jeudi 11 novembre 2010

Imagine. We have to leave



The text below is a fiction, Franco-Saharawi co-written, following the line of thought that led to the writing of "The Sahrawis in 2018".
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While doing research for archiving historical documents of exile and the constitution of the Saharawi State, two Sahrawi students found a confidential document dated 1975, which was duly authenticated. This discovery has the effect of triggering a series of meetings of the utmost importance and that will surely have consequences. Participants committed themselves to a great rigor in the production of detailed reports of these decision-making meetings of the Saharawi State.

Proceedings. Summit meeting of the Saharawi State, February 27, 2015
Agenda: confidential document of 1975, its consequences and urgent decisions.

The 1975 paper mentioned above is the subject of the Summit meeting. Here is a summary of the document.
The day after the proclamation of our Republic, the state authorities that allows our refuge on his land had signed with the authorities of our Republic a shelter agreement for a period of 20 years, renewable once for a maximum of 20 years.
This document is confidential and those welcoming us had the elegance not to remind us, but we must honor our commitments, there is no alternative. It is necessary that we leave in a year to the day. The previous requirements of President Boudief in the 90s, the potential for significant discoveries of hydrocarbon natural resources in the area where we are refugees are other lines of argument. Leaving is required.

The question discussed by the Group is as follows: should we seek a new place of refuge or liberate our land to all live there?
The options of a new shelter to stay close to our land: Mauritania, liberated territory, Spain in the Canary Islands and Ceuta and Melilla. For the nearby desert areas the main problem is water.
Liberate our land so as to return: given that the current negotiations under UN auspices  are sterile, the African Union is more qualified, but how to get it involved, the international community has to support our decision.

Practical aspects to consider:
- Mined areas and those contaminated by remnants of war in the liberated territory and in Mauritania,
- The decontaminated areas and residual risks, and if our solution is not on this continent, by which routes do we cross the sea?.
- The UNHCR* aids arrive at the port of Oran, if Mauritania agrees to receive us, perhaps another port will be necessary, in this case, which one?
- How to transport schools, hospitals to ensure continuity of education and care.

Four working groups are created that will present their summaries and conclusions at the next meeting:
1. Diplomacy / administration, making contact with the Mauritanian and Spanish authorities, the United Nations representative bodies, the African Union ...
2. Geographical Study of possibilities for another place of refuge, in connection with the commanders of the Sahrawi military regions, families in the liberated territory, the representatives of the diaspora in the region.
3. The arguments for the recovery of all our occupied land, the preparation of the referendum to the voters in the camps, in the diaspora and the occupied territories. 2 referendum choices, return or refuge, minimum age 16 years, identity card or population register.
4. Steering Group, and recording any further questions emerging from the working groups, capacity to constitute other work / research groups.

The date of the next summit is set for April 27. It was decided that school, cultural, health activities and the running of humanitarian aid essential to the camps would be unchanged for the time being.

In his speech of March 7, the Saharawi president informed the population of the situation and the government’s approach to its work.
The procedure was explained at the wilayas and dairas*. Popular hotlines and meetings are held in all dairas every night.
Small spontaneous organizations of young girls and boys spring up in every neighborhood. Women's, workers’, youth’s, students’, lawyers’ unions have set up working groups on the subject. Similarly, associations, Afapredesa, Asavim, engineers, Nova and others are mobilizing.



Meeting of the Saharawi State, April 27, 2015
The Steering Group announces that it has created an information / communications workgroup. Radios, TV and local and national newspapers, media web are ready to inform in Hassaniya on questions and results of the workgroups. It is important that clear and accurate information is exchanged, not to waste time.
Groups of civil society in the camps and the occupied territories are working out how to be represented fairly and will be present at the next meeting. For this, they handed the steering group documents with a summary of their questions, concerns and proposals.

The diplomatic / administration working group reports:
- Deciphering the diplomatic response of Mauritania : it will respect the right of asylum in the UN Charter, it would nevertheless be a risk to the stability of the country. There would therefore be grounds to refuse it.
- The Spanish authorities have made an unclear answer that comes to the same conclusion, no reception of refugees in the Canary Islands nor in Ceuta or Melilla. The government does not seem any more willing than it did 40 years ago to accept its responsibility to Western Sahara as de jure administrator for the organization of the referendum.
- The group continues through diplomatic channels. News of the search for a new home begins to spread and countries have already sent messages of sympathy: South Africa, Cuba, Nigeria, Brazil, Timor Leste.
- The special envoy of the African Union for Western Sahara has responded favorably to the request for a working meeting. He will be present in the refugee camps from 15 to 20 May.

