12 Nov 2010

Massacre in Western Sahara – Please Help

This week the worst violence and the highest number of deaths in Moroccan occupied Western Sahara since the ceasefire in 1991 has erupted.

Photo: Randwick Woods

Here is my email to Neil Carmichael last week;

Neil - The deaths in Moroccan occupied Western Sahara are deeply concerning. The latest figures released by the Saharawi Ministry of Information report 16 Saharawi dead, 723 injured and 159 missing as a result of the violent dismantling of the Gdeim Izik protest camp outside El Aauin on Monday and brutal clashes between protesters and authorities in the capital. Some Moroccan security personnel are also reported dead. Please contact Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt MP urgently to request that the UK:
  • Send observers to assess the situation.
  • Make a public statement calling on the Moroccan authorities to stop any further violence
  • Take action for human rights monitoring to be included within the mandate of MINURSO.
I know you are reluctant to sign EDM's but I hope you might consider Early Day Motion 973. You maybe aware that about 20,000 Saharawi citizens were engaged in a mass protest for over a month. Early Monday morning, the Moroccan Security Forces took to violent action to disperse the camp. This sparked riots and ongoing violence. Deaths and numerous injuries and disappearances are reported and are ongoing. The Moroccan authorities are preventing international media and observers from entering the city so the extent of the violence cannot be independently verified. This situation is in grave danger of being overlooked. See BBC report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11710400 Philip Booth

See more here.


Anonymous said...


Could the polisario lists the names of the 16 dead instead of seeking sympathy this way.
HRW have confirmed there were only 2 dead sahrawi civilians. Brandishing pictures of Gaza's children won't serve polisario agendas.

Philip Booth said...

On Tuesday the Security Council, chaired by the UK released a statement saying they “deplore” the violence in Western Sahara. This is progress, and increases pressure on Morocco. However, due to obstructions from France, the Security Council failed to agree to undertake an urgent investigation into the incidents or implement human rights monitoring - leaving the violence in Western Sahara to continue.

Whilst the UK maintains the presidency of the Security Council it is a crucial time to press our government to investigate human rights abuses now, and also to ensure that human rights will form a central part of negotiations in April when the UN mission is renewed.

Morocco’s latest actions even put the renewal of its illegal fishing agreement with the EU under threat. http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20101118-meps-call-change-moroccan-fishing-rights-agreement