sábado, 12 de dezembro de 2009

VIGÍLIA de SOLIDARIEDADE com AMINETU HAIDAR convocada pela AMNISTIA INTERNACIONAL - Portugal


O grupo promotor do apelo firmado por 42 personalidades e entregue ontem nas embaixadas de Espanha e de Marrocos (ver Anexo), decidiu, em estreita colaboração com a AMNISTIA INTERNACIONAL - Portugal, convocar uma nova Vigília de Solidariedade com Aminetu Haidar.

A VIGILIA de SOLIDARIEDADE com AMINETU HAIDAR realiza-se na próxima para terça-feira, dia 15 de Dezembro de 2009, às 18:30h, em frente ao CENTRO JEAN MONET
Pedimo-vos a máxima divulgação da iniciativa. TRAZ UMA VELA E MUITOS AMIGOS!


VIGÍLIA de SOLIDARIEDADE com AMINETU HAIDAR
convocada pela AMNISTIA INTERNACIONAL - Portugal


Terça-Feira, dia 15 de Dezembro, às 18:30h, frente ao CENTRO JEAN MONNET
Delegação do Parlamento Europeu e da União Europeia
(Largo Jean Monnet, junto à Rua do Salitre, em Lisboa)


Prémio de Direitos Humanos da Assembleia da República 2006 – AI Portugal

Prémio Nobel da Paz 1977 – Amnistia Internacional



Informação distribuída pela

Associação de Amizade Portugal - Sahara Ocidental

domingo, 29 de novembro de 2009

Aminetu Haidar recusa passaporte espanhol por não querer ser “estrangeira na sua própria terra”


A activista saharaui Aminetu Haidar rejeitou hoje uma proposta do Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros de Espanha de lhe conceder um passaporte espanhol, já que isso a tornaria "estrangeira na sua própria terra", declarou hoje ao fim da tarde a sua representante legal, a advogada espanhola Inés Miranda.



Segundo informou esta tarde aquela advogada, a reunião realizada este domingo no aeroporto de Lanzarote entre o chefe de Gabinete do ministro Moratinos, Agustin Sosa, e Aminetu Haidar foi interrompida durante cerca de três horas após a activista saharaui ter tido uma perda de conhecimento, devido a já quinze dias de greve de fome. Agustín Santos era acompanhado por Diego Martínez e Pedro Villena, dois homens da máxima confiança do ministro de Negócios Estrangeiro Miguel Moratinos,



Segundo Inés Miranda, que participou em nome de Aminetu Haidar nas conversações com Agustin Sosa após essas cerca de três horas de interrupção, não existe nenhuma outra reunião prevista, mas a militante saharaui expressou a "vontade de continuar disposta a ouvir uma proposta resolutiva e séria que solucione rapidamente esta situação”.



A advogada acrescentou ainda que o enviado dos Negócios Estrangeiros espanhol anunciou a intenção de transmitir a posição de Aminetu Haidar ao seu ministro da tutela, Miguel Angel Moratinos — que juntamente com o chefe de Governo espanhol, José Luís Zapatero, se encontra actualmente em Lisboa para participar na Cimeira Ibero-Americana —, com o qual tentará encontrar uma nova proposta.



Inés Miranda pediu no entanto a “intervenção urgente” do chefe do Governo de Espanha, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, para que a greve de fome não termine “numa tragédia”.





Presidente do Governo canário apela a Zapatero



O presidente do governo das Canárias, Paulino Rivero, apelou hoje em Las Palmas a José Luis Zapatero a uma “intervenção "directa" para resolver a situação da activista Aminetu Haidar, cujo estado de saúde é “delicado e requer uma solução dentro de horas".



Paulino Rivero reiterou a urgência em "encontrar um meio de sair desta situação que põe em jogo a vida de uma pessoa", apelando à mediação da Cruz Vermelha e das Nações Unidas nesta crise.



Informação distribuída pela Associação de Amizade Portugal – Sahara Ocidental

com base na Asociación Canaria de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui e o
serviço da SPS (Sahara Press Service)

29-11-2009

Moratinos considera "sorprendente" no poder hablar con Haidar



EFE, Bruselas

El ministro español de Exteriores, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, volverá hoy a intentar hablar con la activista saharaui Aminatu Haidar tras varios intentos infructuosos, y consideró "sorprendente" no haber podido hacerlo mientras ella sí ha hablado "con mucha gente".

Moratinos recordó, en unas declaraciones a la prensa en Bruselas, que el Gobierno ha ofrecido "distintas fórmulas" a Haidar para que pueda volver a Marruecos, de donde fue expulsada el pasado día 13 con destino a Lanzarote.

Sin embargo, ninguna de esas fórmulas "parece contar con la aprobación" de la activista, indicó el ministro, quien señaló que lleva desde ayer intentando hablar con ella, aunque "no logro que me la pasen".

Moratinos consideró "un poco sorprendente" no poder mantener contacto con Haidar, y avanzó que lo intentará de nuevo durante esta tarde.

Añadió que, visto que Haidar "ha podido hablar con mucha gente" mientras al Gobierno "se le recrimina que no hace nada", quiere explicarle en persona lo que quieren hacer "para evitar esta situación tan dramática" y "tratar de buscar una solución".

"No estamos pidiendo nada, sino simplemente poder comunicar y expresarle nuestra solidaridad y nuestra compresión", añadió Moratinos, quien insistió en que se quiere "encontrar conjuntamente y de manera razonable una solución para que todos estemos satisfechos".

Haidar comenzó una huelga de hambre el pasado día 14, un día después de ser expulsada por Marruecos y obligada a volar de vuelta a Lanzarote después de serle requisado su pasaporte al negarse a poner en la ficha de control policial que su nacionalidad es marroquí.

http://www.adn.es/internacional/20091128/NWS-0820-Moratinos-Haidar-sorprendente-considera-hablar.html

Moratinos, "perplejo" por el rechazo de Haidar a la oferta de concederle la nacionalidad española



MADRID, 29 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS)

El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, se declaró este domingo "perplejo" después de que la activista saharaui, Aminatau Haidar, considerara "tristes e inaceptables" las ofertas del Gobierno español para contribuir a resolver su situación, incluida la última de concederla la nacionalidad española, informaron a Europa Press fuentes diplomáticas.

No obstante, el Gobierno español se ha comprometido a "seguir negociando" con el objetivo de "buscar soluciones" que resuelvan la situación de la activista saharaui, quien permanece en huelga de hambre desde hace quince días en el aeropuerto de Lanzarote en respuesta a su expulsión del Sáhara por las autoridades marroquíes, explicaron fuentes del Departamento que dirige Moratinos.

Las fuentes precisaron que, por este motivo, el director del gabinete del ministro Moratinos, Agustín Santos, "se ha quedado en Lanzarote", donde se quedará "por lo menos mañana".

Preguntadas si el Gobierno español baraja plantear alguna propuesta nueva o si por el contrario la solución pasa por seguir negociando algunas de las opciones ya barajadas, las fuentes consultadas no quisieron entrar en detalles. "No vamos a anticipar acontecimientos", explicaron las fuentes.

El Gobierno se mostró esta tarde "dispuesto a estudiar cualquier propuesta en el marco de la legalidad" para resolver la situación de la activista saharaui.

Según indicó el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Comunicación en un comunicado, durante la reunión mantenida este domingo en el aeropuerto de Lanzarote con la activista por una delegación de este departamento, encabezada por el jefe de gabinete del ministro, Agustín Santos, se le expusieron las "posibles soluciones para la situación".

Dichas soluciones, recuerda Exteriores, pasan por la tramitación de un pasaporte marroquí ante las autoridades consulares de ese país en España; la extensión por parte de las autoridades españolas de la autorización de residencia y, si Haidar así lo desea, tramitar el estatuto de asilo y refugio en España. Por último, el Gobierno le ofreció "la concesión, de forma extraordinaria por razones humanitarias, de la nacionalidad española y de un pasaporte español".

Al término de la reunión, que se tuvo que celebrar en dos rondas debido a que Haidar sufrió un desmayo y no pudo estar presente en la segunda parte del encuentro, la delegación del ministerio que dirige Miguel Ángel Moratinos ha transmitido a la abogada de la activista "su disposición para continuar los contactos en Lanzarote en cuento ello sea posible (...) y de estudiar cualquier propuesta en el marco de la legalidad internacional y española".

Haidar, por su parte, ha hecho saber a través de su abogada que rechaza la oferta del Gobierno español porque no quiere "ser extranjera en su propia casa". Asimismo, la 'Gandhi saharaui' está "muy decepcionada" y lamenta "mucho" la propuesta del Ejecutivo español de ofrecerle la nacionalidad española, según la letrada.

domingo, 8 de novembro de 2009

Campaña internacional para detener la pesca ilegal de la UE


Comunicado de prensa

Bruselas 6 de noviembre de 2009

Western Sahara Resource Watch



Hoy se ha lanzado una campaña internacional para hacer que la UE retire sus barcos de las aguas costeras del territorio ocupado del Sahara Occidental.



La campaña insta a la Comisión Europea a que detenga inmediatamente la concesión de licencias de pesca en aguas del Sahara Occidental, y pide que no se realicen más operaciones pesqueras por la UE en el Sahara Occidental hasta que se haya encontrado una solución pacífica al conflicto.



