The Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) is delighted that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) expressed support for self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, at its National Conference in Brisbane on 17-19 August 2023.
The motion adopted at the recent ALP Conference reads: “Labor strongly supports the United Nations in its efforts to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the 1990 Settlement Plan and supports the organisation without delay of the promised UN referendum of self-determination. In pursuit of individual freedom and human rights, Labor supports the United Nations mandating its mission MINURSO to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the Territory.”
See attached proposed resolution and media release below.
In Canberra on Thursday, May 25th, three AWSA members and Western Sahara representative to Australia Kamal Fadel were intimidated by Moroccan embassy staff. Kamal Fadel was directly blocked whilst attempting to enter Albert Hall, for an event commemorating the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union).
They were officially invited to this event, and had every intention of peacefully attending it. With the help of ambassadors accredited to Australia, all four were safely escorted inside.
The Saharawi struggle for independence against the Moroccan regime is a Pan-Africanist struggle. It is clear that neocolonial occupiers of Western Sahara do not value this principle.
Article from the Guardian (written by Ben Doherty), below:
Two student societies from the University of Sydney have organised a forum on “The Struggle for National Liberation in Western Sahara”, in collaboration with AWSA. The Political Economy Society (EcopSoc) and the Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR) will host Polisario representative Kamal Fadel and Dr Randi Irwin of the University of Newcastle on Thursday, May 18th at 18:00.
All members are encouraged to attend this event. Kamal and Randi will discuss the colonial history of the region, its current impacts on Australian affairs, strategies for decolonisation and more. It appropriately falls between the 50th anniversary of both the founding of the Polisario Front and commencement of the armed struggle at El-Khanga.
A Q&A session will follow, as well as a chance to discuss all matters Western Sahara at Hermann’s bar thereafter! The Forum will take place on Gadigal Land, in the Quad Refectory Room H113 (USyd, Camperdown/ Darlington). See event flyer and Facebook page below.
Madrid-based NGO Nomads HRC have collated a comprehensive, searchable online database of films on Western Sahara. Contact information and links are provided to films or documentaries that are publicly available. This is an open, collaborative project, so do contact Nomads if you have any queries or notice any errors. See links below.
The Inner West Council marked the 47th anniversary of the declaration of the Saharawi Republic by raising the Saharawi flag.
The flag-raising ceremony was attended by Inner West Councillor Kobi Shetty, Kamal Fadel, Polisario Representative Australia and New Zealand, Lesley Osborne, Secretary of the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) and members and friends of AWSA.
More than 2,200 members of the Saharawi liberation movement Polisario and 370 foreign guests attended the Polisario 16th Congress held in Dakhla camp (13-20 January). The Polisario’s current head, Brahim Ghali, was re-elected at the gathering, which comes at a critical time for the movement. The delegated agreed to give the armed liberation struggle priority and intensify the fight against Morocco.
Morocco is embroiled in a corruption scandal that is engulfing the European Parliament. So far, at least four individuals have been arrested and charged with “participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption,” the prosecutor has said. The four remain in prison. In Australia, we are aware that Morocco has organised several paid visits to Morocco and Western Sahara by parliamentary representatives in order to influence Australian members of parliament. Morocco did succeed in obtaining Australian government agreement to open an embassy in Rabat some years ago. However, there is no embassy in Algiers, although Algeria is a country that Australia has more business with than Morocco! Read more: Middle East Monitor
The representative of the Polisario Front in Australia, Kamal Fadel, participated in the Palestine solidarity conference held in Melbourne in January 2023.
The Palestine Solidarity Conference brought together a diverse range of people who are passionate about the Palestinian and Saharawi cause, and are interested in campaigning, organising, and advocating for the just causes. Over three days, participant engaged in workshops and plenaries, and explored avenues in which the movement can work together to achieve a bigger and more sustainable impact.
A workshop was organised on the striking similarities between the issue of Western Sahara and the Palestinian cause.
Media Release ~ Communiqué FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17 October 2022 – Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara & Sydney, Australia.
The Government of the Saharawi Republic (Western Sahara) today condemned the renewal of the illegal import in plundered phosphate mineral rock to Australia.
On 17 October, a cargo with an estimated market value of more than $15 million AUD arrived aboard a bulk carrier, the m.v. Clipper Isadora, at Geelong. The purchasing company is Incitec Pivot Limited, which has not traded in the Western Sahara commodity in more than five years, at the time the last Australian company to do so. Incitec Pivot Limited has made no public statement about the resumption of purchases and has not responded to inquiries and expressions of concern from Saharawi officials.
The Maritime Union of Australia condemns the actions of Incitec Pivot, an Australian company, which has recommenced importing illegal cargo from the occupied Western Sahara through the Port of Geelong. The Clipper Isadora vessel is currently discharging 33,000 tonnes of plundered natural resources – a cargo of phosphate mineral rock – worth A$15 million at the bulk terminal in Geelong.