African Continental Free Trade Area — Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

PUSL.- On July 7ththe 12th Summit of Heads of State of the African Union (AU) took place in Nigeria’s Niamey. In this summit the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), was launched. 54 of the 55 member states of the African Union ratified it. Eritreia is the only member state that is not to part of the trading bloc.

The AU says that the AfCFTA  will create the world’s largest free trade area and lead to around a 60% boost in intra-African trade by 2022.

According to research by the African Development Bank in 2014 only 16% of international trade by African countries takes place between African countries.

Morocco ratified the agreement but Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom made immediate statements saying that although they ratified the AfCFTA, “Morocco’s signature and ratification of the agreement must be seen as separate from its stance on the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Democratic Republic (SADR)”.

The ratification of the AFCFTA does not mean that Morocco will respect what it has signed because it will continue to want to exploit and commercialize illegally obtained products and resources from the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

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Sahrawi Political Prisoners of the Gdeim Izik Group remain victims of medical malpractice and isolation

PUSL / Jornal Tornado.- The 19 Sahrawi political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group continue to be victims of abuse, ill-treatment, torture and intentional medical malpractice at the hands of the Moroccan authorities.

The reprisals are getting worse. Mrs. Mangin, wife of Mr. Asfari has been expelled again after having only once visited her husband after 2 years of prohibition to enter Morocco and a 30 day hunger strike. This time Mrs. Mangin didn’t get the opportunity to be accompanied by the CNDH (Moroccan National Human Rights Council) to whom she obviously asked for help before going.

Morocco ignores the decisions of the United Nations so far, and the agreements and treaties signed. In the case of Naama Asfari, despite a letter of the Committee against Torture of the United Nations (CAT) asking to stop any reprisals against Naama, the CNDH demonstrated its lack of power despite the Moroccan law itself which in theory is supposed to apply the OPCAT (Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture).

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Claude Mangin, wife of Saharawi political prisoner Naama Asfari prohibited to enter Morocco to visit her husband

PUSL.- Claude Mangin, french citizen and wife of Saharawi political prisoner Naama Asfari of the Gdeim Izik group was prohibited today to enter Morocco to visit her husband who is serving a 30 year sentence in Kenitra prison near Rabat.

Mangin was forced by the Moroccan authorities to return to Paris from Casablanca Airport after arrival today.

The French citizen made a 30 days hunger strike in March-April 2018 in order to force the French authorities to intervene so that she could visit her husband after being prevented to enter Morocco since 2016.

After having obtained the commitment of the French government to mediate with the Moroccan authorities on the resumption of visits she was allowed to visit her husband in Kenitra prison last 14 and 15h of January.

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The voices of the desert

PUSL.- They arrive little by little but are thousands. Some are already in Spain others will arrive in the next few days.

Small ambassadors from Western Sahara, children born and raised in refugee camps in southern Algeria, just as their parents were born and raised there and their grandparents built a country in exile in the middle of the death desert.

They spent more than 4 decades of exile, survived more than 4 decades of Moroccan occupation.

Here they come to Europe these little Saharawis, innocent and smiling faces but also often with tears that spend a few weeks away from the refugee camps and get to know the “first world”.

Families and institutions welcome children and make promises, strive to provide them with what we, in the first world, think is necessary to have a happy childhood.

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On Thursday an Information Session on the current situation of Western Sahara was presented at the José Afonso Association in Lisbon.

PUSL.- The session organized by the delegation of Polisario Front in Portugal was attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, migrant organizations, representatives of political parties, students, academics and the representative of the Human Rights Commission of the Portuguese Bar Association.

Francisco Fanhais, president of the José Afonso Association, opened the session recalling the solidarity of Zeca Afonso and his commitment to opposing colonialism.

Mohamed Fadel, delegate of the Polisario Front in Portugal, gave a presentation on the current situation of the conflict, focusing on the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the recent resignation of Horst Koehler personnel envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations and participation in the African Union and its positioning.

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President Ghali Visits Panama, Invited for the investiture of the New President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen

Panama City (Panama) June 30, 2019 (SPS) – The President of the Republic, Secretary General of the Frente POLISARIO, Mr. Brahim Ghali, arrived on Saturday in the Panamanian capital at the invitation of the government of that country to participate in the ceremony of transmission of presidential command and investiture of the new President of the Republic of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen.

The President of the Republic was received at the Tocumen International Airport by representatives of the Panamanian National Authorities, where a military unit on duty gave him military honors, before addressing the Panamanian and international press invited for the inauguration of the new Panamanian president .

The President of the Republic, in statements to the press, reaffirmed the strength of historical relations between the Republic of Panama and the Saharawi Republic, reiterating the desire to further consolidate these relations, and expressed his gratitude for this invitation. Read more

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