Bir-Lahlou, 30 October 2019 (SPS) – The UN peace process in Western Sahara is at a critical juncture and the Frente Polisario is left with no option but to reconsider its engagement in the process, said the Frente Polisario in a statement following the Security Council adoption on MINURSO resolution.
The following is the full text of the statement:
“Bir Lehlou, Liberated Territories of Western Sahara– 30 October 2019
The adoption of Security Council resolution 2494 (2019), without any concrete actions to advance the UN peace process, is a deeply regrettable and unacceptable return to ‘business as usual’ on Western Sahara and deals a serious blow to the political momentum that the Security Council built and maintained over the past 18 months. By failing to follow through on its commitment to end the status quo and demand that Morocco terminate its illegal occupation of Western Sahara, the Security Council has missed another opportunity to prevent the UN peace process from collapsing. In the face of the UN Secretariat and the Security Council’s repeated failure to prevent Morocco from dictating the terms of the peace process and the UN’s role in Western Sahara, the Frente POLISARIO is left with no option but to reconsider its engagement in the peace process as a whole.
PUSL.- The Security Council vote that took place today adopted resolution 2494 renewing the mandate of MINURSO (Referendum Mission in Western Sahara).
Both Russia and South Africa abstained. Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and is the second time to abstain from adopting a referent resolution of Western Sahara.
France another permanent member and traditional defender of Morocco’s position has been pushing for MINURSO’s mandate to be extended a year instead of the 6 months of the last vote in April this year.
The status quo remains, and MINURSO’s mandate will not include any mechanism to protect the Saharawi population under Moroccan occupation and victim of extreme human rights violations.
Baku, Oct. 25 (EFE) .- The interim president of Algeria, Abdelkader Bensalah, today called on the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to expedite the appointment of a new special envoy for Western Sahara.
“Algeria urges the UN Secretary General to accelerate the appointment of a new special envoy to continue (the work) based on previous achievements (…),” he said at the XVIII Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). .
Bensalah praised “the continued position of the NAM in supporting the rights of the Saharawis”, and urged the heads of State and Government present at the summit, which opened today in the Azerbaijani capital, to continue with this position.
PUSL.- The saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik group detained in Kenitra Prison began today, Friday a protest hunger strike of 48h in solidarity with El Bachir Boutanguiza.
Mr. Boutanguiza was put in an isolation cell on Monday 21st October for a period of ten days. Boutanguiza was sentenced to life imprisonment and suffers from several illnesses due to the torture he has been subjected to.
The prisoners in protest are Houcein Zawi (sentence 25 years) ; Abdallahi Lakfawni (life sentence); Ahmed Sbaai (life sentence); Hassan Dah (sentence 25 years) and Naama Asfari (sentence 30 years).
PUSL.- The group of young students that have been protesting since 1st of October in Rabat in front of the University building claiming their right of enrollment were attacked this Thursday evening by the Moroccan authorities.
As you can hear and see in the pictures, the young people were attacked by Moroccan police with batons. Four of the young people, 22-year-old Hamza Bouhriga, 23-year-old Yousef Bougharyon, 22-year-old Mohamed Sghir and 26-year-old Mohammed Bah were seriously injured. Hamza Bouhriga was transported to the hospital.
Despite the attack and intimidation the young Saharawis returned to the protest the following day, Friday.
Eight students were prevented from enrolling at Rabat University in law and social science courses. The officials told them that the University Board claims that they are not entitled to enroll because they are neither resident in Rabat nor have their IDs been issued in Rabat.
PUSL .- During the formal meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit, João Lourenço Head of State of Angola welcomed the holding of the first Russia-Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government (which ends tonight), which he considered “very important” for the strengthening of Russian-African relations.
He acknowledged the help of the Russians in the liberation of African countries, underlining that today the continent is largely free thanks to the commitment of the former Soviet Union.
He regretted, however, the fact that Western Sahara was still in a situation of political dependence, which he considered “unfortunate”.
PUSL.- MEP João Ferreira of the Portuguese Communist Party requested further clarification regarding Frederica Morgherini’s response to the human rights violations that took place in El Aaiun, the capital of occupied Western Sahara that resulted in the death of a 24-year-old girl.
Vice-President Federica Mogherini’s reply on behalf of the European Commission stated:
“The EU is aware of the tragic death of a 24 year old woman in Laayoune after the Algerian victory in the African Cup of Nations. According to the Moroccan authorities, inquiries are ongoing to clarify the circumstances.
Democracy and human rights are essential components of the EU’s foreign policy and of its dialogue with partner countries like Morocco. The 14th meeting of the EU-Morocco Association Council on 27 June 2019 provided an occasion to have a high level discussion on human rights issues. The Joint Political Declaration adopted during the Association Council also emphasises human rights and common values as a key area of the future cooperation.
The European Union will follow the situation of human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara through regular contacts with the competent authorities, including the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) and its regional offices, as well as with civil society organisations and human rights defenders.”
PUSL.- Relay for Freedom of Saharawi Political Prisoners and Independence of Western Sahara
A group of Spanish athletes and a Saharawi will run 284 km between Paris and Brussels on relay for the release of Saharawi political prisoners and the independence of Western Sahara.
The initiative was presented at the plenary of Lebrija on 22 October at an event attended by Pepe Barroso Mayor, Deputy Saharawi Delegate in Andalusia, Vice-President of the Saharawi community of Seville, President of the Lebrija Platform for Solidarity, the President of the League of Saharawi Journalists in Europe, the coach of the Saharawi National Team, as well as the group of Spanish athletes who will face this demanding challenge. Pepe Barroso, on behalf of the city of Lebrija, reaffirmed “the Municipality’s commitment to the Saharawi cause in the search for a political solution to the situation suffered by the Saharawi”.
PUSL (Lisbon) .- On October 21, the Africana Studia journal – Western Sahara: policies OF the impass of the Center for African Studies of the University of Porto was presented at ISCTE, Lisbon University.
The director of Africana Studia, Prof. Maciel Santos (CEAUP) presented the JOURNAL dedicated to Western Sahara, which has twenty-one articles and two interviews that address the theme of Western Sahara from the point of view of various international authors.
Prof. Mourad Aty, researcher of CEAUP, briefly summarized Algerian foreign policy in the face of the Western Saharan conflict, highlighting that it is a search for a just solution for the Saharawi people. According to Prof. Aty the just solution of this conflict will bring benefits to all of North Africa (Maghreb Union).
PUSL.- Next Monday, October 21st, the African Studia magazine – Western Sahara: The Politics of Stalemate, will be presented at ISCTE, Lisbon at 18h00.
The presentation will feature a debate with Maitre Olfa Ouled, lawyer of the Gdeim Izik Saharawi political prisoners.
Dr. Ouled, who specializes in international law and works in Paris, defends 18 political prisoners from the so-called Gdeim Izik Group and has filed several international complaints on behalf of her clients who were all victims of extreme torture.
PUSL – Only few days before the meeting of the UN Security Council, the Saharawi community and American supporters have gathered in front of the French embassy in New York in protest of the continued support of France of the Moroccan occupier.
France has always watched over Moroccan interests in the Western Sahara conflict in the United Nations Security Council by preventing the work of MINURSO and the inclusion in this mission of a mechanism for monitoring and defending human rights of the Saharawi population in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
The protesters echoed the aspirations of their people for the end of this conflict, within the framework of the resolutions of the United Nations, and for the freedom and independence of the last colony in Africa.