Monthly Archives: October 2021

UN’s responsibility towards Western Sahara; statement by Kamal Fadel, Polisario Representative

Statement prepared by Kamal Fadel, Polisario Representative for the Australia Western Sahara Association online panel event Tuesday 12 October 2021


Prepared for the Australia Western Sahara Association online panel event Tuesday 12 October 2021

“First of all I would like to thank AWSA for organisation this event and also all the speakers for their time. Thanks also to all those who joined us over Zoom and Facebook from all around the world.
This event is being held on an important day for the people of Western Sahara as 46 years ago on 12 October 1975, Saharawi members of the Spanish Parliament, Chiefs and elders as Polisraio leaders and member met to express their unity behind Polisario as their sole representative and their desire to achieve independence….” (cont.)

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statement by Kamal Fadel

Youth yearning for independence fuel Western Sahara clashes

The Associated Press
Polisario Front soldiers during a shooting exercise, near Mehaires, Western Sahara,

By ARITZ PARRA Associated Press, 21 October 2021

“MAHBAS REGION, Western Sahara — As a glowing sun sank behind the sandy barrier that cuts across the disputed territory of Western Sahara, Sidati Ahmed’s battalion launched two missiles that sizzled through the air and then followed with an artillery attack.
Within minutes, a barrage of mortar shells flew in the opposite direction, from Moroccan positions, landing with a thick column of smoke in the barren desert of what is known as Africa’s last colony” (cont….)

Associated Press report

Australian Peacekeepers in Western Sahara

Corporals Colin Gamble and Greg Scanlon in the desert conditions of Western Sahara, December 1991. Photo: T. R. Dex

by David Sutton, Australian War Memorial Blog , 6 September 2021

On 6 September 1991 a group of Australian signallers in the remote Western Sahara desert strung an antenna to the roof of their hotel room, connected it to two “very sad looking” Moroccan radios in the Australian contingent commander’s bedroom, and established the Force Headquarters Radio Room for a major United Nations peacekeeping operation. It was an unglamorous start to Operation Cedilla, Australia’s contribution to the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The rudimentary technical conditions were short lived….(cont.)

Article by David Sutton

Situation concerning Western Sahara – Report of the Secretary-General

1 October 2021

The report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2548 (2020), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 October 2021.

The Secretary-Generaal notes that the situation in Western Sahara has significantly deteriorated since his previous report. The resumption of hostilities between Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguía el-Hamra y de Río de Oro (Frente POLISARIO) and the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have considerably changed the operational environment of MINURSO, limiting the Mission’s ability to implement its mandate. (cont.)

Secretary-General’s report 1 Oct 2021

US Senators letter to The Honorable Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

The letter dated October 14, 2021 from a group of US Senators urges the State Department to prioritize engagement with the Moroccan government about human rights abuses, …

October 14, 2021
The letter concludes:
“The United States must be an advocate for human rights around the world. Yet, concerning abuses by Moroccan authorities, especially against Sahrawis, the administration has said little publicly. We urge you to reaffirm the right of the people of Western Sahara to self- determination, and to advocate for the release of political prisoners and protect freedom of expression for every Moroccan and Sahrawi.”

Online panel discussion: UN’s responsibility towards Western Sahara, Tuesday 12 October, 7pm (AEST)

Australia Western Sahara Association hosted this fantastic panel of Australian and international guests to discuss the United Nations role in the Western Sahara conflict

Panellists:

  • Jeremy Corbyn MP – Former Leader of the UK Labour Party
  • Francesco Bastagli – Former Head of the UN Mission in Western Sahara, MINURSO, and UN representative in Western Sahara
  • Senator Tim Ayres – Labor Senator for NSW
  • Golriz Ghahraman MP – Green Party of Aotearoa NZ
  • Kamal Fadel – Polisario Front Representative in Australia and New Zealand
  • Moderator Lyn Allison – Former VIC Australian Democrats Senator

When: Tuesday 12 October 2021
Time:  7pm  – Sydney (AEST)

The event was recorded for AWSA’s Facebook page

Why the Fight Over Western Sahara Is Heating Up Again

By Souhail Karam | Bloomberg
The Washington Post, September 30, 2021

In November 2020, the Polisario ditched a 30-year cease-fire with Morocco. The severing of diplomatic ties in August between Morocco and Algeria, Polisario’s historic backer, could escalate the tension. A ruling by a European Union court in September enforcing the bloc’s legal positions on Western Sahara as a separate and distinct territory from Morocco served to highlight the importance of finding a political solution to the crisis.

Washington Post article

Frente POLISARIO press release: The appointment by the UN Secretary-General of Mr Staffan de Mistura as his new Personal Envoy for Western Sahara.

New Personal Envoy, Mr. Staffan de Mistura.

Bir Lehlou, Sahrawi Republic, 6 October 2021

The Press release stressed that “the only way forward to achieve a peaceful, just, and enduring solution to the decolonisation of Western Sahara is to enable the Sahrawi people to exercise freely and democratically their inalienable and non-negotiable right to self-determination and independence in accordance with the precepts of international legality and relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the African Union.”

Press Release, 6 October 2021

EU court offers clear message to NZ phosphate importing companies

Voxy.co.nz, Thursday, 7 October, 2021

On September 29, the General Court of the European Union issued a landmark ruling, one of significant importance in international law for Western Sahara. Western Sahara is Africa’s last colony, occupied illegally by Morocco since 1975, and even in the face of a UN administered self-determination referendum agreed upon in 1991. New Zealand is a large-scale importer of high-quality phosphate rock from Western Sahara. In 2017-18, the High Court of South Africa noted that the Saharawi people are the rightful owner of the resource.

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BREAKING: Court annuls EU fisheries and trade deals in occupied Western Sahara!

29 September 2021

Polisario’s representative to Europe, Oubi Bachir, with Manuel Devers from Polisario’s legal team

Today, the EU Court of Justice has struck a blow to the EU’s practice of applying trade and fisheries agreements with Morocco to occupied Western Sahara.

The press release from the Court today specifically states that Polisario is able to represent the Saharawi people before European courts.

The right of the Saharawi people to consent has not been respected, the court stated. It states that the Union could not have replaced the “consent” of the Saharawi people with the argument of “benefits”.

Read more.