Category Archives: Self-determination

UN’s responsibility towards Western Sahara – online event Tuesday 12 October, 7pm (AEST)

Australia Western Sahara Association invites you to join a 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)

International Times:
– London 9am (BST)
– Rome 10am (CEST)
– Wellington 9pm (NZDT)

This event will be on Zoom

It will also be live streamed on AWSA’s Facebook page – no registration needed


Download Event poster with Registration link

More about Speakers

Western Sahara, the Biden Administration and Human Rights

By Amit Dadon, Janna Ramadan
Lawfareblog.com, September 21, 2021

U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) conduct a ceasefire monitoring patrol near Oum Dreyga.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret via Flickr; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In December 2020, then-President Trump drastically broke from established U.S. policy, international consensus, and U.N. resolutions to formally recognize Morocco’s control of Western Sahara in a quid pro quo for Morocco to normalize relations with Israel.

So far President Biden has done nothing to reverse this policy……Implicitly allowing and abetting continued violations of Sahrawi rights and international law diminishes the Biden administration’s credibility when it criticizes abuses committed by other countries. (cont.)

Lawfareblog article

Open Letter to UN Security Council and to the UN Secretary-General New York

New York Support Group for the Independence of Western Sahara
New York, 1 September 2021

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the deployment of the first MINURSO contingent in Western Sahara, the New York Support Group for the Independence of Western Sahara with its 298 member-organisations, including Australia Western Sahara Association, recalls the terms of the Settlement Plan submitted jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the Chairman of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, and approved by the Security Council. The plan provided  that “the people of  Western Sahara will choose, freely and democratically, between independence and integration  with Morocco” and that “The referendum should be held 24 weeks after the cease-fire comes into effect”.

Rather than 24 weeks, It is now 30 years since that cease-fire Settlement Plan was approved and still there is no resolution of the conflict. This excellent letter identifies the reasons MINURSO and the UN are failing in their mission.

Letter from New York Support Group to UN

Important resolution adopted by EU Greens during the 32nd European Green Party Council

At the EU Green Party conference held 2-6 December 2020 the following resolution was adopted in response to the recent military action by Morocco and the end of the ceasefire:

View EU Greens Resolution

Adopted Resolution, Subject to proofreading
“For an EU that acts in support of peace and the right to self-determination in Western Sahara

The military operation by Morocco on the 13th Nov in the village of Al Guerguerat in Western
Sahara, and the subsequent end to the ceasefire that had been in force since 1991 by Frente
Polisario has brought the military mobilisation of hundreds of men from the Sahrawi refugee
camps located in Algeria.
The confrontations between Morocco and Polisario have also escalated; there have been
several clashes, though no civilian casualties have been reported. The pressure on local
human rights activists and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination has increased, Amnesty
International reported. Continue reading

NGOs Geneva Support Group press release following resumption of the conflict

NGOs Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara (GSGPPHRWS)
Press Release, Bir Lehlu / Geneva,  19th November 2020

“The international community must ensure the exercise of the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination.
The Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western
Sahara (253 member organisations) condemns the breakdown of the ceasefire in force since
1991 in the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara on the part of the Kingdom of
Morocco, which did not hesitate to deploy its troops and weapons in front of a group of
unarmed civilians who were peacefully demonstrating in the demilitarised zone of Guerguerat
in the south-east of the Territory. (…cont.)”

Press release, 19 Nov 2020

In Victoria the AWU and councils observe Western Sahara’s National Day

Western Sahara flag is raised at Richmond Town Hall

27 February 2020 was the 44th anniversary of the declaration of the Saharawi Republic.
The Australian Workers’ Union – Victorian Branch proudly observed Western Sahara’s National Day with the Saharawi flag raised high.

Western Sahara National Day was also marked on Thursday 27th Feb with the raising of the Saharawi flag at Richmond Town Hall, VIC.

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.

Aminatou Haidar announced as a Laureate in the 2019 Rights Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Press Release, Stockholm, 25 September 2019

The 2019 Award goes to Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara), Guo Jianmei (China), Greta Thunberg (Sweden) and Davi Kopenawa / Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil).
The Laureates were announced in Stockholm, Sweden, on 25 September 2019 at a press conference at the International Press Centre at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Foundation, commented: “With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honour four practical visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights and to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth.

Rights Livelihood Award announcement

Africa’s Last Colony; Morocco continues to stonewall…John Bolton unwilling to ignore any longer

Africa’s Last Colony; Morocco continues to stonewall on the human disaster it has created in Western Sahara, and John Bolton is not the only U.S. official unwilling to ignore the problem any longer.
by David Keene
The American Spectator, August 10, 2019

David Keene writes “If Americans knew more about what Jim Baker, John Bolton, and elected officials like Senator Inhofe have learned about the ongoing human disaster in the Western Sahara, all of Rabat’s lobbyists and diplomats would lose their ability to keep the U.S. from stepping up the pressure to force their country to live up to its promises.”  Read more at link below…
http://Africa’s last colony, by David Keene