Yearly Archives: 2020

March 24 – UN International Day for the Right to the Truth about Gross Violations of Human Rights and for the Dignity of the Victims

On this day the Australia Western Sahara Association honours the resilience of the people of Western Sahara in their peaceful struggle for self-determination and independence.  

AWSA has joined with the Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara in calling for United Nations processes for holding the referendum for self-determination be re-activated. Importantly, on this international day, the UN must commit to the monitoring of violations of human rights in the Occupied Territory of Western Sahara and reporting the truth about such abuses, including enforced disappearances.

News release issued 24 March 2020 by the Geneva Support Group

In Victoria the AWU and councils observe Western Sahara’s National Day

Western Sahara flag is raised at Richmond Town Hall

27 February 2020 was the 44th anniversary of the declaration of the Saharawi Republic.
The Australian Workers’ Union – Victorian Branch proudly observed Western Sahara’s National Day with the Saharawi flag raised high.

Western Sahara National Day was also marked on Thursday 27th Feb with the raising of the Saharawi flag at Richmond Town Hall, VIC.

Sydney AWSA raises the flag at Leichhardt Town Hall to commemorate Saharawi National Day on 27 February

Leichhardt Town Hall flag raising ceremony [Image: Bill Hawker, 2020]

Thursday 27 February marked the 44th anniversary of the declaration of the Saharawi Republic.

In recognition of this anniversary the flag of Western Sahara was raised in solidarity at Leichhardt Town Hall by Jamie Parker MP.

Also attending the flag-raising ceremony were Kamal Fadel (Polisario Representative Australia and New Zealand), Lesley Osborne (Secretary of the Australia Western Sahara Association, AWSA) and members of AWSA.

Aminatou Haidar announced as a Laureate in the 2019 Rights Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Press Release, Stockholm, 25 September 2019

The 2019 Award goes to Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara), Guo Jianmei (China), Greta Thunberg (Sweden) and Davi Kopenawa / Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil).
The Laureates were announced in Stockholm, Sweden, on 25 September 2019 at a press conference at the International Press Centre at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Foundation, commented: “With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honour four practical visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights and to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth.

Rights Livelihood Award announcement

BBC interview, Business Daily: The conflict mineral that feeds the world

Morocco dominates phosphate fertilisers thanks to its disputed control of Western Sahara
Matt Davies, BBC Sounds podcast: Business Daily.  31 Dec 2019

Matt Davies travels to Morocco to speak to Nada Elmajdoub, an executive at the national phosphate company OCP. He also hears from Mohamed Kamal Fadel, a spokesperson for the Polisario Front, which is bringing legal challenges against Morocco’s phosphate exports in its bid to win independence for Western Sahara; Professor Stuart White of the University of Technology Sydney questions the sustainability of the planet’s usage of mined phosphates to boost crop yields, plus Stephen Zunes, a professor of Middle East politics at the University of San Francisco, explains the history of the Western Sahara conflict and how Morocco gained the upper hand.

BBC Business Daily podcast