“La transferencia de dinero de los impuestos de los ciudadanos de la UE al gobierno de Marruecos para que la industria pesquera de la UE pueda acceder a las aguas costeras del territorio que está ocupado ilegalmente, es inmoral por principio. Es completamente contraproducente respecto a los esfuerzos de la ONU para descolonizar el Sahara Occidental y contribuye claramente a prolongar el sufrimiento de la población saharaui”, afirmó Sara Eyckmans de Western Sahara Resource Watch.



En 2006, cuando se aprobó inicialmente el acuerdo pesquero de la UE con Marruecos, Suecia votó en contra, alegando que la vaguedad acerca del territorio afectado por el acuerdo podría permitir a la UE pescar en el Sahara Occidental, lo cual sería ilegal. En aquel momento, aún no estaba claro que las actividades pesqueras fueran a tener lugar en las aguas del territorio, aunque esto es lo que había ocurrido bajo la vigencia de los acuerdos previos de la UE con Marruecos.



Y, en efecto, el presente acuerdo tampoco ha sido una excepción. El año pasado, la Comisión Europea admitió que, bajo el acuerdo pesquero de la UE con Marruecos, se están realizando actividades pesqueras en aguas del territorio. La Comisión Europea alegó que un dictamen de la ONU proporcionaba base legal para realizar estas actividades. Sin embargo, el autor de este dictamen, el anterior subsecretario general de la ONU para asuntos legales, el Sr. Hans Corell, reaccionó enérgicamente contra el uso incorrecto que la UE hizo de su análisis. Corell dice que no hay margen alguno para la interpretació n que da la Comisión Europea y que está “avergonzado” de ser europeo después de la decisión de la UE de pescar en el Sahara Occidental.



Marruecos comenzó su ocupación del Sahara Occidental el 6 de noviembre de 1975, hace hoy 34 años. Una ocupación condenada por la resolución 380 del Consejo de Seguridad. Desde entonces, parte del pueblo del Sahara Occidental huyó del territorio y actualmente vive refugiada en Argelia. El pueblo saharaui está contra el acuerdo y no ha sido consultado antes de que fuese firmado por Marruecos y la UE.



Los particulares y organizaciones que quieran firmar una protesta ante la Comisión Europea, pueden hacerlo en

www.fishelsewhere. com

Acabem com a pesca em águas do Sahara Ocidental!


Petição:

Acabem com a pesca em águas do Sahara Ocidental!

www.fishelsewhere.eu


Ao Comissário Europeu das Pescas,

Nenhum Estado do mundo reconheceu a anexação marroquina do Sahara Ocidental. No entanto, a UE está a pagar anualmente milhões de euros ao governo de Marrocos para que este autorize barcos da UE a pescar em águas do Sahara Ocidental. As actividades de pesca da EU no Sahara Ocidental devem terminar imediatamente.

Marrocos continua a recusar-se a cooperar com o processo de descolonização no Sahara Ocidental, desafiando assim mais de 100 resoluções da ONU que insistem no direito à autodeterminação do povo sahraui. Simultâneamente as autoridades marroquinas cometem violações de direitos humanos contra os sahrauis que exprimem as suas ideias politicas. Nenhum dos Estados da UE, nem a ONU, reconhecem a soberania de Marrocos sobre o Sahara Ocidental.

Neste contexto, pactuar com Marrocos na exploração dos recursos naturais do Sahara Ocidental é profundamente imoral, e compromete claramente os esforços da ONU para encontrar uma solução pacífica para o conflito.

De acordo com a ONU, os recursos naturais do Sahara Ocidental não podem ser explorados sem consideração dos desejos e interesses do povo do território. Contudo, a UE está a transferir dinheiro dos contribuintes europeus para o governo de Marrocos para ter acesso às águas do Sahara Ocidental, sem sequer consultar o povo sahraui.

A UE tem a obrigação legal e moral de deixar de subverter o processo de paz da ONU no Sahara Ocidental, respeitando o direito à autodeterminação do povo sahraui e a soberania sobre os seus recursos naturais.

Instamos a Comissão Europeia a por um fim imediato à concessão de todas as licenças a barcos da UE que pescam em águas do Sahara Ocidental e exigimos que cessem todas as actividades de pesca da UE no Sahara Ocidental enquanto não se obtiver uma solução para o conflito.

Atentamente,



------------------------------------

Por favor, deve ASSINAR A PETIÇÃO em www.fishelsewhere.eu da seguinte maneira:

A) Se é uma pessoa individual, clique na caixa azul da esquerda (aonde diz " Sign petition, individuals").

A caixa azul da esquerda contém os campos seguintes:
1) Nome
2) Email (confidencial)
3) Pais
Não preencha nada no item 4).
Finalmente, clique aonde diz " Sign petition, individuals".

B) Se está a assinar em nome de uma organização, clique na caixa azul da direita (aonde diz " Sign petition, organisations").


A caixa azul da direita contém os campos seguintes:
1) Nome da organização
2) Pais
3) Nome e Email do responsável pela organização (confidencial)
4) Nome e Email da pessoa a contactar na organização (confidencial)
Finalmente, clique aonde diz " Sign petition, organisations".

www.fishelsewhere.eu

Western Sahara Resource Watch

terça-feira, 20 de outubro de 2009

WESTERN SAHARA RESOURCE WATCH CONDEMNS THE RECENT STATEMENTS OF FELIPE GONZÁLEZ ABOUT WESTERN SAHARA



19th of October, 2009

Response of the WSRW to the declaration of Felipe González regarding
Western Sahara and Morocco


Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), an independent, non-governmental
organization, denounces the recent statements concerning Western Sahara made
by Mr. Felipe González and respectfully calls for his dismissal as President of the
European Union’s “Council of the Wise”.

The remarks of Mr. González, a former Spanish prime minister, were made in a
September 28 debate organized by Caixaforum. His statements have been
distributed as a video on the internet and have been echoed in several electronic
publications.

The former Spanish prime minister made several entirely incorrect statements,
including: (i) “there is no exploitation of natural resources [in Western Sahara]
because there is no economic activity [in the territory]”, (ii) that Western Sahara
was part of Morocco and therefore tied to the Moroccan sultanate through “special
rights”, (iii) and that Morocco is “the most libertarian country in the Arab world”.

Even though these assertions by Mr. González are already scandalous in
themselves, they are especially serious in being made by someone who was the
prime minister of Spain for 14 years, during a time when Spain continued to refuse
its legally required role as the administering post-colonial state responsible for
occupied Western Sahara. Such manifestly incorrect comments are regrettable
coming from a person assuming the presidency of the European Council’s
“Reflection Group on the Future of Europe”.

The ongoing economic activities in illegally occupied Western Sahara, more
specifically phosphate exploitation and fisheries, are a well documented fact. This
exploitation can only be denied because of a profound cynicism or complicity.
Moreover, the European Union, which has nominated Felipe González as chairman
of the aforementioned “Reflection Group”, has recognized its involvement in
exploiting the fish stocks of Western Sahara within the framework of the EUMorocco
Fisheries Agreement.

WSRW respectfully notes the following:

1°. The United Nations have established, in dozens of Resolutions, that Western
Sahara is a Non-Self-Governing Territory which is required to undergo a legitimate
exercise of its people’s right to self determination.

2°. The International Court of Justice has established that Morocco has never
exercised nor sovereignty nor any other type of territorial right over Western
Sahara.Sahara. As such, Morocco’s continuing occupation of the territory is illegal, and
may be considered both a war crime and a crime against humanity.

3°. The United Nations have also established that Member States are to adopt the
necessary means to ensure that their nationals and companies under their
jurisdiction put an end to the economic activities they undertake in colonial
territories to the benefit or in name of the colonial powers and their allies.
Article 21 of the European Union Treaty stipulates that the European Union’s
actions ought to be based on and in accordance with “the principles of the United
Nations Charter and international law”.

In the light of the present matter, the recent statements of Felipe González render
him unsuitable to hold a responsible position within the European Union.

In the result, WSRW condemns the declarations by Felipe González and demands
the European Union’s authorities to immediately and unambiguously:

1°. Repudiate the statements of Felipe González concerning the Western Sahara;

and

2°. Invite Felipe González to leave his current position, given the loss of public
confidence in his integrity.

WSRW is an international non-governmental organization with members from
more than 30 countries that defends the respect for international law upholding
the decolonization of Western Sahara and the sovereignty of the Saharawi people
over their natural resources. For questions, contact:

Catherine Lewis, International Coordinator, Western Sahara Resource Watch
lewis.cate@gmail.com
+61 407 288 358
http://www.wsrw.org

WESTERN SAHARA RESOURCE WATCH CONDENA LAS RECIENTES DECLARACIONES DE FELIPE GONZÁLEZ SOBRE EL SAHARA OCCIDENTAL



19 de octubre de 2009

Respuesta de Western Sahara Resource Watch a las declaraciones de Felipe
González sobre el Sahara Occidental y Marruecos

El Observatorio para los Recursos del Sahara Occidental (WSRW), una ONG
independiente, denuncia las recientes declaraciones realizadas por Felipe González
respecto al Sahara Occidental y exige su dimisión como Presidente del Consejo de
Sabios” de la Unión Europea.

