quinta-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2009

Trois citoyens sahraouis victimes de mines dans les territoires occupés du Sahara Occidental

Dakhla (territoires occupés), trois citoyens sahraouis ont été grièvement blessé au moment où leur voiture eut sautée sur une mine anti personnelle dans la périphérie de la ville de Dakhla, a rapporté une source proche du ministère sahraoui des territoires occupés et de la diaspora.

Les citoyens sahraouis, Ali Naji, Mbarek Lansari et Mohamed Wadou ont été grièvement blessés, selon leurs déclarations à un membre du Collectif des défenseurs sahraoui des droits humains au Sahara occidental (CODESA), cité par la même source.

Les victimes ont demeuré plus de 3 heures séparément isolés en raison de la forte détonation de la mine, avant d’être secoué par une voiture qui les transporté vers l’hôpital de Dakhla et transféré par la suite à l’hôpital Belmhdi à la ville d’el Aaiun occupée, a-t-on ajouté de même source.

Des citoyens sahraouis sautent chaque année sur des mines que le Maroc a enterrées par millions autour de remparts militaires construits autour de la zone occupées du Sahara Occidental.

Des citoyens sahraouis sautent chaque année sur des mines que le Maroc a enterrées par millions autour de remparts militaires construits autour de la zone occupées du Sahara Occidental.

Le Front Polisario avait détruit récemment son stock des mines anti-personnelles, appelant la communauté internationale à exercer des pressions sur le Maroc pour l'amener à détruire ses mines, qui "ne font pas la différence entre le pas d'un enfant et celui d'un soldat".

Cette initiative, rappelle-t-on intervient en réponse à l'Appel de Genève lancé en 2000 par des membres de la Campagne Internationale contre les mines antipersonnel, oeuvrant pour engager dans la lutte contre les mines antipersonnel les acteurs qui ne sont pas en mesure de signer la Convention d'Ottawa.

Rabat qui n'est pas signataire du Traité d'Ottawa de 1997 interdisant les mines antipersonnel, a installé des millions de ces mines dans la région, disposées le long d'un mur de sable de plus de 2.000 kilomètres, fortifié d'armes lourdes, de tranchées, de barbelés et de soldats, partageant le pays et le peuple du Sahara Occidental du nord au sud, rappelle-t-on encore.

AI asks for an investigation on the killing of an African migrant in Morocco

Amnesty International called on the Moroccan authorities, yesterday, to open an independent investigation on the death of a sub-Saharan African migrant in the north of Morocco.

AI considered that the Moroccan authorities should investigate on the behaviour of its police agents and authorities, which are usually reported by international observers and Medias to be ill-treating migrant and violating human rights in general.

Here is the complete text of Amnesty International’s public statement on the subject:


7 January 2009

AI Index: MDE 29/001/2009

Morocco/Western Sahara: Open investigation in migrant’s killing

Amnesty International today calls on the Moroccan authorities to open a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the death of a migrant killed at the border between Northern Morocco and Melilla, a Spanish enclave. The organization also called for the respect of the rights of migrants who are often ill-treated and summarily expelled from Morocco. The calls follow the killing of 29 year-old migrant from Cameroon, known as Alino and the arrest and arbitrary expulsion of 14 other migrants at the beginning of January 2009.

In the morning of 1 January 2009, at least 50 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa tried to reach the fence between Morocco and the enclave of Melilla. According to accounts given to Amnesty International, Moroccan law enforcement officials fired once in the air but following shots were directed at the migrants to prevent them from crossing the border. Alino, one of the migrants, was reportedly hit by the second shot and died during his transportation to Nador hospital.

During this incident, 14 other migrants were reportedly arrested and beaten up, and brought to the gendarmerie of Beni N’sar where they were photographed and their possessions confiscated. They were then taken to the city of Nador and from there taken and dumped at the border with Algeria near the city of Oujda, in what appears to be an arbitrary and collective expulsion.

