans Corell, Swedish Ambassador (ret) Former Under Secretary-General of Legal Affairs and Legal Council of the United Nations, Sweden
- Mr Eric Hagen, Journalist from Norwegian news service Norwatch, Oslo, Norway
- Mr Francisco Bastagli, Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Western Sahara, Italy
- Adv Madasa, Member of the South African Parliament (ANC).
- Mr Mhamed Khadad, Polisario Coordinator with United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

4. The Conference also took note of petitions made to the conference from:

- Prof. Juan Carlos Velazquez Elizarraras, Professor of International Law and cooperativePolitics, University of Mexico.
- Prof. Juan Soroeta Liceras, Profesor of International Law, University of Basque Pais, Spain
- Prof. Marco Balboni, Professor of International Law, University of Bologna, Italy
- Prof. Ismael Debesche, Professor of Political Sciences and Information, University of Algiers, Algeria.

5.The Conference recognised that Western Sahara is the last colonial challenge facing the African continent and participants called upon the International Community to:

- Respect the principles of multilateralism and international legality in seeking a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara;
- Reaffirm the fundamental and inalienable right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination;
- Recognise that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 16 October 1975 found that no links of sovereignty existed between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Western Sahara;
- Recognise the centrality and responsibility of the African Union and United Nations in the resolution of the conflict;
- Respect the constitutive Act of the African Union, in particular the principle of the sanctity of inherited colonial borders in Africa and the right of peoples of former colonial territories to self-determination and independence;
- Support Western Sahara legal status at the Special Political and Decolonization committee (Forth Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly as non-self-governing territory awaiting decolonisation;
- Support the direct negotiations between the two parties, the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco, under the auspices of the United Nations with a view to achieving self-determination of the people of Western Sahara;
- Continue the presence of MINURSO as indispensable for the maintenance of the ceasefire in Western Sahara and the holding of a free and fair referendum under United Nations auspices;
- Call for expansion the MINURSO mandate to include the monitoring of, and reporting on, the human rights situation in the MINURSO area of operations;
- Recognize that citizens living under military occupation suffer serious, wide-spread and prolonged abuses of their human rights and that this is the case in Western Sahara;
- Call upon the occupying power in the Western Sahara to respect the obligations under international law towards inhabitants of the occupied territory;
- Recognize that sovereignty does not pass to the occupying power, even under prolonged occupation, as in the case of the Western Sahara;
- Support full respect international human rights law in the occupied territories, notably the right of freedom of association, assembly, movement and expression;
- Call upon the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights to assume a larger role in monitoring, reporting and making recommendations on the issue of human rights abuses in Western Sahara;
- Respect of international humanitarian law and support the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Saharawi refugees in a way that is predictable, sustained and timely;
- Support the confidence building measures proposed by the Personal Envoy to the United Nations Secretary-General to create conductive climate for the resolution of the conflict;
- End the illegal exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara and discourage the involvement of foreign companies in such activities;
- Support the integration of the Maghreb Union as a building block of the African Union and a vital element of African integration.

La République de Sainte Lucie réitère son soutien au droit à l’autodétermination du peuple sahraoui

Castries (Sainte Lucie), Le premier ministre de Sainte Lucie, Hon Steaphenson, a réitéré la position de son pays soutenant le droit du peuple sahraoui à l’autodétermination et à l’indépendance.

M. Steaphenson qui recevait l’envoyé spécial du président de la République, Mohamed Abdelaziz, le ministre délégué auprès du MAE chargé de l’Afrique, Mohamed Yeslem Beissat, a exprimé le soutien de la République de Sainte Lucie à la question du Sahara occidental et sa décolonisation.

L’entretien a eu trait aux derniers développements de la question du Sahara occidental et au sujet des relations bilatérales unissant la RASD et la Sainte Lucie.

L’Envoyé spécial du président de la République a eu des entretiens avec plusieurs chefs des partis et forces politiques au sein de la République de Saint Lucie, rappelle-t-on.