DAKAR (Senegal)- Saharawi Foreign Ministers Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said Morocco has once again failed to prevent the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from taking part in the African Union-United Nations partnership conference, to take place in Dakar.
The Saharawi policy chief told reporters after the postponement of Dakar's meeting that "Morocco has once again failed to prevent the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic from taking part (in an international conference as an AU member) after its failure in Malabo Summit."
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) confirmed Sunday the postponement of the African Union-United Nations partnership conference that was due to be held in Dakar.
The ECA has taken the decision after it received the legal opinion of the African Union Commission, which refutes Morocco's allegations and backs the position of the Saharawi Republic.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa received legal arguments from AU Commission and most African bodies that support the participation of the Saharawi Republic as a full member of the African Union.
PRETORIA (South Africa)- South Africa's ruling party African National Congress (ANC) pledges Sunday to make of 2017 a year of support to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) at the African Union (AU) and to intensify efforts in this respect at both continental and international levels, media reported.
In a document about the party's foreign policy for 2017, which will be presented at the next annual meeting, the ANC stressed that "Western Sahara people's struggle for self-determination and independence will remain one of the party's priorities."
South Africa's ruling party announced the launch of an international campaign to "denounce Morocco's hindrances to the implementation of the resolutions issued by the United Nations and the African Union" in relation to Western Sahara conflict.
The ANC added that "all options are possible, including the isolation of the Moroccan regime."
The African National Congress expressed wish that Morocco's joining of the African Union would "contribute to the intensification of efforts for the decolonization of Western Sahara."
Western Sahara was added in 1966 to the UN list of non-autonomous territories, about which the UN General Assembly issued Resolution 1514 that includes the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Western Sahara is the last remaining colony in Africa, as it has been under Moroccan occupation since 1975 with the support of France.
CHAHED EL-HAFED (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- Saharawi Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said Morocco has been forced to accept what it had rejected before, in order to join the African Union (AU), calling Rabat to respect its commitments and conform to the international legality and allow for the decolonization of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa.
Speaking Wednesday to the forum of the Sahara Libre (free Sahara) newspaper, Ould Salek said "Morocco has been forced to accept to sit beside the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a full and founding member of the African Union, which means recognition of the reality of the African organization where the SADR is AU's 39th member."
"All Morocco's attempts to expel the Saharawi Republic have failed due to the solidarity of African Union members with Western Sahara people's right to self-determination and independence and their struggle to recover their legitimate rights," Ouled Salek said, cited by the Saharawi news agency SPS on Thursday.
"Morocco, by signing the African Union constitutive act, has officially acknowledged its internationally recognized border."
Morocco must abide by its commitments and conform to the international reality to allow for the decolonization of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, the Saharawi official stressed.
NOUAKCHOTT (Mauritania)- President of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Secretary General of the Polisario Front Brahim Ghali has called on the United Nations to assume its responsibilities and puy an end to "Morocco's provocations in the region of Guerguerat."
In an interview to the Mauritanian independent news agency "El-Akhbar," the Saharawi leader said the "United Nations and its Security Council must assume their responsibilities and exert pressure on Morocco to get it to abide by UN decisions and resolutions, which provides for holding a referendum on Western Sahara people's self-determination."
The UN "should also get Morocco to respect the ceasefire agreement and allow MINURSO to immediately resume work," the Saharawi official said.
Ghali denounces the "shameless complicity" of France, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, "through its support of the intransigent position of Morocco, which refuses to abide by the international legality."
"Morocco's provocations in the region of Guerguerat and its violation of the ceasefire" have also been condemned by President Ghali.
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- The ambassador of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Ethiopia and permanent representative at the African Union, Lamine Baali, welcomes African countries' positions over Western Sahara people's just struggle for their right to self-determination, noting that the African States are "in line with the principles and foundations" of the African Union.
Saharawi ambassadors speaking at the meetings of the AU Committee of permanent representatives, to wrap up on Wednesday, said "African countries' consensus on supporting SADR's right to participate in the African Union-Arab League partnership summit, held (last November) in Malabo, shows AU's deep, common position over the rights of African peoples."