WSRW ha tomado nota, con indignación, de las declaraciones de Felipe González,
ex presidente del Gobierno de España, en el debate organizado en Caixaforum el
día 28 de septiembre, difundidas en un video disponible en internet y de las que se
han hecho eco algunas publicaciones electrónicas.

En dichas declaraciones el ex presidente español afirmó, entre otras cosas, 1) que
en el Sahara Occidental “no hay expoliación de recursos porque no hay ninguna
actividad económica”, 2) que el Sahara Occidental fue parte de Marruecos pues
estaba ligado por “derechos especiales” con el sultanato de Marruecos y 3) que
Marruecos es “el país con mayor espacio de libertades del mundo árabe”.

Las declaraciones de Felipe González, en sí mismas escandalosas, adquieren una
gravedad especial cuando se considera que las hace alguien que ha sido durante
catorce años presidente del gobierno de España mientras España continuó
rechazando su papel como potencia administradora del Sahara Occidental
ocupado. Esas declaraciones son igualmente deplorables viniendo de quien, en
actualidad, es el presidente del “Grupo de reflexión sobre el futuro de Europa”
designado por el Consejo Europeo de la UE.

La realización de actividades económicas en el ilegalmente ocupado Sahara
Occidental, fundamentalmente la explotación de fosfatos y pesca, es un hecho
documentado. Sólo desde un profundo cinismo o desde la complicidad puede
negarse esta explotación. A mayor abundancia, la UE, que ha nombrado a Felipe
González presidente del “Grupo de reflexión” citado, ha reconocido que se están
explotando los recursos pesqueros del Sahara Occidental al amparo del acuerdo de
pesca entre la UE y Marruecos.

WSRW recuerda a la opinión pública que:

1º. Las Naciones Unidas han establecido, en decenas de resoluciones, que el Sahara
Occidental es un Territorio No Autónomo pendiente de descolonización que debe
ejercer de forma legítima su derecho a la autodeterminación.

2º. El Tribunal Internacional de Justicia ha establecido que Marruecos nunca ha
ejercido soberanía ni ningún otro derecho de tipo territorial sobre el Sahara
Occidental. En consecuencia, la ocupación continuada del territorio por Marruecos
es ilegal y debe considerarse tanto un crimen de guerra como crimen contra la
humanidad.

3º. Las Naciones Unidas han establecido, igualmente, que los Estados miembros
deben adoptar las medidas necesarias para lograr que sus nacionales y las
compañías bajo su jurisdicción pongan fin a las actividades económicas que actúan
en los territorios coloniales en beneficio ya nombre de las potencias coloniales y de
sus aliados.

El artículo 21 del Tratado de la Unión Europea dispone que la acción de la UE se
basará y respetará “los principios de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas y del Derecho
internacional”.

A la vista de todo lo anterior, las declaraciones de Felipe González, en
consecuencia, le inhabilitan para ocupar cualquier puesto de responsabilidad en la
Unión Europea.

En consecuencia, WSRW condena las declaraciones de Felipe González y exige a las
autoridades de la Unión Europea que, de forma inmediata e inequívoca:

1º. Desautoricen las palabras de Felipe González, presidente del “Grupo de
Reflexión sobre el futuro de Europa”, sobre el Sahara Occidental.

2º. Inviten a Felipe González a abandonar su puesto, dad la pérdida de confianza
pública en su integridad.

WSRW es una organización no gubernamental internacional con activistas en más
de 30 países, que impulsa el respeto al Derecho Internacional apoyando la
descolonización del Sáhara y la soberanía del pueblo saharaui sobre sus recursos
naturales. Para más comentarios o aclaraciones contactar con:

Catherine Lewis, Coordinadora Internacional de Western Sahara Resource Watch,
lewis.cate@gmail.com
+61 407 288 358
http://www.wsrw.org

Liberdade para os sete saharauis activistas dos Direitos Humanos presos e sequestrados por Marrocos



A Associação de Amizade Portugal-Sahara Ocidental denuncia perante as autoridades
e a opinião pública portuguesas a detenção ilegal por parte de Marrocos de sete
militantes saharauis defensores destacados dos Direitos do Homem(*), o que constitui
uma grave violação dos direitos reconhecidos pela Comunidade Internacional e ao
Processo de Paz que as Nações Unidas tentam encontrar para aquela que é
considerada a última colónia de África, sujeita à ocupação de Marrocos.

A medida discriminatória por parte das autoridades marroquinas faz parte de uma
política planificada e histórica de perseguições, desaparecimentos e torturas contra
todos aqueles que anseiam viver em liberdade, sem ocupação nem torturas, e contra a
população saharaui em geral.


A Associação de Amizade Portugal-Sahara Ocidental exige a libertação imediata
dos sete cidadãos saharuis e o respeito pela sua integridade física e moral.


As autoridades marroquinas detiveram e sequestraram no aeroporto de Casablanca,
Marrocos, no passado dia 8 de Outubro, sete activistas saharauis dos direitos
humanos no regresso de uma visita que acabavam de realizar aos acampamentos de
refugiados saharauis, na Argélia, e aos territórios saharauis libertados.


Eis a lista das sete pessoas cujo paradeiro se desconhece até ao momento:

Ali Salem Tamek, antigo preso político e primeiro vice-presidente do Colectivo dos
Defensores Sahrauis dos Direitos do Homem (CODESA), membro da Association
Marocaine des Droits de l’Homme, secção de Assa e membro da Frontline, Irlanda.

Brahim Dahane, antigo preso político e «desaparecido», Presidente da Association
Sahraouie dês Victimes des Violations Graves des Droits de l’Homme Commises par
l’Etat du Maroc (ASVDH).

Ahmad Nassiri, antigo preso político e «desaparecido», secretário-geral do Comité
Sahraoui pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme de Smara/Sahara Occidental e
Presidente da Association Marocaine des Droits de l’Homme, secção de Smara.

Dagja Lachgar, antiga «desaparecida», membro do Bureau Executivo da
Association Sahraouie des Victimes des Violations Graves des Droits de l’Homme
Commises par l’Etat du Maroc (ASVDH).

Yahdih Ettarrouzi, antigo preso político, membro da Association Marocaine des
Droits de l’Homme, secção de El Aaiun.

Saleh Lebayhi, Presidente do Forum para a Protecção das Crianças Saharauis,
membro do CODESA e da AMDH, secção de El Aaiun.

Rachid Sghayar, membro do Comité de Acção contra a Tortura em Dakhla, Sahara
Ocidental.

Lisboa, 17 de Outubro de 2009

A Associação de Amizade Portugal-Sahara Ocidental
portugal.sahara@gmail.com

domingo, 4 de outubro de 2009

MEMORANDUM BY THE SAHRAWI GOVERNMENT:THE QUESTION OF WESTERN SAHARA



MEMORANDUM BY THE SAHRAWI GOVERNMENT

THE QUESTION OF WESTERN SAHARA



September 2009

1. Western Sahara (the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) is located in northwest Africa and covers an area of 266,000 square kilometres. It is bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast and Mauritania to the East and southeast and has a 1,200-kilometre-long Atlantic Ocean coastline. The Saharawi Republic was proclaimed on 27 February 1976; its capital is El Aaiún.

2. In the pre-colonial times, the Saharawi lived as one independent community and developed their own cultural forms of expression and socio-political organisations; it was these idiosyncratic elements that constituted the distinctiveness of the Saharawi society over the centuries. The Saharawi are known for being a tolerant, open and peaceful society that has never been involved in any form of political or religious extremism.

3. Western Sahara is the last African decolonisation case in the agenda of the United Nations Africa, and it has been on the UN list of the Special Committee of 24 since 1963 when it was under Spanish colonial rule. The General Assembly has since consistently recognised the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence, and called for the exercise of that right in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

4. It was in this context that the UN repeatedly called on Spain, the administering power of Western Sahara, to decolonise the territory by means of organising a self-determination referendum for its people. Spain, however, failed to assume its responsibilities, and instead handed over the territory to both Morocco and Mauritania that militarily invaded and occupied the territory in 1975. The occupation was in contradiction of numerous UN resolutions and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The historic ruling of the ICJ, issued on 16 October 1975, affirmed unequivocally that:

“The materials and information presented to it [the Court] do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity. Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) in the decolonisation of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory”.

5. Moreover, in line with the General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV), which stipulates that “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognised as legal”, the UN has neither approved the occupation nor recognised the legality of the Moroccan annexation of Western Sahara. More precisely, in its Resolutions 34/37 of 21 November 1979
and 35/19 of 11 November 1980, the General Assembly deeply deplored the aggravation of the situation resulting from “the continued occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco.”

6. It is thus natural for the efforts aiming at settling the question of Western Sahara to have as ultimate objective the enabling of the Sahrawi people to decide their future by means of a free and fair referendum on self-determination.

African Union and the United Nations efforts and mediations

7. Following a 16 years protracted war, the two parties to the conflict, Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO, accepted the UN-OAU jointly elaborated Settlement Plan that was approved by the Security Council in its Resolutions 658 (1990) and 690 (1991). The plan provided for the entry into force of a ceasefire to be followed by a free and fair referendum on self-determination, without any administrative or military constraints, in which “the Saharawi people would choose between independence and integration into Morocco”( Para 4 and 6 of the Peace Plan, S/21360). It was also agreed that the electoral body for the referendum will be based on the last Spanish census of the indigenous population made in 1974 ( Para 53, S/21360).

