Category Archives: Self-determination

Australian tour 3-29 June – Mohamed Mayara, Saharawi journalist and human rights advocate

Australia Western Sahara Association is hosting Mohamed Mayara, journalist, political activist, human rights defender and trade unionist who lives in occupied Western Sahara.
Mohamed is visiting Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.
The tour is generously supported by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA.

Forthcoming events in Sydney, and Canberra 16-26 June


Sunday 16 June, 1.00pm*
Palestine Rally, supported by Palestine Action Group Sydney
Mohamed Mayara is one of the listed speakers.
Belmore Park, Central
*Check at link above in case the time has changed on the day.

Monday 17 June, 6 pm
Panel Discussion –  Life under occupation in Western Sahara & the pathway to freedom
Maritime Union of Australia, 
365-375 Sussex Street, Sydney
Mohamed Mayara, Convenor, Equipe Media. Ntina Tzouvala, Associate Professor at the College of Law, Australian National University. Other panellist tbc
Free event; Refreshments available; Donations welcome
Supported by MUA, APHEDA and GLW

Wednesday 19 June, 12.30 pm
Western Sahara & the struggle for human rights today
More information
ABS Case Study Lecture Theatre 2080.
Level 2, University of Sydney Business School (H70)
Cnr Abercrombie St and Codrington St, Darlington
Screening of 3 Stolen Cameras, in which members of Equipe Media fight to keep their cameras in Western Sahara. Followed by a Q&A and discussion with Mohamed Mayara, coordinator of Equipe Media, and Assoc.Prof Lynette Riley, Chair of Aboriginal Education and Indigenous Studies, USyd., Rand Darwish, Palestinian advocate and community organiser, working on intersectional solidarities, with the student movement and in film.
Free event; Light Refreshments served after the event; Donations welcome.
Supported by NTEU, APHEDA

Thursday 20 June at 5.20 pm
Workers rights – human rights in Western Sahara

Auditorium at Trades Hall, entrance via 377 Sussex Street, Sydney
A short talk by Mohamed Mayara, human rights defender, journalist and trade unionist.
Sponsored by Unions NSW

Saturday 22 June, 2 pm – Blue Mountains (Download poster)
Film screening and discussion
Africa’s last colony – a desert for journalists
Leura Uniting Church
Cnr Grose St and Megalong St, Leura
Screening of 3 Stolen Cameras (17 mins) in which members of Equipe Media fight to keep their cameras in Western Sahara – followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Mohamed Mayara, Kamal Fadel, Western Sahara Representative in Australia and New Zealand, and Kathie Herbert, Chairperson of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG).
This is a free event; Donations welcome. Afternoon tea provided
Supported by Australia Cuba Friendship Society, APHEDA


Wednesday 26 June, 6 pm (Download poster)
Panel discussion and a short documentary
ANU Latin American Students’ Association and Australia Western Sahara Association will host a screening of 3 Stolen Cameras, a documentary on Western Sahara resistance to Morrocan occupation. Panel discussion with Mohamed Mayara, Saharawi journalist, Kamel Fadel, Western Sahara Representative in Australia and New Zealand, and Leah House, Black Peoples Union.
ANU Copland Building
24 Kingsley Pl, Acton ACT 2601
The event is free.

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Motion supporting Western Sahara passed without debate at ALP National Conference

The Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) is delighted that the Australian Labor
Party (ALP) expressed support for self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, at its National Conference in Brisbane on 17-19 August 2023.

The motion adopted at the recent ALP Conference reads: 
“Labor strongly supports the United Nations in its efforts to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the 1990 Settlement Plan and supports the organisation without delay of the promised UN referendum of self-determination. In pursuit of individual freedom and human rights, Labor supports the United Nations mandating its mission MINURSO to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the Territory.”

See attached proposed resolution and media release below.

Proposed Resolution 130R, Chapter 7: “Labor strongly supports the United Nations in its efforts to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination”, passed

University of Sydney Forum

Two student societies from the University of Sydney have organised a forum on “The Struggle for National Liberation in Western Sahara”, in collaboration with AWSA. The Political Economy Society (EcopSoc) and the Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR) will host Polisario representative Kamal Fadel and Dr Randi Irwin of the University of Newcastle on Thursday, May 18th at 18:00.

All members are encouraged to attend this event. Kamal and Randi will discuss the colonial history of the region, its current impacts on Australian affairs, strategies for decolonisation and more. It appropriately falls between the 50th anniversary of both the founding of the Polisario Front and commencement of the armed struggle at El-Khanga.

A Q&A session will follow, as well as a chance to discuss all matters Western Sahara at Hermann’s bar thereafter! The Forum will take place on Gadigal Land, in the Quad Refectory Room H113 (USyd, Camperdown/ Darlington). See event flyer and Facebook page below.

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

June 8, 2022

Bill Fletcher, Jr.
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….)

Read full article

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.)

Read article

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