Amnesty International calls on the Moroccan authorities to establish an investigation to examine the behaviour of security forces at the border and the circumstances surrounding the killing of a migrant with a view to determining whether excessive force was used by the Moroccan security forces. An independent post-mortem examination should also be conducted in accordance with the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. In the case that the investigation concludes that excessive force was used, it should make recommendations to hold accountable those responsible, compensation for the victims and measures to prevent any recurrence of such use of excessive force. The findings of this investigation should be made public.

The Moroccan authorities must also ensure that the fundamental rights of all individuals intercepted at the border are protected. In line with international standards such as the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, law enforcement officials should “use force only when strictly necessary and to the extend required for the performance of their duty”.

In addition, Amnesty International calls on the Moroccan authorities to ensure that no individual is forcibly returned to a country where he or she faces a risk of serious human rights abuses, in accordance with Morocco’s obligations under international law, including the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Morocco must provide access to full and fair asylum procedures to all those fleeing persecution. Any decision to deport asylum-seekers found not to be in need of international protection must include adequate procedural safeguards, including the ability to challenge deportation decisions.


In 2005 and 2006, Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations against migrants and asylum-seekers trying to cross the border between Morocco and Spain at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, including killings, use of excessive force by law enforcement officials, collective expulsions and violations of the principle of non-refoulement.

The Moroccan authorities have opened investigations into migrants’ deaths in Ceuta and Melilla in 2005, in Western Sahara in 2007 and near the port of Al Hoceima, but to Amnesty International’s knowledge, they have not been completed nor their results made public.

Polisario Front welcomes the appointment of Christopher Ross

Polisario Front welcomed, in a statement Thursday, the appointment of Mr Christopher Ross as UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara.

"Polisario Front reaffirms its readiness to cooperate with Christopher Ross and will provide all necessary assistance in order to complete the process of decolonization of Western Sahara in accordance with United Nations’ resolutions," POLISARIO’s statement published by the Saharawi official press Agency, SPS, indicated.

For Polisario, "all the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council reiterate that the conflict in Western Sahara should be resolved through the exercise by the Saharawi people of its inalienable rights to self-determination".

The statement said Polisario has always "supported and encouraged the implementation of the Settlement Plan, the Houston Accords and Baker plan for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, all these plans been unanimously supported by the Security Council."

It also regretted that Morocco has "blocked and rejected all these plans and, so far, blocked the appointment of Mr. Christopher Ross."

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, Wednesday informed the Security Council of the appointment of the American diplomat, Christopher Ross, as a personal envoy for Western Sahara, said the spokesperson of Secretary-General, Michele Montas, in a statement made public on the website of the United Nations.

Ban Ki-moon names Christopher Ross his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Christopher Ross of the United States as his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, UN News Centre indicated yesterday.

Mr. Ross, who replaces Peter van Walsum, has had a long and distinguished career with the US State Department in which he focused on Middle Eastern and North African affairs.

A former US Ambassador to Syria and to Algeria, he was most recently Senior Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa at the US Mission to the UN.

“Mr. Ross will work with the parties and neighbouring countries based on the most recent Security Council Resolution 1813 and previous resolutions, building on progress made to date, in pursuit of a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

The Department of State for Foreign Affairs of the USA has welcomed the appointment of Mr. Ross to the position of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Western Sahara, calling on the parties to the conflict, Polisario Front and Morocco “to engage in new rounds of direct negotiations at the beginning of this year. "

The UN Secretary-General had informed last August the two parties to the conflict, Morocco and the Polisario Front, as well as members of the Security Council of his intention to appoint Mr. Christopher Ross as new personal representative for Western Sahara, but without making it publicly.

Several rounds of UN-led talks, bringing together representatives from Morocco and the Frente Polisario, held last year resulted in the parties agreeing to continue negotiations in good faith towards a solution to the issue.

Morocco was reluctant to declare its acceptance of the appointment of Ross, and thus blocked the process of negotiations for many months, so as to pressure the UN many observers indicated.

Polisario Front, on the other hand clearly declared its approval of the designation since the first time the name of the US diplomat was mentioned last September 2008.