The Saharawi official praised the continental organization's position at the fourth Arab World-Africa meeting, as it refused to boycott the summit and defended the right of an AU full and founder member, namely the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, to take part at the meeting's works."
The works of the 33rd session of the Committee of AU Permanent Representatives opened Sunday in Addis Ababa, as part of the preparation for the 28th AU summit on January 30-31.
The meeting of the heads of State and Government will be preceded by a Foreign Affairs ministers meeting.
MADRID (Spain)- Dozens of people, members of the Spanish movement for solidarity demonstrated Tuesday outside Morocco's embassy in Madrid, Spain, to demand "the immediate release of Saharawi political prisoners in Morccan jails."
The protesters, who responded to the call to demonstrate launched by Spanish coordination for associations friends of Saharawi people (CEAS-Sahara) demands "the immediate release of Saharawi political prisoners detained by Moroccan prisons," and especially those of Gdeim Izik group, unjustly and illegally incarcerated since 2010.
Carrying flags of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the demonstrators denounced the "systematic violations of human rights in Western Sahara territories."
They chanted various slogans like "Struggle will continue and Polisario will win" and "Morocco guilty, Spain responsible."
All "Gdeim Izik" Group prisoners are "human rights defenders who struggle for the freedom of their people," said Jose Taboada, the Spanish coordinator of associations supporting Western Sahara people.
BIR LAHLOU- Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) greeted Wednesday African Union (AU) countries' support and solidarity with Western Sahara government and people, who should enjoy their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
"Saharawi Government expresses to all the states and bodies of our (African) Union its deep gratitude and that of Western Sahara people for their support and solidarity with the Saharawi State," the SADR's ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
This position "is in line with the common values of the African Union which rejects any attempt to undermine the intangibility of post-independence borders, forcibly annexing territories and expansionism, and regards as sacred peoples' rights to self-determination and independence."
The Saharawi ministry of Foreign Affairs also greeted the unanimity and unity of AU members against Morocco's attempts to undermine the Africa-Arab Summit meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, by demanding the removal of the flag and sign carrying the name of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic."
The African Union's 54 members expressed, "in a single voice, their commitment to the values and principles of the African Union, the statement said.
MALABO (Equatorial Guinea)- Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel on Wednesday, in Malabo, said the "cohesion" that marked the fourth Africa-Arab Summit in the face of Morocco's attempts to expel the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from the Summit meeting "shows that the African continent remains unified against any attempt to undermine the stability of Africa and the Africa Union."
Messahel, who represents Algeria at the fourth Arab-African, told International Algeria Radio that Morocco's attempts to expel the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic "were vain in the face of the resistance of all African countries."
"No African country made reservations about AU Charter principles."
The Algerian official stressed that this attitude "shows Africa's cohesion" and its determination "to thwart any attempt to destabilize the continent."
"It is a scathing response to all those who seek to sow division in the continent."
"Morocco's manoeuvring was doomed to failure in the face of Africa's determination," Messahel said.
"Morocco as a neighbouring country wants to join the African Union, however, it, once again, has just shown that it has no real willingness" to be an AU member.
BIR LAHLOU (Liberated Saharawi Territories)- President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Brahim Ghali said Sunday that the Saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik "are leading today the peaceful resistance in occupied Western Sahara territories and in the south of Morocco."
In a letter to Saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik, the president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), also secretary-general of the Polisario Front, cited by the Saharawi news agency SPS, told them "you are writing history pages that will remain engraved in the collective memory of the Saharawi people, as you represent the best example of loyalty to martyrs."
"Through your unmatched resistance and your defiance of the arrogance and tyranny of the Moroccan occupation authorities and your hunger strikes, you have stressed your refusal to submit to the colonizer despite all forms of abuse, torture and harassment."
"Moroccan occupation authorities' tactics will not deceive Western Sahara people," President Ghali emphasized.