8. The ceasefire entered into force on 6 September 1991. However, the referendum has not been held yet, due to the delaying tactics and obstructions made by Morocco that, from day one, used all means to undermine the peace process. Morocco also exhibited the same obstructionist attitude towards the Houston Agreements that were negotiated and signed by both parties in September 1997 under the auspices of James Baker III, the then Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara.

9. At the request of the Security Council, following Morocco’s rejection of the Settlement Plan, Baker put forward The Peace Plan for Self-determination of the People of Western Sahara (Baker Plan), which was supported by the Security Council in its Resolution 1495 (2003). The plan envisaged four to five years period of self-governance for the territory at the end of which a referendum would be held in which not only indigenous Saharawi but also Moroccan residents in the territory since December 1999 would participate. As a gesture of goodwill, the Frente POLISARIO accepted the plan despite the risks it involved, but Morocco rejected it out of hand.

10. Morocco’s main objection was that the plan included independence as one of the ballot options. However, the Secretary-General in his report of 16 October 2004 stated that the “United Nations could not sponsor a plan that excluded a referendum with independence as an option while claiming to provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” (para.14). The Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, James Baker III, were of the view that it was inconceivable for a referendum on self-determination organised by the UN not to include the option of independence.

11. In fact, the reason behind Morocco’s reneging on its commitments and its unwillingness to allow any referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people is the fact that it knows too well that the territory is not Moroccan and that any free and fair referendum on self-determination, to be held even with the participation of the Moroccan settlers residing in the territory, will definitely lead to the independence of Western Sahara.

In an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), broadcast in August 2004, James Baker III revealed the reason behind Morocco’s change of heart and its rejection of the referendum saying that “The closer we got, the more nervous I think the Moroccans got about whether they might not win the referendum.”


Morocco’s rejection to peace


12. Since its rejection of the Baker Plan in 2004, Morocco repeatedly declared that it was willing to accept a solution to the question of Western Sahara only “within the sovereignty of Morocco”. In this context, on 11 April 2007, it presented to the UN a proposal aiming at granting “autonomy” to the territory of Western Sahara “within Morocco’s sovereignty and territorial unity”.

13. Presented as a major concession, this project, which puts aside all the achievements made so far by the UN to settle the conflict, is another delaying tactic by Morocco that aims at gaining recognition by the international community of its colonial fait-accompli in Western Sahara. In other words, the recognition of Moroccan “sovereignty” over a Non-Self-Governing Territory without meeting the requirements of the UN doctrine and practice relating to decolonisation.

14. The Saharawi Government and the Frente POLISARIO have underlined on countless occasions that the Moroccan project is bound to fail, for it is based on totally unacceptable premises:

a) First, the proposal evidently departs from the assumption that Western Sahara is already an integral part of Morocco’s territory. This assumption is clearly unfounded since, from the viewpoint of international legality, Morocco does not exercise any legal territorial sovereignty or even administering power over Western Sahara. As the Secretary-General stated in his report of 19 April 2006 (para. 37), “no member State of the UN recognises Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.” Moreover, as clearly established in General Assembly Resolutions 34/37 (1979) and 35/19 (1980), Morocco is only an occupying power in Western Sahara.

b) Second, Morocco once again ignores the fact that Western Sahara is still considered by the UN as a question of decolonization whose final status must be decided by its indigenous people, not by the occupying power.

c) Third, by declaring that autonomy is the only solution, Morocco is prejudging the will of the Saharawi people by limiting from the outset their choice to autonomy. This clearly violates the sacrosanct principle applicable to Non-Self-Governing Territories, as enshrined in General Assembly Resolutions 1514 (XV) and 1541 (XV), that requires the free and genuine expression of the will of the people concerned through a popular consultation that necessarily includes the option of independence.

d) Fourth, the Moroccan approach deliberately ignores the Saharawi national reality, the long struggle of the Saharawi people for freedom as well as their strong attachment to independence that has been manifested daily for over thirty years. Furthermore, ,it ignores the fact that the Saharawi Republic (SADR) has been recognized by the African Union as full Member State and has today diplomatic relations with dozens of countries in the world.

e) Fifth, the project is also dangerous. Indeed, willing to impose an autonomy-based solution on a people who are fundamentally hostile to any form of Moroccan domination or control and that have fought the Moroccan occupation for over three decades, is taking deliberately the risk to increase the tension, and create an intolerable situation that would jeopardise the stability of the territory and the region and undermine the chances for a just and final settlement of the conflict.

15. In order to overcome the deadlock already caused by Morocco, the Frente POLISARIO presented to the UN, on 10 April 2007, a proposal titled “Proposal of the Frente POLISARIO for a mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” (see the annex). The proposal is based on two pillars:

a) It stresses the need for the referendum on self-determination that would include the options already agreed by the two parties (independence, integration, autonomy) and endorsed by the Security Council in numerous resolutions.

b) Should the referendum lead to the independence of Western Sahara, the Frente POLISARIO will be ready to negotiate with Morocco the establishment of strategic relations between the two countries in all domains, particularly those that are or could be a cause of real or assumed concern to Morocco.



16. On 30 April 2007, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1754 (2007) in which it took note, in the preamble, of the two proposals and called upon both parties, Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO “to enter into negotiations without preconditions in good faith with a view to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” (OP2).

17. In this context, under the UN Secretary-General’s auspices, delegations from the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco met at Greentree Estate in Manhasset, New York, on 18-19 June 2007. A second round of negotiations between the two parties was also held in Manhasset on 10-11 August 2007. In October 2007 and April 2008, the Secretary-General submitted his reports to the Security Council in which he insisted on the fact that the two parties should enter into substantial negotiations and that the two proposals should be the basis for the negotiations. A third and fourth round of negotiations took place in Manhasset on 7-9 January and 16-18 March 2008. The Security Council adopted Resolution 1783 (2007) and 1813 (2008) in which it reiterated the substance of Resolution 1754 (2007).

18. The Frente POLISARIO came to the four rounds of negotiations encouraged by the same sense of earnestness and good faith with which it participated in the preceding process of negotiation led by James Baker III. On the four occasions, it has fully cooperated with the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara in the discussion of all issues including the confidence-building measures (CBMs), which he proposed in the second round with a view to creating a positive climate between the two parties. It is regrettable, however, that the Moroccan delegation rejected to discuss the Sahrawi proposal and the proposed CBMs, exhibiting once again its unwillingness to move the negotiation process forward.

19. A fifth round of formal negotiations is expected to take place at some time in the future. The finality of the recent round of informal talks held in Austria in August 2009 is precisely to pave the way to the fifth round. The Saharawi Government and the Frente POLISARIO have always underlined that the negotiations process underway should not become an objective in itself and consequently should not be emptied of its main content and ultimate goal, namely providing for the right of self-determination of people of Western Sahara. Moreover, they are hopeful that Morocco would one day cease its dilatory manoeuvres and engage, in good faith, in the effective implementation of the Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions which continue to support the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.

20. Since the sixty-third session of the General Assembly (2008), major events have taken place.

21. The UN Secretary General has, in early August 20098, decided to appoint Ambassador Christopher Ross (USA), as his new Personal Envoy for Western Sahara in replacement of Mr. Peter Van Walsum. Mr. Ross undertook two regional visits (January and June 2009) which allowed him to discuss with the leadership of the two parties, Morocco and the F. Polisario, as well as with the leaders of the two observers, Algeria and Mauritania, the prospects of progress for the stalemated peace process.

With the support of UNSC resolution 1871 (2009), and the generous cooperation of the Government of Austria, both parties held, from 10 to 12 August 2009, informal conversations under the auspices of the UNSG Personal Envoy, in Durnstein (Austria) aimed at preparing the grounds for the fifth round of formal negotiations.

The conversations did not lead to a tangible progress beyond the fact that the atmosphere and climate were positive. It was once again apparent that Morocco’s intransigent position which it has already exhibited in Manhasset continues to impede any substantial progress toward a peaceful and lasting resolution of the conflict. Both parties agreed however to continue the negotiations in a date and location that the UNSG Personal Envoy will determine. A report by the UNSG to the UNSC is expected to be finished before the end of April 2010.


The Renewal of African Union Position

22. Meanwhile, the Saharawi people is pursuing the implementation of its national strategy in defence of their legitimate right to be a free and sovereign nation, a process that should not be halted by the lack of progress in the negotiations with the occupying power. The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) has actively participated in all summits and meetings of the African Union.

It is worthy to recall that the Special Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union (AU) on conflicts in Africa, held at Tripoli (Libya), Aug 31, 2009, adopted an important decision on Western Sahara, which “Calls for the intensification of the efforts towards the holding of a referendum to enable de people of Western Sahara to choose between the option of independence and that of integration into the Kingdom of Morocco". [Special Session. AU Summit; 31 august 2009, Tripoli, Libya.]

By adopting this position, the AU intends to support the commendable efforts undertaken by the UN in the peace process in Western Sahara, which the AU is the initiator and co-sponsor.

It is clear for the African Union that Morocco’s position constitutes the major obstacle to peace. In his report to this special session, the chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, said that the Western Sahara conflict is ''still at an impasse,” because, he said, “polarization of the positions of the parties and, more recently, because of Morocco's insistence that its autonomy proposal is the only basis for negotiations with the Polisario, although the Security Council of the UN has noted the proposals of the two parties, as submitted in April 2007.''