The geographical study group considers the Spanish and Mauritanian answers. They pursue the precise mapping of the decontaminated areas in liberated territory through to Lagouira. It suggests that the diplomacy group contact Mali. Three members working with soldiers and shepherds make a deeper study of tracks from Tindouf to north Mali, to go south of Chegga (Mauritania), beyond the Malian border.

Working Group n°3 develops the following points:
- The recovery of our land must be through the return, since the referendum is impossible given the West is blocking it. The return can take place peacefully with military backing, or with a military movement before the people’s, but it requires in both cases a minimum of international goodwill.
- So far, no sign of this international goodwill is perceptible. The general mobilization of the internal referendum mentioned at the last meeting is irrelevant for now, this is what emerges from the reflections of the group and comments submitted by the groups of civil society from the camps, occupied territories and diaspora. We must move forward in the work to find a real choice before considering a referendum on the new place.

The steering group will announce the establishment of a logistics task force responsible for collecting information on the availability of public and private vehicles and their condition, scope and calculate according to several assumptions logistics of departure of the people.

The date of the next summit is set for June 27. The departures of children to Europe for the summer period are maintained, but the return of the children and accompanying adults are advanced to 15 August. The Youth and Sports ministry will be available for meetings and reflection from July 5 after the departure of all children. A decision is taken for students to make a special effort to return to the camps, including those studying far away. It was decided that the coming festivities, 10 and 20 May, would not be celebrated. The participation of Western Sahara in the African Games in Brazzaville, Congo in September is maintained.
Civil society groups have proposed to the steering group that popular economy measures are recommended in the next official speech of the State. Families will be invited to simplify wedding ceremonies, baptisms and funerals, like during a war period.
It was decided further that the visits from foreign delegations for "projects", and "family" visits are suspended as from 1 May.

From May 2 debate broadcasts were put in place on national television and radio stations. A student group is responsible to compile all the ideas and arguments, and to do regular summaries. In the course of the month new songs and poems appear in which nostalgia for the native land has a new strength, tinged with a great surge of hope. Young rappers are passionate about the process and associate with "poets" to invent a new style, between rap, lhoul* and traditional poetry.


Meeting of the Saharawi State extended to include representatives of civil society groups and the media, June 27, 2015
The steering group sets the agenda established between the working groups and civil society.

The diplomatic / administration working group recalled:
- The meeting with Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Mozambique, Special Envoy of the African Union for Western Sahara, which proposes to consider the problem from other angles. As he explained in the TV show in which he participated, he is a man who comes from a land that is in the sea, not a man of the desert, its different way of seeing things is very interesting.
The group reports that:
- Brazil has the proposal to be land of exile for the Saharawi people.
- A meeting with Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano and Mr. Christopher Ross, the UN special envoy for Western Sahara is scheduled July 10 in the camps. Issue on the agenda: the return to our land.
- Neither the General Assembly of the UN, nor the Security Council has scheduled an official meeting date to discuss their attitude in the event of the return to our land, and thus passing through the wall, but also the exit of Morocco. Informal information nevertheless attests to intense exchanges between the countries of the "Group of Friends" to the Security Council, and sending by Morocco of a new group of "diplomats of national unity" that is active in the corridors of the UN and the EU.
- Mali through the voice of its ambassador gave a diplomatic answer, the content similar to that of Mauritania, fearing the fragility of the current situation and the consequences of an influx of refugees.

The geographic study group was joined by members of the No. 3 group that believes its object (the referendum on the new location) is pending. The mapping of risks arising from remnants of war ended in a strip of 500 meters along all the busiest tracks in liberated territory. It complements the existing maps.  Many areas are still very dangerous. The Sahrawi teams of deminers have suspended their programs to focus on these areas. Prevention materials created through Norwegian, Swedish, Italian ... partnerships are duplicated and redistributed to families and young people. The six radio episodes of "Billy Goat" - a story for adults educating on the risks - are broadcast daily every two weeks and used in vocational training centers.
A update mapping of the known wells in liberated territory will be presented at the next meeting.

The group recording transport and logistics proposes to count camels in the camps and liberated zone. The group requests the institutions to provide them with lists of materials and portable archives. It announced an overview of its research will be presented at the next meeting.

