Category Archives: Political issues

27 February 2019 – WS flag raised in solidarity with Sahrawis

Leichhardt Town Hall flag raising ceremony [Image: Kate Walsh, 2019]

Councils raise Western Sahara flag to support Sahrawi right to self-determination
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 – APHEDA article 27 Feb 2019

Mud brick house and tent in Dakhla, one of the Western Sahara refugee camps in the south-west. [IMAGE: L OSBORNE, 2016]

Solidarity with Western Sahara
Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, Feb 27, 2019

Background
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.

APHEDA article

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…”

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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
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AWSA Press Release, 14 December 2018 – AWSA welcomes progress in Geneva negotiations

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

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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Favors To Morocco Followed By $28 Million For Clinton Foundation

Hillary’s Two Official Favors To Morocco Followed By $28 Million For Clinton Foundation
Daily Caller, 12:21 AM 10/31/2016
Richard Pollock | Reporter

Hillary Clinton did two huge favors for Morocco during her tenure as secretary of state while the Clinton Foundation accepted up to $28 million in donations from the country’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, according to new information obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Lisa Jackson tried to shut down the Florida-based Mosaic Company in 2011, operator of America’s largest phosphate mining facility.

Daily Caller article by Richard Pollock >>

Foreign Policy Swamp, Trump Should Start In The Sahara Desert

To Drain The Foreign Policy Swamp, Trump Should Start In The Sahara Desert
Daily Caller, 12:51 PM 08/14/2018
Suzanne Scholte | President, Defense Forum Foundation; Seoul Peace Prize Laureate

“A tremendous opportunity exists for President Donald Trump to resolve a long-simmering foreign policy conflict over Africa’s only remaining colony, Western Sahara, as it is a stark illustration of exactly the themes on which he campaigned.
When Trump ran for president, he spoke often about the “forgotten men and women” and highlighted how corruption in government can lead to much suffering and unfairness and vowed to “drain the swamp.”…..(cont.)

Daily Caller article by Suzanne Scholte >>

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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A MEMORANDUM ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO ON THE BUFFER ZONE

12 April 2018

Morocco has recently been engaged in an unprecedented, frenzied media and diplomatic campaign of misinformation and propaganda in which it has threatened to take military action to forcibly annex the Liberated Territories of the Sahrawi Republic (SADR), alleging that the Frente POLISARIO had violated the terms of the 1991 UN-supervised ceasefire in Western Sahara.

The misinformation campaign also involved the dissemination of a series of fabrications and misrepresentations of the realities on the ground, particularly in terms of the geographical scheme enacted under the ceasefire and the related military agreement between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco. To put the record straight, we would like to clarify the following:
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