The SADR has been consolidating its relations with a high number of friendly countries in the world, mainly in Africa, Caribbean area, Latin America, Asia and South East pacific region.. It has been actively present in Latin America and Africa on the occasion of important events that took place in the two continents. In tandem with these diplomatic achievements, several ambassadors accredited to the SADR have presented to the Saharawi President their Letters of Credentials in the Saharawi liberated territories. The Frente POLISARIO has also become an observer member of the Socialist International.

23. The Saharawi liberated territories, over which the SADR exercises its full sovereignty, have assumed an increasing importance in the overall policies of the Saharawi Government. Significant political, social, economic and cultural events have taken place in those territories, especially in Tifariti where the 12th Congress of the Frente POLISARIO and the 35th anniversary of the foundation of the Frente POLISARIO as well as opening sessions of the Saharawi Parliament were all held there. Hundreds of foreign delegations and dignitaries as well as international media took part in those events.

The Saharawi Government is undertaking great efforts to provide the necessary infrastructure and security conditions for the Saharawi population living in those territories, while undertaking consistent efforts in coordination with friendly countries and neighbours to prevent and eventually to disrupt any illegal activities related to internationally organized crime. It has actively participated, given the long experience of its military forces, in the consolidation and effectiveness of regional security structures in conformity with its obligations as a full Member of the African Union.

Landmines

24. After signing the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines in 2005, the SADR has destroyed the major part of its antipersonnel mine stockpile, and facilitated mine action activities in the liberated territories. The SADR has also declared its commitment to the Ottawa Treaty on banning antipersonnel mines. It should be recalled, however, that Morocco continues to use this lethal weapon (more that 5 million o personal landmines planted in the territory) in the areas under its occupation whilst refusing to adhere to Ottawa Treaty.

UNHCR activities in Western Sahara


25. The UNHCR sponsored exchange programme of visits between Saharawi families separated by the Moroccan occupation is still running albeit at a slow pace. It is regrettable that Morocco has obstructed for an extended period of time the visits to be conducted by land, and continues to block other confidence-building measures adopted by the Security Council such as cultural seminars and postal services. The recent visit in September 2009 to the region of the President of the UNHCR, Mr. Gutierres, was critical in the decision of the international community to increase the amount of humanitarian programs for the Saharawi refugees and certainly helped to overcome Morocco’s obstructions with regard the program of family visits by land.


Human Rights Violations by Morocco in Western Sahara

26. MINURSO was established in 1991 for two inseparable purposes: first, to monitor the ceasefire between Morocco and Frente POLISARIO forces; and second, to organize a referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara by which they will freely choose between independence and integration into Morocco. Eighteen years later, due to Moroccan obstruction, no such referendum has taken place.

27. Until the fundamental right of self-determination of the Saharawi people is secured, the United Nations has a responsibility to protect the population of the Western Sahara pursuant to its clearly defined obligations towards Non Self-Governing Territories, as set out in Article 73 of the Charter of the United Nations. It is worthy to recall that Members of the United Nations have accepted as a ‘sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost…the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories’ and to ensure ‘their just treatment and their protection against abuses’. These fundamental Charter obligations include the provision of basic human rights.

28. A human tragedy keeps on unfolding in our country since 1975 whose cruellest chapters are gradually overcoming the breach of the imposed silence. Moroccan news paper, Al Jarida Al Oula published in 2008 summer what a Member of Morocco delegation in Manhasset negotiations confessed to a Moroccan Official investigative body: “There are several people (…) three or four officers from the (Moroccan) Army that have committed what can be called war crimes off the battlefield, and many civilians were thrown off helicopters or buried alive on account of being Saharawi”.


29. Hundreds of Saharawi have been detained, made to face unfair trials and 32 political detainees, whose names and data were transmitted to the UNSG personal Envoy, are still imprisoned in Moroccan detention centres where the cruellest methods of physical and physiological torture are practiced with impunity. The entire occupied territories continue to be under a military siege and a total media blackout, whilst Moroccan authorities deny access to NGOs, international media and observers.

30. The recent wave of repression undertaken in September 2009 by Morocco forces in Bojador, Aaiun and Smra left dozens of victims, manly women and young ladies, like the famous human right activist, Sultana Kahaya. Torture, abuses, arbitrary detention, have been in situ graphically documented.( www.spsrasd.info; www.arso.org,).

31. It should be recalled in this regard that on 8 September 2006, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) delivered a report expressing serious concern at the human rights situation in Western Sahara, and documenting incidents of arbitrary arrest, harassment, and intimidation of human rights activists, including excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators. While the report, unfortunately, has not been yet made public, it linked clearly the egregious and brazen human rights abuses in the occupied territory to the denial of the Saharawi people’s inalienable right to self-determination. The High Commissioner therefore recommended that the United Nations should institute a capacity to monitor human rights in the occupied Territory.

32. The findings of the OHCHR and recommendations were confirmed by a similarly critical reports published by Human Rights Watch in December 2008, [Human Right Watch, Human Rights in Western Sahara and in the Tindouf Refugee Camps, 19 December 2008] and by the European Parliament fact-finding Mission of February 2009, which documents Morocco’s systematic and abusive efforts to suppress political dissent in the occupied Territory.

33. According to Human Rights Watch, these efforts are manifested by ‘arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, restrictions on associations and assemblies, and through police violence and harassment’.

The report also finds that Moroccan security forces ‘arbitrarily arrest demonstrators and suspected Saharawi activists, beat them and subject them to torture, and force them to sign incriminating police statements, all with virtual impunity; and the courts convict and imprison them after unfair trials’, all in violation of Morocco’s obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In light of these grave findings, Human Rights Watch recommends that the Security Council should ‘expand the mandate of MINURSO to include human rights monitoring and reporting in both Western Sahara and in the POLISARIO-administered camps in Algeria’.

34. In his reports to the Security Council on 14 April 2008 (S/2008/251), and S/2009/200 0f April 14, 2009 the Secretary-General noted that, while MINURSO has no staff dedicated to human rights monitoring, “it is the duty of the United Nations to uphold human rights standards in all of its operations, including its operations related to Western Sahara”

35. The F. Polisario urged the Security Council to act upon the recommendations of the High Commissioner and establish a human rights component within the MINURSO mandate to protect, promote and monitor the human rights situation of the Saharawi people as long as the conflict over the decolonization of Western Sahara remains unresolved.

The UNSC, because of Morocco’s rejection which was supported by a European Permanent Member historically known by its negative interference in the decolonization process of Western Sahara, made a reference to the importance of the “human dimension of the conflict” in its latest resolution(S/1871/2009 of April30, 2009) ,thus failing to adopt a more clear recommendation with regard human rights monitoring system in Western Sahara, despite the efforts undertaken by several UNSC members.

Our hope is that the United Nations will address responsibly the long-standing and systematic denial of the human rights of the Saharawi people, and pave the way towards securing a democratic and legitimate process of self-determination in the Western Sahara.


Exploitation of Saharawi natural resources

36. In the meantime, the Moroccan authorities continue to illegally and massively exploit the natural resources of Western Sahara. The UN legal department opinion of January 29, 2002 stated clearly that any extraction of these resources is illegal since Morocco has no legitimate authority to engage in such exploitation.

37. Morocco claims that it has developed the territory. It is a classic “argument “used by all colonial powers. However, the revenues (Five billion USD) that the occupying power extracts from exploiting the Saharawi rock phosphate (3,500,000 tonnes annually at a price of about US$ 300 per tonne) and the fish industry, for example, go solely to the regime.

They are then used to buy more weapons and reinforce the presence of more than 130,000 of its soldiers stationed in the occupied territory, to sustain economically the needs of more than 300.000 Moroccan settlers, whilst the socioeconomic situation in the occupied territories is deteriorating, with an unemployment rate that exceeds 35 %. UN Member states should not participate directly or indirectly, in these illegal activities. In this connection we urge the EU to reconsider the chapters affecting Western Sahara coasts in the Fishery agreement it has signed with Morocco. The EU should keep its proclaimed reputation not to engage in agreements with countries that are violating international law and human rights.


Conclusions

38. For United Nations, Western Sahara remains a colonial case to which the UN doctrine and practice relating to decolonisation must be applicable. This means that the Saharawi people have an inalienable right to self-determination and independence to be exercised in a free, fair and democratic referendum on self-determination. Morocco, which has already recognized from 1966 to 1973 in statements before UN the right of independence of Western Sahara and has accepted many peace plans based on the option of independence, should cooperate with the international community to put an end to its expansionist colonial war.

39. Over thirty years of institution and nation-building have made the Saharawi nation an irreversible reality. The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic is a fully-fledged State that exercises its full sovereignty over the Saharawi liberated territories and has the administrative and political capacity to handle its own affairs and conduct its international relations. Indeed, the establishment of an independent Saharawi State in Western Sahara, as a result of a genuine democratic process, is the sine qua non for a secure, prosperous and integrated Maghreb.

40. Today finding a just and final settlement of the question of Western Sahara in line with international legality is not only necessary but also possible. The Settlement Plan, the Houston Accords, the Peace Plan for Self-determination of the people of Western Sahara and the Manhasset negotiation process can provide, at any moment, if the political will exists, an appropriate and honourable framework to settle the conflict.

