Category Archives: General

Climate Colonialism: Why Was Occupied Western Sahara Excluded from COP26 U.N. Summit in Scotland?

Democracy Now Nov 17, 2021

Activists are criticizing the British government for excluding Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco since 1975, from the U.N. climate summit COP26 in Glasgow Scotland. Meanwhile, Morocco is counting renewable energy developments in Western Sahara towards its own climate pledges.

Negotiators from Western Sahara independently announced a plan to reduce carbon emissions outside COP26, as the climate crisis has brought extreme weather conditions including drought, extreme heat and flooding to the region.

In an interview last week in Glasgow, Scotland while COP26 was underway, Amy Goodman talked with Oubi Bouchraya Bachir, a representative of the Polisario Front for Europe and the European Union, and climate change consultant Nick Brooks, who has traveled to Western Sahara for decades to carry out archaeological and palaeo-environmental fieldwork and helped release the Sahrawi climate plan adjacent to the COP26.

Saharawi government launches climate plan to coincide with COP26

The Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria are regularly affected by floodings, sand storms and extreme heat

8 November 2021

The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) has today launched an indicative Nationally Determined Contribution (iNDC) for Western Sahara, outlining what actions it intends to undertake to contribute to global efforts to address the climate crisis.

The launch coincides with the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, from which the Saharawi people and their government are excluded as a result of Morocco’s illegal occupation of their homeland. The Saharawi people’s contribution to the global fight against climate change, was presented at a side-event of COP26 today. (cont…)

Read more including the full iNDC for Western Sahara, launched at a side-event of COP26 today

The time is now: Western Sahara must gain independence

On October 6, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed a new special envoy for Western Sahara (image by Eric Bridiers via Flickr)

by Kamal Fadel, Polisario Representative in Australia and New Zealand
Independent Australia (IA), 28 October 2021

The question of Western Sahara is, anew, being examined by the UN Security Council. This is an opportunity to kickstart the peace process in a strategically important region.

Almost six decades after it was promised a referendum on its future, Western Sahara awaits its destiny. The UN has spent more than two billion dollars on its mission in Western Sahara and appointed several envoys without accomplishing the task of enabling the people of Western Sahara to exercise their right to self-determination….(cont.)

Read article

by Kamal Fadel, who


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

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

NZ support group launches the Western Sahara New Zealand campaign and website

On 4 March 2021 Western Sahara supporters in New Zealand celebrated the launch of the Western Sahara New Zealand campaign and website.

An online live-streamed panel discussed New Zealand’s role in Western Sahara

The panel included:
Mr. Kamel Fadel: Polisario Representative for Australia & New Zealand
Ms. Louisa Wall,  Labour  MP
Ms. Golriz Ghahraman, Green MP
• The Panel discussion was facilitated by Otepoti-based artist: Mr. Matthew Galloway

Video of launch and discussion

Western Sahara Campaign NZ
The recently established Western Sahara Campaign NZ is a nationwide network of people committed to supporting and advocating for the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination.
Website
Facebook

Statement of Western Sahara African Solidarity Virtual Conference 24 Feb 2021

STATEMENT OF THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE OF AFRICAN MOVEMENTS IN SOLIDARITY WITH WESTERN SAHARA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SAHAWARI REPUBLIC 24 February 2021

We, the African movements of solidarity with the Saharawi people gathered in the African Virtual Conference to Commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the Saharawi Republic on Wednesday 24 February 2021, with the participation of African dignitaries, political parties, trade unions, civil society and academics from 45 countries.
We, the participants to this Virtual Conference, express our steadfast and unwavering support to the legitimate struggle of the people of the Saharawi Republic for freedom and independence. We call on all Pan-Africanists, who love freedom and peace, to stand by the people of this last colony; for Africa will never be free as long as one of our nations is occupied and brutalised.
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1 December 2020: Senator Tim Ayres – adjournment speech about Western Sahara

Senator Tim Ayres. Senator for New South wales Australian Labor Party.  Image David Foote- AUSPIC/DPS.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA  THE SENATE
North Africa SPEECH
Tuesday, 1 December 2020
Senator Tim Ayres, Senator for New South Wales

In this excellent speech Senator Ayres spoke of the breakdown of the three-decade-long ceasefire saying the resumption of military action was a source of deep concern for the entire international community.

“Senator AYRES (New South Wales) (19:50): This evening I want to make a short contribution on a region that’s too often neglected in the parliament and in Australian public debate—that is, North Africa. The ceasefire between Morocco and the Western Sahara independence movement, Frente Polisario, has been an uneasy but longstanding source of stability in the region….(cont.)”

Hansard 1 December – Senator Ayres speech

View below:

 

Sydney AWSA raises the flag at Leichhardt Town Hall to commemorate Saharawi National Day on 27 February

Leichhardt Town Hall flag raising ceremony [Image: Bill Hawker, 2020]

Thursday 27 February marked the 44th 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 Jamie Parker MP.

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.

Tecber Ahmed Saleh’s tour of New Zealand October 2019

Tecber Ahmed Saleh in Auckland

New Zealand Press coverage, October 2019

Tecber Ahmed Saleh spoke at events in Auckland, Hamilton , Christchurch, Dunedin, Lower Hutt, and Wellington

Western Sahara delegate urges halt on phosphate imports, by Emma Hatton, RNZ, 16 October 2019

Western Sahara refugees in NZ to urge Government to ban imported phosphate, NZTV, 14 October 2019

Western Saharan activist aims to end phosphate trade, Gerard Hutching, Stuff, Oct 15 2019