Category Archives: General

FREE MOVIE NIGHT: Western Sahara Mini Docos 6.30-8.30pm, Thurs 20 September Leichhardt Town Hall

The Australia Western Sahara Association invites you to join us for a free film evening

A showcase of two mini-documentaries (30min each) on the plight of Western Sahara – Africa’s last colony and a UN-disputed territory.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A.
Learn about this ongoing and little known conflict that has persisted unresolved since Morocco’s invasion of Western Sahara in 1975

Date:  Thursday 20 September 2018
Where:  Leichhardt Town Hall
Time:  6.30 – 8.30 pm
Details:   https://m.facebook.com/events/478935722575021/

Drinks and nibblies will be available with proceeds going to support awareness-raising for Western Sahara.
Invite your friends and family and make a night of it.   Event flyer attached

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Western Sahara refugees urge PM Jacinda Ardern to step in over phosphate trade

The NM Cherry Blossom, which had been headed for Tauranga, was forced to anchor 4km off the South African coast, costing $10,300 a day.

Charlie Mitchell
Stuff NZ, September 12 2018

Refugees who blame New Zealand for a long-running stand-off in the Western Sahara have made a direct plea to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is among the few Westerners to have visited their camps.
A delegation of representatives from Morroco is in Wellington this week to make their case over the ongoing purchase of minerals from the region by two New Zealand fertiliser co-operatives. Phosphate taken from a mine in the region is considered by the Saharawi people to be stolen by Morroco, which annexed the area in 1975.
The Green Party is calling for a select committee inquiry into the trade and will meet with the Moroccan delegation on Thursday to raise its concerns…

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NZ’s reliance on ‘stolen goods’

The world’s longest conveyor belt in the Sahara Desert.

A series of three special reports by Charlie Mitchell
Stuff NZ, September 12 2018

* In Part one: Precious rock New Zealand is accused of stealing from the Sahara
*  part two of Growing Pain, a Stuff series, Charlie Mitchell reports on New Zealand’s tarnished reputation as a humanitarian nation in the eyes of those stuck in refugee camps in Algeria.
* In part three of Growing Pain, a Stuff series, Charlie Mitchell explains the strange bind that keeps New Zealand companies returning for more phosphate from Western Sahara.

Australian Greens National Conference adopts strong resolution on Western Sahara

The Australian Greens National Conference held in Brisbane on 19 & 20 May 2018 adopted the following resolution on Western Sahara:

 “That National Conference:

1. Strongly supports the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence and urge the UN to organise a free and fair referendum on independence in Western Sahara without further delay;
2. Condemns human rights abuses in the areas of Western Sahara occupied by Morocco and urge the UN to extend the mandate of its mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to include human rights monitoring and reporting. The territory should also be opened for other international observers, such as NGOs and the media;

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Wilaya of Auserd masses receives UNSG Personal Envoy to Western Sahara

Sahara Press Service

Oct 18, 2017

The messes of the Wilaya of Auserd have received on Wednesday the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Western Sahara, Horst Koehler, who arrived in the camps on the second leg of his first visit to the region, in the framework of his first tour to revival negotiations between the two parties to reach a solution that guarantees the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.

Upon his arrival in Auserd, he was greeted by units of the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), where he was received at the entrance of the Wilaya by the members of the Secretariat, the Government, the National Council, the Bureau of the Advisory Council, the Presidents of the Constitutional Council and the Supreme Judicial Council.

For her part, Governor of the Wilaya, Mrs. Mariam Salek Hamada, after welcoming the Personal Envoy and his accompanying delegation, renewed the confidence of the Sahrawi party in the new envoy to move the peace process in Western Sahara.

Mariam went on saying that the Saharawi people are looking forward to finding a quick solution to the long-running Western Sahara conflict, applauding Mr. Kohler’s experience in the international politics.