41. The Saharawi Government and the Frente POLISARIO, in keeping with the Security Council position, are ready to work and cooperate with the UN Secretary-General in order to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution which will provide for the self-determination in Western Sahara through the free and genuine expression of the will of the Saharawi people. We are strongly committed to give all chances to the current negotiating process.

42. However , as long as Morocco continue to feel that it has both a veto power to disrupt UN efforts and a guarantee of impunity with regard its policy of violations of human rights in the territory, the chances for the peace process to succeed will continue to be under a great and clear danger.

September 2009




Annex

Morocco’s Commitments:

1. On 7 July 1966, the Representative of Morocco, Mr. Day Ould Sidi Baba, stated before the meeting of the Committee of the 24, gathered in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, that: “I ask for the independence of Western Sahara as soon as possible and this should be an authentic independence, hence we can get over the actual impasse...” [Statement by Mr. Day Ould Sidi Baba, of Morocco; Committee of 24, meeting in Addis Ababa, on 7 June 1966]

2. In the same year, on 13 October 1966, the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mr. Charkawi, stated before the 21st session of the General Assembly, that: “Morocco supports a real independence for Western Sahara, putting the future of the region in the hands of its sons which in the context of liberty will decide freely on their self-determination...” [Statement by Mr. Mohamed Charkhawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco; 21st Session of the General Assembly,13 October 1966]

3. Four years later, King Hassan II himself, in a press conference held on 30 July 1970, stated: “Instead of going on claiming the territory of the Sahara, I would make the specific request that a popular consultation takes place, assuring that the first result being the departure of the non-Africans and allowing the people of the Sahara to choose between life under the Moroccan aegis, under their own aegis, or under any other aegis.” Translated from the original in French.

4. Three months later, the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mr. Boutaleb, stated before the 25th session of the General Assembly, on 12 October 1970, that: “Morocco and neighbouring countries, concerned about peace in the area, the development and cooperation among them, have decided to implement and facilitate the application of the self-determination of the territory of Western Sahara in collaboration with the international organization and the administering power.” [Statement by Minister of Foreign Relations of Moroco, Mr. Butaleb; 25th Session of the General Assembly on 12 October 1970].

5. Two years later, in June 1972, the Council of Ministries of the OAU held in Rabat, Morocco, from 5 to 12 June, adopted with the direct support of Morocco, resolution CM/res. 272(XIX) that, “Calls on Spain, the administering power of Western Sahara to enable the people of this territory to exercise their right to self-determination and independence without delay and in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations” [OP2, resolution CM/res.272(XIX)].

6. One year later, the tripartite Summit among Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania held in Agadir, Morocco, on 24 July 1973, reflected this consensus whilst expressing:

« Au lieu d’aller revendiquer tout court le territoire du Sahara, j’allais faire la demande spécifique qu’une consultation populaire ait lieu, assuré que le premier résultat serait le départ des non africains et qu’on laisserait au peuple du Sahara de choisir entre la vie sous les égides marocaines, sous leur propres égides ou sous n’importe quelles autres égides». [Conférence de presse du Roi Hassan II, le 30 juillet 1970, in Annuaire de l’Afrique du Nord, 1970, CNRS, Paris, 1971, p. 807].

“Their unshakable attachment to the principle of self-determination and their will to make sure that this principle is implemented within a frame that ensures the free and true expression of the inhabitants of Western Sahara, in conformity with UN decisions regarding this question”. (Algerian Mauritanian-Moroccan Summit, Agadir, 24 July 1973).

7. The regional consensus established at the highest political level was defended by Morocco three months later before the 28th session of the General Assembly, on 3 October 1973, when the Moroccan Foreign Minister Mr. Benhima stated:

“It is known that my country proclaims solemnly and in front of other international authorities to be in favour of the self-determination of the people in this territory”. (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, Mr. Benhima, at the 28th Session of the General Assembly of 3 October 1973).

Nouveau rebondissement dans l'enquête sur la disparition de Ben Barka



L'enquête sur la disparition en 1965 de Mehdi Ben Barka a connu un nouveau rebondissement avec la suspension par la justice française de quatre mandats d'arrêt internationaux qu'elle venait pourtant d'autoriser.
Le parquet de Paris a annoncé vendredi qu'il demandait la suspension de la diffusion de ces mandats visant quatre Marocains dont deux généraux, l'un d'eux étant le chef actuel de la gendarmerie royale marocaine, le général Hosni Benslimane.
Le parquet a déclaré qu'Interpol, qui avait diffusé ces mandats il y a quelques jours après le feu vert du ministère de la Justice, sous forme d'"avis de recherche internationaux à des fins d'extradition", avait depuis demandé des précisions "afin de les rendre exécutables". "Sans ces précisions, ces mandats sont inexécutables", a précisé le parquet.
Ben Barka, chef de file de l'opposition marocaine en exil et figure
emblématique du tiers-mondisme, a disparu le 29 octobre 1965 devant la brasserie Lipp à Paris, lors d'une opération menée par les services marocains du roi Hassan II avec la complicité de policiers et de truands français.
L'affaire n'a jamais été totalement élucidée malgré deux instructions judiciaires. Le corps de Ben Barka n'a jamais été découvert et les conditions de sa mort n'ont pas été établies.
Les mandats d'arrêt avaient été signés en octobre 2007 par le juge parisien Patrick Ramaël, alors que le président Nicolas Sarkozy était en visite au Maroc, provoquant l'embarras de la délégation française.
"C'est une mascarade. Un même ministère qui se déjuge en 24 heures, c'est une manifestation flagrante et cynique de la raison d'Etat", a déclaré samedi à l'AFP Bechir Ben Barka, fils de l'opposant marocain. "La ministre de la Justice a-t-elle été déjugée par l'Elysée?", s'est-il interrogé.
La Chancellerie a démenti toute intervention politique.
"Il n'y a aucune dimension politique", a déclaré Guillaume Didier, porte-parole du ministère de la Justice. "Interpol, constatant une insuffisance dans la rédaction de ces mandats, dit qu'ils ne sont pas exécutables en l'état, contraignant le parquet à demander la suspension de leur diffusion dans l'attente des compléments demandés", a-t-il ajouté.
Au siège d'Interpol à Lyon, on s'est refusé à tout commentaire.
Pour l'avocat de la famille, Me Maurice Buttin, "depuis 44 ans, il y a une complicité des deux côtés de la Méditerranée, au départ pour favoriser la disparition de Mehdi Ben Barka, maintenant pour empêcher la vérité d'éclore".
Pour autant, l'avocat "ne désespère pas que l'enquête reparte d'ici quelques semaines".
Le Maroc n'a fait aucun commentaire officiel sur ce nouvel épisode. La presse écrite marocaine de samedi mentionnait seulement l'annonce de la diffusion des mandats, la demande de suspension étant intervenue tard vendredi.
Outre le général Benslimane, les mandats suspendus visent le général Abdelhak Kadiri, ancien patron du renseignement militaire, Miloud Tounsi, alias Larbi Chtouki, un membre présumé du commando marocain auteur de l'enlèvement, et Abdlehak Achaachi, agent du Cab 1, une unité secrète des services marocains.
Ce rebondissement intervient alors que le ministre français de l'Intérieur Brice Hortefeux est revenu mardi d'une visite de trois jours au Maroc, où il s'est notamment entretenu avec son homologue Chakib Benmoussa.

sexta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2009

Affaire Ben Barka : quatre mandats d'arrêt transmis à Interpol deux ans après leur siganture




Quatre mandats d'arrêt signés il y a deux ans par le juge parisien Patrick Ramaël dans le cadre de l'affaire Ben Barka ont été notifiés ces derniers jours à Interpol, selon une source proche du dossier. Au moment de leur signature, le 22 octobre 2007, au premier jour d'une visite d'Etat de Nicolas Sarkozy au Maroc, ils avaient été diffusés en France "mais avaient été bloqués au niveau européen et mondial", selon l'avocat de la famille de l'opposant marocain Mehdi Ben Barka disparu en 1965 à Paris.


Ces mandats d'arrêt visent le général Hosni Benslimane, chef de la gendarmerie royale marocaine, le général Abdelhak Kadiri, ancien patron de la Direction générale des études et de la documentation (DGED, renseignements militaires), Miloud Tounsi, alias Larbi Chtouki, l'un des membres présumés du commando marocain auteur de l'enlèvement, Abdlehak Achaachi, agent du Cab 1, une unité secrète des services marocains.

Leur diffusion récente à Interpol, via le Bureau central (français) d'Interpol, fait suite à un récent feu vert du ministère français de la justice, selon la source proche du dossier. Elle intervient alors que le ministre de l'intérieur Brice Hortefeux est revenu mardi d'une visite de trois jours au Maroc, notamment pour des entretiens avec son homologue marocain Chakib Benmoussa.

Concrètement, à la suite du feu vert du ministère de la justice, Interpol a relayé ces mandats d'arrêt au niveau international sous la forme d'"avis de recherche internationaux à des fins d'extradition", communément appelés "red notices". Leur conséquence immédiate est que les personnes visées courent le risque d'être arrêtées dès qu'elles quittent le territoire marocain.

Un cinquième mandat, visant un autre membre du Cab 1, n'a pas été relayé au niveau international en raison d'un problème de vérification d'identité, a confié une source proche du dossier.

