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WSC Newsletter August 22

UNSC Fails To Act | Western Sahara UK Solidarity Conference 29 October | Saharawi Prisoners Take Legal Action | Engie Builds On Occupied Land | Labelling: Can you help? | Morocco's Autonomy Proposal | AU Calls for Inclusion of SADR in TICAD Summit
UNSC Fails To Act

Earlier this month Morocco obstructed the visit from Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy, to Western Sahara. He was due to visit El Aaiún as part of his mandate from the Secretary-General endorsed by the Security Council. The Security Council has taken no action.

Despite the continued fighting see below - following the Moroccan breach of the ceasefire agreement the Security Council has still not taken effective action.

Not taking action just reinforces Morocco's strategy of non-compliance with UN resolutions knowing that there will be no consequence.

The US, the UK and the EU all condemn Russia's invasion and occupation of part of Ukraine and have imposed sanctions. But when it comes to Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara the silence is deafening. Rather than impose sanctions the EU and the UK make agreements with Morocco to trade in produce from Western Sahara. Following the example of the EU and the UK companies continue to do business in Western Sahara in breach of international law giving implied support for Morocco's occupation.

The court hearing of WSCUK's challenge of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement will take place 4-6th October. The hearing will be open to the public.

Join us on Saturday 29 October, 10am-3pm

UK Solidarity Organisations invite you to come together to hear the latest news and find out how you can get more involved:human rights violations in the Occupied Territories;

·       human rights violations in the Occupied Territories;
·     projects in the Refugee Camps and the effects of Climate Change there;

·       the legal challenge regarding natural resources in the UK court.

Join WSCUK, Adala UK, OliveBranch Arts and Sandblast Arts (plus other friends).

Tickets will be free and lunch will be provided. More information in September.
Venue: Unite the Union, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN

SPLA carries out new attacks against Moroccan occupation forces

Birlahlou (liberated territories), 18 July 2022 (SPS) - Units of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army (SPLA) carried out new attacks against the positions of Moroccan occupation soldiers in the Hawza sector, according to military statement No. 587 issued by the Ministry of Defense.

Read more here.

Saharawi Prisoners Take Legal Action

On 1 July 18 Saharawi political prisoners filed a legal complaint against Morocco in the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The group has been imprisoned since 2010, when they were detained in relation to the so-called Gdeim Izik protest in occupied Western Sahara.

The complaint was filed by their legal representatives, Mads Andenas, professor and former President-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group and Gianfranco Fattorini, Co-coordinator of the Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara.

Mr Ardenas visited the group in Moroccan prisons in 2013.

“Morocco is known for being excellent at signing and ratifying UN treaties and its tireless efforts to gain seats at various UN tables . . . . . . Morocco is however also known for its notorious non-compliance and non-respect of international instruments, its non-implementation of UN decisions and its punishment of victims who cooperate with the UN. If our human rights instruments are to be worth more than the paper it's written on, this downward spiral and erosion of UN bodies cannot be allowed to continue”.

The working group is part of the Human Rights Council Complaint Procedures with the mandate to consider individual complaints, leading to the adoption of opinions as to the arbitrariness of any detention.

The arbitrary detention of Saharawi human rights defenders by Morocco has been widely documented by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finding that Saharawis advocating in favour of self-determination are subjected to discriminatory practices in breach of the equality of human rights and sentenced to long term imprisonment on the basis of torture marred confessions as punishment for their human rights activism.

OHCHR Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Read more here.


Engie Builds On Occupied Land

Three months after condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, French company Engie signs an agreement with Morocco to build a large water project in near Dakhla, Western Sahara.

Engie has been contracted by the Moroccan government to build a wind-powered desalination station at about 75km outside of Dakhla. The station's main purpose is to advance the Moroccan government's plans of transforming another 5,000 hectares of land into plantations and greenhouses. Today, agricultural activity in the Dakhla area is characterised by export-oriented industrial farms that are owned by Moroccan businessmen or the Moroccan monarchy, specialising in tomatoes and melons that are shipped to the EU. Tesco and Morrisons sell cherry tomatoes from Dakhla.
The main purpose of farming in Dakhla is not economic but political - to elicit implied support for Morocco's untenable claim to the territory it occupies.

Read more here.

Labelling: Can you help?

Tesco and Morrisons still sell cherry tomatoes from Dahkla, labelled as coming from Morocco. This needs to be challenged.
My local council is chasing this up in Wales. But as labelling is now a devolved matter we need one or more people in England and Scotland to follow this up. If you may be able to help please contact me and I can give details of what is involved:

Morocco's Autonomy Proposal

Webinar exploring the scope and the pitfalls of Morocco's autonomy plan' put forward by Morocco as the solution' to the conflict.

June 8, 2022 Host Bill Fletcher, Jr. was joined by panelists Katlyn Thomas and Stephen Zunes. “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

Watch on YouTube.

AU Calls for Inclusion of SADR in TICAD Summit

Lusaka .- Morocco failed to convince African delegations to exclude the Saharawi Republic from taking part in the work of the eighth summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), scheduled for 28-29 August in Tunis, and the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) adopted on Thursday in Lusaka a resolution calling for the participation of all African countries in this meeting.

Read more here.



The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights. Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.



Follow the news about EU's illegal fisheries in Western Sahara

The EU pays Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara.