Nomination for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic submitted by Suzanne Scholte January 30, 2016
As the democratically elected President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Abdelaziz has labored his entire life to see justice prevail for the people of Western Sahara, the only colony yet to be decolonized in Africa. Abdelaziz has carefully guided the POLISARIO, an organization he helped found, and the SADR, a Republic he has lead since his first election in 1982, to seek peaceful resolution to this conflict first through the International Court of Justice (1974) and more recently through the United Nations (1991).
Mohamed Abdelaziz helped establish the Polisario Front in 1976
Following a long illness President Mohamed Abdelaziz died on 31 May 2016.
A period of 40 days’ mourning has been announced, at the end of which a new president will be elected by an extraordinary general meeting of the Polisario Front. In the meanwhile, the speaker of the Saharawi National Council (Parliament), Khatri Addouh, will act as interim leader of the Polisario Front.
This is the end of an era and could be a turning point, but for now we simply assess the enormous contribution made by Mohamed Abdelaziz in the course of the past 40 years. As a young man….(cont.)
Moroccan protesters in the capital Rabat, on March 13, 2016, during a demonstration against statements made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (Photo: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
Dominic Dudley, Forbes Business, Foreign Affairs
19 May 2016
On May 18, the Moroccan government summoned the US ambassador in Rabat, Dwight Bush, for a dressing-down over the State Department’s most recent human rights report on the country, as it wages diplomatic battles on several fronts over its occupation of Western Sahara.
A Sahrawi woman holds a Polisario Front flag during a ceremony to mark 40 years since it proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Photo by Getty Images.
Dr Claire Spencer, Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, 16 May 2016
The Western Sahara conflict has eluded resolution for so long that the principles underlying United Nations-led efforts to seek an enduring outcome have become muddied almost to the point of cancelling each other out. Forty-one years since its inception, diplomatic language rather than arms has become the medium for the continuation of the dispute. The annual highlight is the renewal of the UN Security Council’s peacekeeping and monitoring mission …(cont.)
Chatham House article >>
Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, 15 April 2016
BY TOM O’BRYAN
Ban Ki-Moon has sparked a diplomatic crisis in Western Sahara… but a crisis may be just what’s needed after decades of deadlock. Ban Ki-Moon’s criticism of Morocco’s 40-year “occupation” of Western Sahara during his visit to the territory on March 8, 2016 has sparked the most serious crisis in the region in decades. Morocco denounced the Secretary General’s “biased” rhetoric, and“irreversibly” expelled U.N. peacekeepers stationed in Western Sahara. .(cont.)
Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy article >>
Annie Slemrod, Middle East Editor, IRIN
JERUSALEM, 14 April 2016
“Of all of the world’s forgotten conflicts…that of Western Sahara, with its refugees tucked away in a remote desert, ranks as one of the most consigned to oblivion. But last month, the world’s top diplomat, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, brought the issue to temporary attention with a rather undiplomatic move. After visiting part of the disputed territory, which is claimed by both Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, he called Morocco’s presence there an “occupation.”…(cont.)
IRIN article >>
Phosphate mine at Bou Craa factory of the National Moroccan phosphate company (OCP) situated in Western Sahara, . Reuters/Youssef Boudlal
International Business Times, 15 April 2016
Fertiliser producer Incitec Pivot Ltd. (ASX:IPL) is the last Australian importer of rock phosphate from the disputed territory of Western Sahara, a report has found. In 2015, Incitec Pivot imported 63,000 tonnes of phosphate worth US$7.48 million and constituting one third of its superphosphate fertiliser mix. “We have been in touch with Incitec Pivot for many years with letters explaining the issue to them and meeting them, but we haven’t been successful in convincing them to end their illegal exploitation of this resource,” said Kamal Fadel, Australian representative of SADR’s governing party, the Polisario Front, and head of the SADR Petroleum and Mining Authority. (cont…)
IBT article >>
By Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion, April 06 2016
Black Agenda Report, Global Research, Center for Research on Globalization
In his recent article, “Just Say No to Another Failed State,” published by Foreign Policy, Lester Munson claims that the only solution to the long standing issue between Western Sahara and Morocco is autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty. Problematically, however, the article lacks context and is overly simplistic, is strewn with inaccuracies and errors, and is heavily tinged with paternalistic overtones.
Read full article >>
RNZ, Broadcast, 3 April 2016
A few weeks back UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described the Western Sahara as an occupied land that had been forgotten. Morocco promptly expelled UN staff from the region in protest. Stephen Zunes is the co-author of Western Sahara War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution – one of the only books on the struggle by the indigenous Sahrawi people for independance.
Listen to Prof Stephen Zunes broadcast >>
Laura Secorun Palet, OZY, 4 April 2016
Because they are out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind. Imagine you have to live in the exact same place for 40 years. And now picture that place is a settlement made of mud in the middle of the desert, surrounded only by vast stretches of dusty nothingness. That’s how the people of Western Sahara live.
Forty years ago, the Saharawis went to war with Morocco, who had annexed Western Sahara into their kingdom against their will….(cont.)
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