Category Archives: Self-determination

YouTube recording : 8 June webinar “Morocco’s Autonomy Proposal vs Independence in Western Sahara

June 8, 2022

Host:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Panelists:
Katlyn Thomas
Stephen Zunes


Webinar “Morocco’s Autonomy Proposal vs Independence in Western Sahara: What Solution is Best for Africa’s Last Colony?” presented by The Campaign to End the Occupation of the Western Sahara in partnership with the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and the Pan African Unity Dialogue .

Webinar explores the scope and the pitfalls of Morocco’s ‘autonomy plan’ put forward by Morocco as the ‘solution’ to the conflict.

Watch here on YouTube

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Western Sahara support groups release a strong statement on TICAD8, the Japan-organized forum on African development


The forum is to be held in Tunisia in August 2022. Friends of Western Sahara Japan and Africa Japan Forum (AJF) are calling on the Japanese government to include Western Sahara just like the EU-AU summit did in Brussels.

They demand that Western Sahara (SADR) be included in the list of invitees of the Japanese government. As the EU-AU summit in last February included Western Sahara, there is no reason that Japan excludes it.

Statement on TICAD8, 9 April 2022

Western Sahara Is Still Fighting for Freedom

Sahrawi women display Sahrawi flags during a demonstration on 18 June 2021 in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Isabel Infantes/Getty Image)

By Eoghan Gilmartin
Tribune, 5 April 2022

‘We are being told by the West to simply accept our reality—the reality of occupation,’ Sahrawi journalist Nazha El Khalidi tells Tribune. ‘Why don’t we have the same right to self-determination as the Ukrainians? This hypocrisy shows you the real face of Europe and Spain, who are more interested in our land and resources than in the people of Western Sahara.’ (cont….)

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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.

UN renews peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, calls for talks

ALJAZEERA News, 29 October 2021

The United Nations Security Council resolution expresses concern over the breakdown of the ceasefire between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front.
The United Nations Security Council has extended the UN peacekeeping mission in the disputed Western Sahara for a year, expressing concern at the breakdown of the 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front and calling for a revival of UN-led negotiations. (cont…)

ALJAZEERA article 29 October

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.)

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by Kamal Fadel, who


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.”