Interpol ordena detener al jefe de la Gendarmería de Marruecos



El ministerio de Justicia francés retrasó dos años el traslado del mandato de detención a la organización policial


Interpol ha emitido una orden de detención internacional contra el general Hosni Bensliman, de 74 años, jefe de la Gendarmería de Marruecos, según fuentes judiciales francesas. Bensliman es el militar con la más alta graduación y uno de los pilares del régimen monárquico.


Bensliman es reclamado por el juez instructor francés Patrick Ramaël en el marco de la investigación que lleva a cabo sobre el secuestro y posterior asesinato, en París en octubre 1965, del izquierdista marroquí Mehdi Ben Barka. Después de haber sido profesor del rey Hassan II fue su opositor más acérrimo.

La organización policial pidió también el arresto del general Abdelhak Kadiri, ex jefe del servicio secreto exterior marroquí, y sus ex agentes Miloud Tounzi y Abdelhak Achaachi. Tounzi habría formado parte del comando que perpetró el secuestro y Achaachi pertenecía a una unidad de elite del servicio secreto.

Ramaël firmó las cuatro órdenes de detención en octubre de 2007

, pero el Ministerio de Justicia francés ha tardado dos años en cursarlas a Interpol. Normalmente el procedimiento no dura más de cinco días. El juez francés esperó a la primera visita del presidente Nicolas Sarkozy a Marruecos, en octubre de 2007, para revelar a la prensa que acababa de firmar los mandatos.

Tras la difusión de la orden de Interpol será difícil que Bensliman viaje al extranjero sin ser detenido. Estuvo en Madrid a finales de enero, formando parte de una delegación ministerial marroquí, y se reunió con el ministro de Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Teóricamente debería incluso ser detenido en su propio país, que es miembro de Interpol, pero es harto improbable que suceda.

La Asociación Marroquí de Derechos Humanos publicó en 2001 una lista de 44 miembros de las fuerzas de seguridad, entre los que estaba Bensliman, que presuntamente torturaron durante los llamados "años de plomo" del reinado de Hassan II. La lista fue elaborada partiendo de los testimonios de las víctimas.

El Consejo de Ministros español condecoró a Bensliman, en enero de 2005, con la Gran Cruz de Isabel la Católica en vísperas de la visita de los Reyes de España a Marruecos. La iniciativa dejó atónitas a las asociaciones de defensa de los derechos humanos.

segunda-feira, 20 de julho de 2009

Le président de la République félicite le président mauritanien à la suite de sa victoire aux élections présidentielles




Bir Lahlou (territoires libérés), Le président de la République, Secrétaire général du Front Polisario, M. Mohamed Abdelaziz, a dressé dimanche un message de félicitations au nouveau président de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (RIM), M. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, à l'occasion de sa victoire aux élections présidentielles.

Le président de la République a exprimé ses félicitations à M. Mohamed Abdelaziz après son élection à la tête de la République sœur de Mauritanie, lui souhaitant bon succès dans sa noble mission, afin de conduire le peuple mauritanien vers plus de progrès et de prospérité.

"Votre victoire aux élections présidentielles et celle de la Mauritanie et son peuple est un grand acquis devant ouvrir les voies vers des perspectives prometteuses", a précisé la lettre du président de la République à son homologue mauritanien.

"Les élections présidentielles et l’atmosphère dans lequel s’est déroulé ces élections sont une grande victoire pour le peuple mauritanien frère, à travers laquelle il a exprimé son niveau exemplaire de démocratie et de patriotisme, afin de faire face aux défis des développements économiques et politiques ainsi qu’à la stabilité dan ce pays", a-t-il ajouté.

Le président de la République, s’est dit satisfait du niveau des relations de fraternité, d’amitié et de bon voisinage unissant les deux peuples frères, exprimant la volonté de la RASD à raffermir ces relations conformément aux aspirations légitimes des deux peuples, sahraoui et mauritanien.

President Abdelaziz’s presence at the festival reaffirms IUSY firm solidarity with the Saharawi people






The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) considered that the presence of the President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, as the guest of honour to the World Festival of the Union, as an expression of indestructible solidarity.

Here is the Statement made by the IUSY on the occasion of the President Mohamed Abdelaziz’s visit to the World Festival socialist Youth (15-19 July in Zanka, Hungary):
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Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Sahrawi Republic and Secretary-General of the POLISARIO Front, is the guest of honour at the world festival of IUSY from 15-19 July in Zanka, Hungary. This marks the IUSY’s reaffirmation of its indestructible solidarity with the Saharawi people and their legitimate struggle for self-determination, freedom and independence.

The efforts of the Saharawi people are fully aligned with the values and universal principles of peace, freedom, justice and democracy which IUSY defends.

IUSY notes that the presence of President Mohamed Abdelaziz at its festival is a reminder that the Western Sahara problem is a problem of decolonisation, which can be solved by the Saharawi people exercising their inalienable right to self-determination, consistently with the UN Charter and the practice of decolonisation in international law.

IUSY demands the implementation of the UN resolutions relating to the Western Sahara and to the will of the Saharawi people to live as a free and sovereign people on their own territory. IUSY also expresses its support to the UN, particularly to its Secretary-General and to his envoy Mr Christopher Ross, in their efforts to bring about a fifth round of direct negotiations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the POLISARIO Front, in order to reach a just, peaceful and definitive solution which will permit the people of the Western Sahara to exercise their right of self-determination.

The illegal occupation of the Western Sahara has resulted in the flight of thousands of Saharawi refugees who live in precarious conditions. Many IUSY delegations have visited the Saharawi refugee camps and have witnessed for themselves both the difficulty of the situation but also the depth of the Saharawi determination to resist and fight against occupation. IUSY salutes the progress made by the POLISARIO Front and by the Saharawi state in promoting education, health, development and democracy among the Saharawi people.

Recent reports by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the European Parliament’s ad hoc delegation agree on the grave human rights situation in the occupied Western Sahara. All of the aforementioned reports agree on the urgent need for the UN to shoulder the responsibility for monitoring and observing the human rights situation through the peace-keeping MINURSO mission in the Western Sahara.

The participants of the IUSY festival, deeply concerned and shocked by Morocco’s policy of oppression in the Western Sahara, vigorously condemn the violations of human rights of the Saharawi’s living under occupation. These abuses, which stem from the failure to respect the fundamental right of self-determination, must cease. Participants demand that the Moroccan government end immediately its repressive practices, which violate human dignity and integrity. They demand:

the release of all Saharawi prisoners of conscience;
the ending of unfair trials and of torture;
the respect of all fundamental rights in the Western Sahara, in particular freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and the right to assemble peacefully
Unrestricted access to the occupied territory for independent observers, the media and NGOS.
Participants emphasise the particular responsibilities of the international community towards protection of the Saharawi people. In particular, they insist on the urgent need for the UN to establish a reliable and effective means of observing and monitoring the situation with regard to human rights in the Western Sahara, notably by broadening the mandate of MINURSO.

In addition, IUSY condemns the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources, given that the UN-led decolonisation process is not yet complete. The theft of Western Sahara’s resources is contrary to international law, violates territorial integrity and strikes against the Saharawi people. Participants in particular call on the European Union to explicitly exclude the Western Sahara from the Advanced Status offered to Morocco, and to reconsider the terms of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement so that it does not include Western Sahara waters.

THE IUSY of which the UJSARIO is member, will continue to reinforce their relations of friendship and cooperation with the Sahrawi youth organization. The IUSY is ready to campaign globally and internationally, raising awareness of the international opinion, for the rights of the Saharawi people and his legitimate struggle.

The speech of Mohamed Abdelaziz before the IUSY International Festival in Zanka






The President of the Saharawi Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, gave a speech before the pariticpants to a conference on Western Sahara organised by the IUSY international Festival, held in Zanka, Hungary, these days.

Here is the complete text of the sppech:


IUSY INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL,Zanka, Hungary, 15-21 July 2009

Conference ; Western Sahara, the last colony of Africa

Ladies and Gentlemen of IUSY leadership,

Dear Guests,

Dear young men and women,

We are very delighted to be guests representing the Sahrawi people at this great youth gathering, the IUSY Festival 2009.

We are very thankful to IUSY for the kind invitation to take part in the activities of the Festival, and we are grateful to Societas - New Movement from Hungary for hosting us in this great country and in this wonderful city of Zanka.

As you know, Western Sahara is the last decolonisation issue in Africa, and has been on the UN agenda since 1963 as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, an issue that can only be settled through the implementation of the right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter.

This irrefutable fact was reaffirmed by the report of the UN Visiting Mission and the ruling of the International Court of Justice of 1975 and other subsequent resolutions including the ruling issued by the UN Legal Advisor in 2002. All these documents have also reaffirmed the historical and legal responsibility of the United Nations and Spain for the decolonisation of Western Sahara.

The Frente POLISARIO was created in 1973, as the sole and legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people and their vehicle to secure their sacred right to self-determination and independence. The position defended by the Frente POLISARIO is anchored in international legality and the fact that sovereignty over Western Sahara is an exclusive competence of the Sahrawi people, which cannot be determined by anyone in their stead. The Sahrawi people, therefore, should be given the chance to decide their destiny in a free, transparent and democratic manner.

