Monthly Archives: February 2021

ABC RN, Late Night Live: How President Trump helped end a ceasefire in Western Sahara

Click on image to listen ; Image: Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images

There have been many repercussions of the surprise announcement President Trump made in promising to recognise Morocco’s claims to Western Sahara if Morocco recognised the State of Israel. This from a President who admitted in 2019 he knew nothing about Western Sahara….

Guests
Kamal Fadel, Representative of the Polisario Front in Australia
Dr Randi Irwin, anthropologist and casual lecturer at the University of Newcastle

ABC LNL interview
Duration: 21min 2sec
Broadcast: ABC RN, Late Night Live with Phillip Adams, Wed 24 Feb 2021, 10:20pm

Statement of Western Sahara African Solidarity Virtual Conference 24 Feb 2021

STATEMENT OF THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE OF AFRICAN MOVEMENTS IN SOLIDARITY WITH WESTERN SAHARA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SAHAWARI REPUBLIC 24 February 2021

We, the African movements of solidarity with the Saharawi people gathered in the African Virtual Conference to Commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the Saharawi Republic on Wednesday 24 February 2021, with the participation of African dignitaries, political parties, trade unions, civil society and academics from 45 countries.
We, the participants to this Virtual Conference, express our steadfast and unwavering support to the legitimate struggle of the people of the Saharawi Republic for freedom and independence. We call on all Pan-Africanists, who love freedom and peace, to stand by the people of this last colony; for Africa will never be free as long as one of our nations is occupied and brutalised.
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Kerri Kennedy writes ‘Biden must undo Trump’s damaging decision on Western Sahara’

AfricaPortal.org, 19 Feb 2021
Kerry Kennedy is president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a social justice organisation based in Washington, D.C.

“In August 2012, my daughter Mariah and I took part in an international human rights delegation trip to Western Sahara, where we met with hundreds and hundreds of victims of abuse. People there told us they had been threatened, beaten, raped, tortured and had family members killed, all for criticising the Moroccan regime or calling for self-determination.  (cont….)

Article by Kerry Kennedy

Jamie Parker MP addresses NSW Legislative Assembly about the issue of Western Sahara

Legislative Assembly Hansard – 18 February 2021

WESTERN SAHARA

Mr JAMIE PARKER (Balmain) (17:11): I raise the issue of the Western Sahara, known as Africa’s last colony. I acknowledge the Australian Western Sahara Association, based in my electorate, and the fantastic work it does to support the Saharawi people. On 26 February the people of Western Sahara will commemorate 45 years of the declaration of the Saharawi republic following the abrupt withdrawal of the Spanish in 1976. We salute them on this important anniversary. Since 1963 Western Sahara has been on the UN’s agenda as a decolonisation issue. The United Nations, the International Court of Justice and the African Union have confirmed that the people of Western Sahara have an inalienable right to self?determination. Continue reading

Morocco’s normalisation deal with Israel results in brutal crackdown on activists

Middle East Eye, 19 February 2021

People call for the independence of the Western Sahara in a protest (AFP/Illustration:Mohamad Elasaar/MEE)

Activists in Western Sahara say they are facing a brutal crackdown in the wake of Morocco’s normalisation deal with Israel.
US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara has, the activists say, emboldened authorities to carry out abuses against ordinary citizens and those who oppose the decision.

Mahmoud Lemaadel, who regularly sheds
light on violations in the region, said that in recent weeks there had been an unprecedented number of attacks on activists and campaigners.

Report by Nadda Osman

17 February: 27 US Senators sign a letter to President Biden

United States Senate, Washington DC, 20510, 17 February 2021

On 17 February a letter signed by 27 US Senators was sent to President Biden urging him to reverse the decision by the previous administration on December 11, 2020 to officially recognize the Kingdom of Morocco’s illegitimate claims of sovereignty over Western Sahara.

The decision is decried as misguided and short-sighted in this strong letter of support for the Sahrawi people’s right to a referendum of self-determination

US Senators letter to Biden on Western Sahara

Front Line Defenders Statement condemns increasing harassment by Moroccan authorities

Front Line Defenders, 17 February 2021

Statement –  Western Sahara: Ongoing harassment and intimidation against Sahrawi human rights defenders

“Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the increasing harassment by the Moroccan authorities against Sahrawi human rights defenders living in Western Sahara over the last few months which include physical surveillance on prominent human rights defenders, the use excessive force to disperse peaceful protests, the mistreatment of imprisoned human rights defenders and the imposition of arbitrary disciplinary measures against human rights defenders in their employment. (cont.)

Frontline Defenders Statement

Western Sahara Independence Activist Sultana Khaya Assaulted by Moroccan Police

DemocracyNow!, Feb 16, 2021

In the Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, renowned Sahrawi activist Sultana Khaya was brutally assaulted last weekend by Moroccan agents in her home in the city of Boujdour, where she and her entire family have been held under house arrest since last November 19, days after the renewal of armed conflict in the territory.
On February 13, Sultana was waving a large flag from her rooftop   (cont…)

DemocracyNow report

Open Letter to the UN Secretary General on Western Sahara

International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
February 16, 2021

The following open letter to the UN Secretary-General on Western Sahara was adopted at the IADL Council meeting on 7 February 2021. IADL is a member of the Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara:

Excellency,
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers expresses its deepest concern at the resuming of the armed conflict in the Non Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara that followed the breaking of the cease-fire by the Kingdom of Morocco.  (cont…)

IADL open letter

Trump and U.S. betray the people of Western Sahara

By Kamal Fadel
Independent Australia,  6 January 2021

On December 10, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would recognise Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara in return for it establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.
Western Sahara is a territory considered by the United Nations (UN) as Africa’s last colony, whose people are entitled to the right to self-determination.
Trump’s decision is contrary to what the International Court of Justice concluded in 1975: that Morocco did not have any claim to territorial rights in Western Sahara.(cont….)

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