They only "reflect the confusion of Moroccan torturers after they failed to break Western Sahara people's will."
Morocco's new tactics, which "are aimed at prolonging the tragedy of Saharawi people," show "Morocco's failure," he said.
Six years after the incarceration of 23 Saharawi of Gdeim Izik in Rabat-Sale and three years after they were given heavy sentences by a military court, the Moroccan court of cassation has referred the case back to the civil court.
"Sending the case of the political Saharawi prisoners (of Gdeim Izik) to a civil court is recognition that their (previous) trial was illegal and as a result they should be set free."
ALGIERS- Saharawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek on Wednesday described Morocco's statements about its AU membership to the detriment of Western Sahara as a "tactic doomed to failure."
Morocco, which is undergoing an "international isolation, seeks to divert the attention of the international public opinion through a number of manoeuvres, including the statement about its return to AU to the detriment of Western Sahara, an attempt doomed to fail as well as its previous schemes," Ould Salek told reporters following a meeting with Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra.
The Saharawi official pointed out that the last African Union summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda, "was an opportunity to reiterate AU's consistent position about the Saharawi cause" and to call for a referendum on Western Sahara people's self-determination.
The participants in the AU summit paid tribute to the late Saharawi President Mohamed Abdelaziz and hailed the election of the new president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Ibrahim Ghali.
After he stressed that African Union's positions are inalienable, the Saharawi official expressed AU's concerns about the ongoing occupation of Western Sahara territories by Morocco, mainly due to United Nations' procrastination in relation to MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara).
The African Union has requested from the UN General Assembly, in its capacity as the first responsible for decolonization, to set a date for the holding of a referendum on self-determination, Ould Salek said.
AU called on the Security Council to ensure the "protection of the Saharawi territories and to put an end to the despoliation of Western Sahara's resources," he added.
Most African countries support the just cause of Western Sahara, the SADR official stressed.
ALGIERS- The speaker of the People's National Assembly (lower house of parliament), Mohamed Larbi Ould Khelifa, reiterated Saturday Algeria's support to Western Sahara in international fora, being fully convinced that it is backing a just cause.
Ould Khelifa, at an audience granted to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic's ambassador to Algiers Bechraya Hamoudi Sidina, expressed "Algeria's willingness to continue support for Western Sahara in international fora."
"This is a constant position of Algeria: Parliament, government and people, coming from our faith in the just cause of Western Sahara and our experience in fighting colonialism," ould Khelifa said, according to a Lower House's statement.
The speaker underlined that Western Sahara conflict is a "decolonization issue according to United Nations resolutions and international decisions."
He stressed that Algeria's support to the struggle of Western Sahara people "is based on the unwavering principles governing our foreign policy."
For Algeria, it is a support to a just cause to allow Western Sahara people to exert their right to self-determination in line with international legality resolutions.
CHAHID El HAFED (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- Algeria will always support Western Sahara cause until Saharawi people fulfil their objectives, the speaker of the Council of the Nation (upper house of Parliament), Abdelkader Bensalah, said Friday in Chahid El Hafed.
"We will never stop backing the just Saharawi cause until the achievement of Saharawi people's expectations," Bensalah told reporters following discussions with the acting Saharawi president, Khatri Addouh.
Earlier, the speaker of the Upper House, had paid tribute to the memory of president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and secretary general of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, passed away Tuesday following a long illness.
Bensalah recited Al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Noble Qur'an, and signed the book of condolence.
CHAHID EL HAFED (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- The speaker of the Council of the Nation (upper house of Parliament), Abdelkader Bensalah, on Friday signed the book of condolence, at Chahid El Hafed, on behalf of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, following the death of the president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Abdelaziz, reiterating the support of Algerian people and leadership to Western Sahara people in their struggle for liberty.
"We bow down in tribute to the memory of Saharawi president, Mohamed Abdelaziz, secretary general of the Polisario Front, in this painful ordeal hitting our brother Saharawi people with the loss of a valuable activist and a great military and political leader, a symbol of their struggle for liberation," the speaker of the Upper House wrote in his condolence message.
