Category Archives: General

Is One of Africa’s Oldest Conflicts Finally Nearing Its End? The New Yorker Dec 2018

Women at a traditional festival at the Boujdour camp near Tindouf, Algeria
Photograph by Nicolas Niarchos

The New Yorker, December 29, 2018
By Nicolas Niarchos
December 29, 2018

John Bolton and a former German President have helped spur the first negotiations over the Western Sahara in six years.
……”Since Bolton’s appointment, in March, there has been a flurry of activity regarding the Western Sahara conflict at the U.N. and in the State Department. “There are two Americans who really focus a lot on the Western Sahara: one’s Jim Baker, the other’s me,” Bolton told me. “I think there should be intense pressure on everybody involved to see if they can’t work it out.” This spring, at the insistence of the U.S. and to the chagrin of Moroccan and French diplomats, the U.N. peacekeeping mandate for the Western Sahara was extended by only six months rather than a year…”

Read complete article

Australian Labor Party Resolution on Western Sahara, 18 Dec 2018

Lesley Osborne, Professor Damien Kingsbury, Kamal Fadel, Polisario Representative, ALP Conference, Dec 2018

The Australian Labor Party National Conference held in Adelaide on 16-18 December 2018 adopted a positive resolution on the question of Western Sahara urging the UN to proceed without further delay with the organisation of the referendum of self-determination and to press Morocco to implement all UN resolutions pertaining to Western Sahara and calling on the Australian Government to ensure Australian companies have regard to international law regarding the importation of resources and products from the occupied areas of Western Sahara until the legal status of the Territory is determined and the Saharawi people are allowed to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with relevant UN resolutions and Peace Plan of 1991.

Text of the Resolution:
Australian Labor Party Resolution on Western Sahara
Adopted by the National Conference on 18 December 2018 in Adelaide
Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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…

Read full report

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;

Continue reading

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

Original post

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