Category Archives: General

Aziza Brahim is also performing at the Brunswick Music Festival

“Queen of the desert blues and voice of the Sahrawi people”

Aziza Brahim will also be performing at the Brunswick Music Festival, Brunswick Town Hall on Thursday 16 March at 8pm.

Coming to international attention in 2014 after the release of her third album Soutak, Aziza Brahim tours extensively across the globe. In Melbourne for the first time and for one show only, the queen of the desert blues, performs music from her sublime 2016 release Abbar El Hamada.

Powerfully voiced with arresting and spellbinding grace, Aziza’s languid laments tell of the Western Sahara refugee plight – a tale of both hardship and uplifting hope against all odds. Her music traverses an electrifying expanse between the dusty plains of her Western Saharan roots, the upbeat Latin rhythms of the Cuba of her youth and Spain, her adopted homeland.
Aziza is both a highly potent sonic poet and the voice of the Saharawi people in their ongoing struggle for recognition and justice. Innovation, truth, humility and political outspokenness are the raw materials of her vision

For more information and tickets click here

Obituary: Sidi Ahmed Eddia Moussa 1948-2017

Meeting Christopher Ross, personal envoy for Western Sahara of the UN Secretary General

Meeting Christopher Ross, personal envoy for Western Sahara of the UN Secretary General

Sidi Ahmed Eddia, Secretary General of the Confederated Union of Saharawi Workers (CSTS – Confédération Syndicale des Travailleurs Sahraouis) was born in El Aaiun in 1948 and died there on 3 January 2017.

Leading a street protest 2010

Leading a street protest 2010

He was well known for his activism, not only for workers’ rights, but also for many other causes supporting Saharawi rights in general.

After his military service with the Spanish army, and work with the construction service, he took employment at the phosphate mine,

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North Africa’s next war….New York Times 16 Jan 2017

The New York Times, The Opinion Pages
Hannah Armstrong, 16 January 2017

TIFARITI, Western Sahara — “Uninhabited and less than three miles long, the rocky, flat area known as Guerguerat falls under no formal government rule. It lies near North Africa’s Atlantic coast, some 40 miles north of Nouadhibou, a thriving Mauritanian port city…… Since August, this remote area has been the site of a standoff between two enemies that have been at an impasse for more than two decades: Morocco and the Polisario Front. Not since 1991 have they been closer to war….(cont.)

NYT article >>

Open Letter to UN Security Council: The Status Quo in Western Sahara is Unacceptable

Huffington Post, Blog, 21 July 2016

The Western Sahara Civil Society, a coalition of civil society groups from Western Sahara and international supporters, has written a strongly worded open letter to the President of the UN Security Council calling on the Council to place on record the Western Sahara Civil Society’s strong belief that the status quo in Western Sahara is unacceptable…and stating that immediate action to resolve the conflict must be pursued (cont.)

Article and letter >>

Polisario elects its new leader, Brahim Ghali

ALGIERS, July 9 (Reuters) – Western Sahara’s Polisario independence movement has elected a former ambassador to Algeria, Brahim Ghali, as its new leader after the death of its chief, Mohammed Abdelaziz, who led the front through a war with Morocco and years of diplomatic struggle for self-determination.
Abdelaziz died in May aged 68 after more than three decades as leader of the Sahrawi Polisario Front and president of its self-declared Sahrawi Republic, with its base in southern Algeria since a ceasefire in 1991.

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OBITUARY: Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic 1948-2016

OBITUARY
Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic 1948-2016
Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA), June 2016

With the death on 31 May 2016 of Mohamed Abdelaziz, Saharawi president, the people of Western Sahara have lost a major figure in their recent history.

He was one of the founders of their independence movement, the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro) in 1973, fighting first against the Spanish coloniser, then in 1975 battling the Moroccan invader. He has been at its helm since the inaugural Polisario leader, El Ouali Mustapha Sayed, died in action in 1976. (cont.)
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Friends of Western Sahara have been saddened to hear of the death of Polisario President Mohamed Abdelaziz

Mohamed Abdelaziz helped establish the Polisario Front in 1976

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.)
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Ban Ki-Moon Has Sparked a Diplomatic Crisis in Western Sahara

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 >>

Western Sahara: Another Misinformed Imperial Analysis

Map-Western-sahara-400x300By 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.

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Radio New Zealand – Professor Stephen Zunes about Western Sahara

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 >>