"The career of the late president will be an inspiration for the Saharawi people and guide them in fulfilling their legitimate goals of freedom and dignity."
"Our presence here, on the instruction of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to share Saharawi people's pain following the death of their great leader is an opportunity for us to reiterate the support of the Algerian people and leadership for the struggle of the Saharawis until they meet their noble goals, through the exercise of their right to self-determination," Bensalah concluded.
CHAHID EL HAFID (Saharawi Refugee Camp)- The speaker of the Council of the Nation (upper house of Parliament), Abdelkader Bensalah on Friday paid tribute, in the Saharawi refugee camps of Chahid El Hafid, to the memory of president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and secretary general of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, passed away Tuesday following a long illness.
Bensalah was accompanied by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel and Minister of Mujahideen (liberation war veterans) Tayeb Zitouni.
Bensalah recited Al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Noble Qur'an, and signed the book of condolence.
Born in 1948 in the town of Smara, where he was educated, the late leader was a founding member of the Polisario Front and a military chief until his election, after the assassination of El-Ouali Mustapha Erraqibi, on 9 June 1976.
In October 1976, at the fifth Polisario Front Congress, Mohamed Abdelaziz was designated president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
TINDOUF (Algeria)- Minister of Interior and Local Authorities Noureddine Bedoui on Tuesday, in Tindouf, held discussions with his counterpart from the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Hamma Salama, tackling issues of common interest.
The meeting comes following Algerian-Saharawi high-level consultation held last March, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal in Algiers.
The Saharawi minister of the Interior, following the meeting, told reporters that he seized the opportunity of Bedoui's visit to Tindouf to "convey the greetings of Saharawi leadership and people to the Algerian State and people, under the leadership of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, for their courageous stances and positions of principle towards Western Sahara issue."
The Saharawi official also expressed the greetings of "Saharawi administration and refugees" to the population of Tindouf (2000-km southwest of Algiers) for their "cooperation and support, to ease the sufferings of the Saharawi people in different fields."
The discussions, "of a high degree of responsibility," allowed the two sides to tackle the latest developments in the region, in general, and especially security concerns, in the light of the current situation in various areas, the Saharawi minister concluded.
ORAN (Algeria)- Prime Minister of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Abdelkader Taleb Omar, on Sunday, urged all those who support Moroccan regime, especially France, to review their unjust positions towards Saharawi people.
In an address at a ceremony marking the Labour Day, whose official celebration has taken place in Oran (432-km west of Algiers), in the presence of Algerian and Saharawi ministers, Taleb Omar said Morocco and all those who support it, mainly France, has to assume responsibility for the standoff and the hindrances to the efforts made by the United Nations to reach a fair solution to Western Sahara issue, calling them to review their unjust position towards Saharawi people.
The Saharawi premier said France, which stands as an obstacle to the implementation of UN resolutions, must assume its historical responsibilities over Saharawi people's tragedy and suffering.
He called the international community to speed up the return of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to organize a referendum on Saharawi people's self-determination, inviting UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon to ensure the required resources for MINURSO to resume its mission.
Abdelkader Taleb Omar urged the European Union to side with the international legitimacy concerning Western Sahara issue.
He invited it to refer to European Court's latest decision about the trade agreement with Moroccans as well as to internation court's which denounce Morocco's attempts to plunder Western Sahara's natural resources under the pretext of investment.
ANNABA (Algeria)- General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA)'s solidarity gesture confirms "Algeria's historical and constant support to the just cause of Western Sahara," the minister of State, adviser at the presidency of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Bachir Mustapha Sayed, said Sunday in Annaba (600-km east of Algiers).
In a workers' meeting marking the Labour Day at Mohamed Boudiaf Palace of Culture, at the initiative of UGTA's provincial office, Bachir Mustapha Sayed underlined that Algeria's position towards the Saharawi cause "gives more strength, confidence and determination to Saharawi government and people to recover their sovereignty over their occupied territory."
