Reporters without Borders, 11 June 2019
In its report on press freedoms in Western Sahara, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) sheds light on a territory cut off from the rest of the world, a veritable news black hole that has become a no-go zone for journalists.
“Western Sahara, a desert for journalists,” is the first-ever work of research into press freedoms in this non-autonomous territory,
Press release and link to report
Melbourne Filmoteca and Australia Western Sahara Association
Press Release 14 June 2019
Ms Nazha Al Khalidi, a Saharawi journalist, and her colleagues in Equipe Media can be seen at work in a documentary, Rifles or Graffiti, being screened on
Tuesday 18 June at 6.30pm at ACMI in the Treasury Theatre, Lower Plaza, 1 Macarthur Place.
Press Release-14june19 Rifles or Graffiti
Ms Nazha Al Khalidi, a Saharawi journalist faces trial on 24 June for her work to expose human rights abuses in Western Sahara when she live-streamed footage of police beating peaceful protesters. Her case is described in detail by a group of Canadian lawyers, in a letter dated 6 June sent to the Moroccan minister of Justice.
Tshwane, South Africa, March 25 and 26, 2019
The conference has been organised by the South African Development Community (SADC) and hosted by South Africa. It has been attended by many heads of states and foreign ministers:
SADC ministers converged on the Department of International Relations in Pretoria on Monday for the first ever Solidarity Conference with the Saharawi people.
This is an unprecedented occasion in that we have no recollection of any intergovernmental body ever hosting a conference of this nature,” Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told a packed conference hall.
Watch the speech from the South Africa’s President Ramaphosa:
Daily Maverick, 25 March 2019
By Luwellyn Landers
On 25 and 26 March 2019, the Southern African Development Community will convene a Solidarity Conference in the City of Tshwane with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The conference will confirm the region’s support for the decolonisation of the occupied territory and for the holding of a referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people.
Read Daily Maverick report
IOL – Pretoria News, 20 March 2019
By Shannon Ebrahim
South Africa is to host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) solidarity conference with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in Pretoria on March25 and 26.
“South Africa is committed to working with the SADC for the freedom of the people of Western Sahara, and this must be done in our lifetime. South Africans will only be free when the people of Western Sahara and the people of Palestine are free,” Minister for International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu has said.
Read article >>
Councils raise Western Sahara flag to support Sahrawi right to self-determination
Leichhardt Town Hall flag raising ceremony [Image: Kate Walsh, 2019]
27 Feb 2019
Wednesday 27 February marked the 43rd 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 the Mayor of the Inner West Council, Darcy Byrne. 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.
Other organisations flying the flag on 27 Feb included Victorian Trades Hall Council, Yarra City Council and the AWU – Australian Workers’ Union.
APHEDA Facebook post
Solidarity with Western Sahara
Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, Feb 27, 2019
Mud brick house and tent in Dakhla, one of the Western Sahara refugee camps in the south-west. [IMAGE: L OSBORNE, 2016]
Western Sahara is located in Northwest Africa. It is rich in mineral resources, renowned for its fishing grounds and has a great potential for oil and gas. In size, it is similar to the UK.
Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory, whose people have waited many years for a United Nations-sanctioned referendum of self-determination. It remains on the UN agenda and is considered Africa’s last colony due to its occupation by Morocco, which invaded Western Sahara in 1975.
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
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
Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) PRESS RELEASE, 14 December 2018
The Australia Western Sahara Association welcomes the recently concluded first round of negotiations held on 5-6 December 2018 in Geneva on the UN mandate to conduct a referendum on the sovereignty of Western Sahara.
“We are very pleased that the two parties – the Government of Morocco and Polisario – have met after six years of suspended negotiations” said AWSA President, Lyn Allison.
“We thank the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Horst Köhler, former President of Germany, and all those who contributed to the resumption of the negotiations process.” (continued…)
AWSA press release 14 Dec 2018