Monthly Archives: November 2010

Western Sahara: beatings, abuse by Moroccan security forces

November 26, 2010
Tents burn after Moroccan security forces broke up the camp on the outskirts of Western Sahara’s capital, El-Ayoun, on November 8, 2010.

(New York) – Moroccan security forces repeatedly beat and abused people they detained following disturbances on November 8, 2010, in the Western Sahara capital city of El-Ayoun, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces also directly attacked civilians, a Human Rights Watch investigation showed.

Human Rights Watch report >>

The Age, 23 November 2010; letter published about brutal attack on 20,000 Saharawis

We must step up on Western Sahara
Cate Lewis, Australia Western Sahara Association; Dr Helen Hill, Australia-East Timor Association; John Dowd, International Commission of Jurists; Peter Jennings, Union Aid Abroad; Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth.

“ON NOVEMBER 8, as talks resumed at the UN between Morocco and Polisario [the Western Saharan independence movement], Moroccan security forces initiated a brutal attack on 20,000 Saharawis at a peaceful protest camp at Gdeim Izik, near El-Aaiun, the capital of occupied Western Sahara.
The catastrophe is similar to the Santa Cruz Cemetery massacre of 1991, when Indonesian soldiers opened fire on East Timorese students in Dili……(cont.)

Read letter published in The Age 23 November >>

Liberté, egalité, fraternité, génocide

Sand and Blast blog, November 18, 2010

“News that the UN Security Council “deplores” the recent violence in the Moroccan-occupied territories of Western Sahara will be small comfort to the Sahrawi who are suffering death, beatings and disappearances in the disputed territory. While some members of the Security Council have proposed sending a UN investigative team to Western Sahara to assess the situation and the claims and counter-claims,…..”

Read Nick Brook’s Sand and Blast blog post >>

Upsurge in Repression Challenges Nonviolent Resistance in Western Sahara

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Chair of Mid-Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco

…Morocco has been able to persist in flouting its international legal obligations toward Western Sahara largely because France and the United States have continued to arm Moroccan occupation forces and blocked the enforcement of resolutions in the UN Security Council demanding that Morocco allow for self-determination or even simply the stationing of unarmed human rights monitors in the occupied country.
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Date: 18 Nov 2010

After the expulsion of almost all foreign activists and access barred to journalists, it is increasingly difficult to obtain any news from the Western Sahara, around ten days from the Moroccan army raid on a Saharawi camp set up in a peaceful protest a few kilometres from the main city of the former Spanish colony El Ayoun.

Based on reports from sources close to the Saharawi, also last night dozens of people were arrested in police operations and loaded onto buses that headed north, into Moroccan territory.


UN-backed Western Sahara talks begin in New York amid clashes on the ground

8 November 2010 – The parties to the dispute over Western Sahara met today in New York for the start of the third round of United Nations-backed informal talks, while clashes on the ground between Moroccan security forces and Saharawi protesters have reportedly resulted in a number of deaths and injuries.

Statement by the South African Government on the latest events

12 November 2010
Statement by the South African Government on the latest events in the Occupied Territory of Western Sahara

The South African Government has learnt with shock about the heavy-handed manner in which the Moroccan security forces broke up a protest at a camp in Laayoune in the occupied territory of the Western Sahara on 8 November 2010. It is deplorable that, as a result of this incident, lives were lost, particularly those of innocent civilians.    Boukhari said. “The situation is an international disgrace.”
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Polisario demands UN council probe of Sahara clash

Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:55pm GMT
* Independence group threatens to reconsider peace talks
* Polisario says U.N. failed to protect Sahara’s people
By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Western Sahara’s independence movement on Monday demanded a U.N. probe of recent clashes in the territory and threatened to reconsider its role in peace talks with Morocco unless they brought quick results.

The demands came in a letter from the Polisario Front’s U.N.

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