In the presence of Annaba's local civil and military officials, a high-level Saharawi delegation , unionists and students, the director of the political commission of the Saharawi Liberation Army, Youcef Ahmed Salem, the head of the Saharawi Consultative Council, Abdelaziz Chikhane, and Abida Sid Ahmed, a member of the executive board of the Saharawi Workers Union, Sayed said the solidarity expressed is a "strong message" from all Algeria and its president, mujaheed (liberation war veteran) Abdelaziz Bouteflika, reiterating that "the support to Saharawi people is unfailing and uninterrupted."
Mohamed Tayeb Hamrania, a member of UGTA's national office, said in an address that solidarity with the Saharawi cause is a "confirmation of central union's positions towards just causes and Saharawi people's self-determination."
CHAHID EL HAFED (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- Polisario Front, the only legitimate representative of Saharawi people, has called on businessmen from Gulf countries to "immediately" abandon the investment projects they seek to carry out in the occupied Western Sahara, which is still a conflict territory listed by the United Nations as a decolonization issue.
Polisario's reaction, expressed in a statement released by Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) government and Foreign Affairs ministry, comes following the news broadcasted by Moroccan media about a trip by businessmen from Gulf countries to explore investment opportunities in the occupied SADR territories.
Saharawi government and the Polisario Front said Gulf businessmen's move "is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter and international legality, including the decision by the international criminal court, EU court of justice, the opinion of the former deputy secretary for legal affairs as well as calls by the UN chief and international organizations to preserve and protect Saharawi people's resources until the decolonization of the territory."
The Saharawi movement called those parties to "immediately give up such illegal activities" in a conflict area."
It invited them to rather make efforts to push forward the peace process between those brothers and neighbours: Morocco and the Saharawi people.
It also urged them to back UN efforts to reset talks for the holding of a referendum on Saharawi people's self-determination.
Polisario Front, as a reaction, said it will take all necessary measures and bring the case before international courts.
It recalled the position United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed during his latest trip to the region, in which he mainly stressed the need to put an end to the sufferings Saharawi people have undergone for more than 40 years.
MADRID- Morocco is under international isolation and its positions are contrary to international legality and peoples' rights to self-determination, the representative of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) to Spain, Khira Bulahi, said Thursday.
Morocco is in an unenviable situation, the Saharawi official told APS in response to Moroccan government's latest statements regarding United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Morocco "is not only at odds with the EU after European Court's invalidation of agricultural agreements but also with the United Nations after its refusal of Ban Ki-moon's visit to the region," the Saharawi diplomat noted.
Morocco is also at odds with the African Union, which has advanced positions over Western Sahara issue.
The comment by the Saharawi official comes following the declarations made by Moroccan government which has accused the UN chief of "abandoning neutrality, objectivity and impartiality," during his latest visit to the Saharawi refugee camps and the liberated territories in Bir Lehlou.
DAKHLA (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- Minister of Mujahideen Tayeb Zitouni on Saturday, in the Saharawi refugee camp Dakhla, stressed Algeria's firm position over the Saharawi cause.
Speaking on the sidelines of the festivities commemorating the 40th anniversary of the SADR (Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) proclamation, and which have been attended by the delegations of more than 22 countries.
Zitouni told reporters that he carried a written message from President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika to his brother and friend Saharawi President Mohamed Abdelaziz.
"Algeria has constant and firm positions over Western Sahara people's right to self-determination, on the basis of which it has urged the United Nations to reach a settlement for the issue in line with its Charters and resolutions."
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, the minister underlined, "has sympathizers in all continents."
Mentioning Polisario Front's commitment to respecting all UN decisions, the minister said "it's time for the United Nations to assume its responsibilities."
He reiterated Algeria's support to the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Western Sahara Christopher Ross and its support to UN chief Ban Ki-moon to reach a just solution, allowing Western Sahara people to exert their right to self-determination.