The UN envoy was received by Emhamed Khaddad, the Sahrawi Coordinator with MINURSO, Mr. Bujari Ahmed, representative of the Frente POLISARIO to the United Nations.SPS

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Western Sahara – European Commission ‘ignoring’ of UN-recognised Polisario Front on EU-Morocco Agreement raised in Dáil

An Phoblacht

1 June 2017

John Hedges

Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco

A EUROPEAN COMMISSION move to renegotiate its Association Agreement with Morocco on trade, political co-operation and development issues without involving the people of Western Sahara and their UN-recognised political representatives, the Polisario Front, has been raised in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) by Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe with the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister.

Morocco has occupied much of resource-rich Western Sahara since 1975. Most of the population has been expelled by force, many to camps in the Algerian desert where 165,000 refugees still live. United Nations resolutions have called for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people. The United Nations considers the Polisario Front to be the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people.

Continue reading at An Phoblacht

Perpetuity can not overshadow the $ 200 million annual stolen phosphate

Equip Media EMSahara

9 June 2017

Equip Media

Monday, June 5th 2017. The trial of the Saharawi political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group opened before the Court of Appeal in Salé – Morocco. activists for the independence of Western Sahara and Human rights defenders , but also the lawyers by their absence protest against this unfair trial whose first hearings were held on March 13th 2017 after months of postponements.

On June 6th, in the space authorized for the Saharawi demonstrations, surrounded by the hubbub of Moroccan sound systems friends of Sid Ahmed Lamjayed sentenced to life imprisonment expressed their support and demands, among 80 other demonstrators.

On the panels we could read “Agrium shame on you”, “The phosphate is Sahrawi, and it belongs to our people”.

Sid Ahmed Lamjayed is the president of the CSPRON The committee to support the peace settlement and to protect the natural resources in Western Sahara. Continue reading

Western Sahara’s Hidden Democratic Promise

The Globe Post

19 June 2017

Elliott Schwebach

On the western coast of Northern Africa are a territory, a conflict, and a people that the world has mostly forgotten. Though many do not realize it, this level of neglect has serious ramifications for the state of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

As the right to national self-determination in Western Sahara has gone ignored and unfulfilled, a unique potential for the creation of a robust and functional democracy has also gone tragically unheeded.

In order to prevent future conflict and diminish possible openings for radicalization, it is important for world leaders committed to human rights and international stability to recognize the democratic potential of Western Sahara for what it is: a rare opportunity for low-cost, high-yield democratic transition and the best possible outcome for citizens in the region.

Continue reading the Globe Post

Camel pizza: Sahrawi woman delivering fast food by Mercedes in the desert

Middle Eastern Eye

Eugenio G. Delgado

12 June 2017

A young female entrepreneur from a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria has opened the first pizzeria run only by women.

Hindu Mani is the first Sahrawi woman to open a pizzeria in the Sahrawi refugee camps, around 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

TINDOUF, Algeria – As she pulls up in a 1989 white Mercedes Benz 190, all eyes are on 26-year-old Hindu Mani, a Sahrawi refugee.

Women driving in the Sahrawi refugee camps, 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf, is a rarity, but it is not the only thing Mani has gained notoriety for. With a staff of four women, Mani runs the only Sahrawi pizzeria in the camps.

Hindu Mani delivers pizzas with her 1989 white Mercedes Benz in Aswerd camp, around 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

“From the beginning I thought of [opening a pizzeria] with the idea of empowering young Sahrawi women who have been unable to [finish] their studies or work,” Mani said.

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Can the EU answer these questions on Western Sahara trade talks?

Western Sahara Resource Watch

30 May 2017


Above: The tank vessel Key Bay seen in the harbor of El Aaiun on 6 January 2017 – the first confirmed transport of goods from Western Sahara into the EU after the landmark judgment of the CJEU.

On 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) judged that EU-Morocco trade deals cannot include the territory of Western Sahara.

Yet, the EU Commission has been pushing hard the EU member states to ignore that judgement. And in spite of vocal opposition from the UN-recognised representative of the people of Western Sahara – the Polisario Front – this morning, EU member states gave their green light to the Commission to start talks with Morocco for Western Sahara trade. Continue reading