On 31 October 1975, the Moroccan Kingdom militarily invaded Western Sahara and in the process committed heinous crimes including assassination, genocide and bombing civilians with internationally banned substances such as napalm and phosphorus. It then agreed with Mauritania, and with Spain’s blessing and collusion, to partition Western Sahara. All these acts represented a blatant violation of the letter and spirit of the dictates of international legality. They have also led to a painful tragedy with dire consequences for the peaceful Sahrawi people, the brotherly Moroccan people, and the peoples of the region at large.

It was the Moroccan Government that reneged on its international commitments. The Moroccan Government officially singed with the Sahrawi side the UN Settlement Plan in 1991, and the additional Houston Agreements in 1997, which all called for the holding of a self-determination referendum for the Sahrawi people. The Moroccan Government not only obstructed deliberately the UN successive efforts. In 2004, it also declared openly its utter rejection of the principle of self-determination and of any solution that would not legitimate, in advance, its illegal occupation of Western Sahara.

Therefore, the conflict in Western Sahara is between two forces. On the one hand, the Moroccan occupying power that keeps on violating the UN and international resolutions and trying to impose an illegal occupation. On the other, the Sahrawi people, under the leadership of the Frente POLISARIO, who are only demanding to exercise their internationally recognised, legitimate and fundamental human right, namely the right to self-determination.

With the support of some countries, especially France, Morocco persists in its defiance and its attempt to impose colonial solutions, and insists on the so-called “autonomy within Moroccan sovereignty” as the only solution to the conflict. Yet the Sahrawi people, together with all free people in the world, continue to struggle for a democratic, transparent and fair solution based on the self-determination referendum.

The Moroccan Government, which boasts of being democratic and open, seeks to impose on the Sahrawis only one option, to be determined first by it and then presented to be voted in the ballot. One cannot impose one single option on others, and then claims to be democratic.

The Frente POLISARIO has always demonstrated its readiness and cooperation for achieving a peaceful and just solution to the conflict. It has even accepted that the referendum would include autonomy, which is defended by Morocco, but in addition to the options of independence and integration that have been established by the UN and accepted by the two parties to the conflict. We look forward to seeing Morocco acting responsibly and showing genuine political will to ensure the success of the ongoing negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and his personal envoy, which aim to implement international legality by enabling the Sahrawi people to exercise their right to self-determination and independence.

Unfortunately, we have not yet seen any move by Morocco in the right direction. Morocco persists in its defiance and disregard for international resolutions and conventions. Dozens of specialised international organisations, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have demonstrated that Morocco continues to commit gross human rights violations against Sahrawi civilians, human rights activists and students in Western Sahara, Southern Morocco and at universities in Morocco, while keeping the territory under a tight security siege and a media blackout. Today, there are more than 30 Sahrawi prisoners of conscience in Moroccan prisons, more than 500 disappeared, and 151 prisoners of war held by Morocco.

There is a tremendous military wall erected by the Moroccan forces in Western Sahara. It is the only wall of its kind that still exits in the 21st century, and continues to divide the territory in two and to separate its land and people. It sprawls over more than 2400 kilometres inside the Sahrawi territory and is guarded by thousands of Moroccan soldiers and fortified by a myriad of weaponry, fortifications and millions of internationally banned antipersonnel mines, which continue to take a heavy toll on innocent civilians.

Morocco has been engaged in forced deportation of native Sahrawis and resettlement of Moroccans in the territory. It also persists in exploiting the Sahrawi natural resources in violation of the dictates of international legality that were affirmed by the former UN Legal Advisor, Mr Hans Corell, in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2008.

We cannot understand why the European Union signed a fisheries agreement with Morocco, which involves the territorial waters of the occupied Western Sahara. The agreement will allow the two parties to exploit greedily and illegally the Sahrawi fishing grounds.

We have nothing against the EU’s plan to grant Morocco an advanced status membership within the interracially recognised border of this country. However, we cannot understand why Europe, a symbol of civilisation and respect for law, decided to go ahead with this move without openly excluding the occupied Western Sahara, a territory on which Morocco exercises no sovereignty whatsoever, and which is pending decolonisation by the United Nations. It would be a blatant contradiction if Europe, an advocate of liberties and human rights, would make that move without conditioning the new status on Morocco’s immediate cession of its violations of Sahrawi human rights and its settlement policies as well as its pillage of the natural resources of the territory.

It is not possible at all to achieve a true and sustainable development in the Maghreb and North Africa and the Mediterranean without a just and lasting solution to the Western Sahara conflict. The attainment of genuine and lasting peace that guarantees stability, development and regional integration necessarily goes through the enabling of the Sahrawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

Ladies and Gentlemen of IUSY leadership,

Dear Guests,

Dear young men and women,

We come from Africa, from that great continent that for many decades had suffered and continue to endure all sorts of colonialism, injustice and exploitation. Yet it is Africa that has resolutely and valiantly defended and adopted the Sahrawi cause by defending its own principles of decolonisation and self-determination, and the principle of intangibility of borders inherited from colonialism. The Sahrawi Republic (SADR) is a founding member of our continental organisation, the African Union, and shares with its sister African countries the same deep concerns about the difficult situation prevailing in the continent politically, economically and socially.

Our continent is in a dire need for urgent assistance to get out of the vicious spiral of poverty, famine, diseases and armed conflicts that take a heavy toll on hundreds of thousands every year. With regard to IUSY Festival 2009, we are confident that Africa, as others continents, will be present and will participate actively in the workshops, conferences and forums organised during the Festival.

Ladies and Gentlemen of IUSY leadership,

Dear Guests,

Dear young men and women,

UJSARIO, the saharaui youth organisation, was among the first organisations to join IUSY, and participates actively in the activities of the latter and in the realisation of its programmes and decisions. The membership of the Frente POLISARIO in the Socialist International is a noble and valiant position taken by the SI, and is also a strong evidence of the consonance between the plans and political options of the Frente POLISARIO and the ideals and objectives of the SI.

We believe strongly, as you all do, that development cannot be achieved without peace and stability and that no stability is possible without the institution of security, justice and democracy, and that no democracy is achievable without freedom and respect for human dignity. We are struggling for realising the same goals defended by IUSY. For we also strive for building a world of peace, freedom, democracy, social justice, equality, respect for human rights and peoples’ rights to self-determination and free expression and international solidarity.

I would like to express our profound appreciation to the IUSY for its principled position regarding the struggle of the Sahrawi people for attaining their legitimate rights to freedom, self-determination and independence.

Your organisation has always and strongly been by the side of the Sahrawi youth. It has worked actively in various international fora to support their struggle for freedom, justice and peace in Western Sahara. The IUSY has sent high-level delegations to the Sahrawi refugee camps, where it singed friendship agreements and engaged in joint solidarity activities with UJSARIO.

You are witnesses, because you have been there, and have seen firsthand the suffering resulting from Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara as well as the determination of the Sahrawi youth to face the hardships of exile and shortage of resources. You have also witnessed the efforts deployed by the Frente POLISARIO and the Government of the Sahrawi Republic for promoting and empowering the youth to play a leading role in the liberation and development of the country.

You are also setting a good example for the Sahrawi youth and people at large, because your steadfast struggle and defence of our just cause and the principle of self-determination and respect for human rights give a boost to our determination to defend our internationally recognised and legitimate rights.

The Sahrawi youth and people do need you. We need IUSY’s solidarity and support. Our struggle is part of your collective struggle against injustice and domination. It is shameful that there are still colonised peoples in the 21st century. Something must be done to address this situation. You are called on to work in Europe and other parts of the world to strengthen the solidarity work with a just cause of an oppressed people. We are confident that you will not let us down, and that you will continue to struggle to eradicate the last vestige of colonialism in Africa.

The youth represent the future. This huge group of young men and women gathered in Zanka, Hungary, for the IUSY Festival 2009, represents a source of great hope, confidence and inspiration for us. We are pound to be with you, and that UJSARIO is an active member of IUSY. You are with us and we are with you. And we all are for development and freedom, and for carrying on our struggle against injustice, domination, poverty, exclusion and all inhuman and degrading practices.

I wish you every success in your Festival!

Thank you!

Next informal meeting between parties important date in efforts of UN” (Ambassador)


The informal meeting in the coming days for the preparation of the 5th round of direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict, the Polisario Front and Morocco, is "an important appointment in the efforts of the international community for the decolonization of Western Sahara, in accordance with the charters and resolutions of the UN, "indicated Sahrawi Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ubbi Bashir.

During a discussion panel on Friday at the headquarters of the Nigerian daily, The Guardian, the Saharawi Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ubbi Bashir said that "the Moroccan occupation is now the greatest challenge to the values of Africa in the fight against colonialism, oppression and confiscation of the rights of peoples. "

"The so-called Moroccan proposal to grant autonomy to Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, can not and will not constitute a vision of a just and definitive peace to the conflict" because, he said, "it is in the opposite direction of international law calling for a referendum on self-determination "to enable the Saharawi people to freely choose its future.

Regarding the chances of successful mediation by the Personal Envoy of the SG of the UN in Western Sahara, Mr. Christopher Ross, the Saharawi diplomat, said that "the door remains open to a just and definitive solution to the conflict, if Morocco shows a real political will towards the solution and honours its commitments to the international community to organize a free, democratic, just and transparent referendum, under United Nations auspices, to enable the Saharawi people to express its view on the future of Western Sahara."