The steering group has synthesized the opinions received by the working groups, associations, unions and informal groups and proposes the establishment of a new working group to rethink the whole situation, and look for alternative ideas, taking into account international experiences, and the parameters of our problem. The "Research and experimentation" division of Youth and Sports Ministry which has this approach joins the group.
Given the upcoming international meetings and the presence of students, the next meeting is scheduled for July 27.

Great excitement and activity prevails in the camps. The poetic contests and sports competitions alternate with political meetings and necessary actions for the situation. Relations with the Saharawis in the occupied territories and diaspora are continuous, both in terms of organization and at an individual level.
Demining groups begin intensive training for all volunteers from 4 July. The first 5 additional groups of deminers, 85 men and women, went to the liberated territory on 25 July.
Twenty athletes are selected to represent the nation at the African Games, in athletics, karate, taekwondo and cycling.



Meeting of the Saharawi State extended to representatives of civil society groups and media, July 27, 2015
Because of the high temperature of 47 ° in the day time, the meeting was held overnight. The steering group distributed a written agenda because of its length.

The diplomatic group reports that:
- A thank you response was sent to Brazil, transportation of people is not feasible, and we need to stay close to our land in the event of another exile.
- On 23 July, Morocco has proposed to host the refugees in Angfou in the Middle Atlas, one of the poorest areas of the Kingdom where it lets its people die of cold. The information stated on the telephone by the first minister Benkirane was so absurd that the working group laughed with derision and could not be serious for one hour. The conversation was recorded. A detailed and polite letter of thanks will be sent to the Moroccan government with a copy to the AU and the UN.
- The meeting with the special representatives of the UN and the AU has shown restraint and taboo by the UN in the occupied territories. Christopher Ross stressed that given the time and the slow process involved, no action will be internationally coordinated enough to push Morocco to withdraw from the occupied part of Western Sahara on a reasonable time-frame. The group nevertheless requested that consideration be given an economic blockade on Morocco.

The study group is continuing geographic mapping. He recalled that the demining training sessions are ongoing. Due to lack of materials, appeals were launched to humanitarian organizations involved currently or in the past, friendly countries, and those who have completed their mine clearance program. The maps were distributed and made available in wilayas for shepherds and travelers to make comments and modifications.
A group of academics joined the engineering team in hydrogeology for locating other potential wells, and the drilling of five now spotted in the northern zone of the liberated territory.

The logistics group identified 13,000 private vehicles, 4,000 trucks and buses. Half the light vehicles are 4x4 of which 30% are over 30 years old. The group considered the possibility of the availability of 2,000 camels.
Hospitals have announced that apart from first aid, only new equipment would be transported, thus equipment from the surgery wings of the Bolla and Rabouni hospitals. They nevertheless inquire about the characteristics of the place they would be moved to and indicate that this will condition their needs.
The national radio and television recalled their own autonomy. National education will give its response in mid-August, after internal discussions. The Ministry of the Interior takes charge of archives, registry of births, marriages and deaths and other administration. The computerization efforts of the past 10 years serve to lighten the load.

The alternative ideas group reports that is currently at work researching and reflecting. The idea that emerges is to start from the basis of what we have, and not what is missing, given the international position.
Morocco has never claimed Sahrawi sea at the UN, while the SADR declared its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Law of the Sea, so a sub-group put together studies and papers on areas where men live on the sea. Saharawis in Netherlands were contacted, some worked in the shipyards Schelde in Vlissingen-Oost (Flushing ). Refugees will join them and offer to do internships. Mr. Joaquim Alberto Chissano was asked to provide contacts in his country on this issue, and also the Sahrawi Association of Venice, and a French company that innovates in anti-flood techniques. The Saharawi sea is accessible via Lagouira.

The principle of the use of unclaimed areas will be presented by the diplomatic group at the next meeting to the two Special Representatives of the AU and the UN who have agreed to participate on August 18.

Rappers and poets took over the recording of the phone call Benkirane to turn it into samples. Poems and songs are accompanied by videos. Some, parodying “les guignols” of the French TV channel Canal + are making a Benkirane wire puppet dance. All the listening, diffusing and spreading is by cell phone, social and other media. The Moroccan satirical media Demain Online relays a rap song on its site and is involved in its dissemination in Morocco and to the Moroccan diaspora where it starts to make some noise. Especially by the confusion that entails with respect to the Moroccan official speech.
On July 31 in Lille, France, at an international football match under the auspices of the NF-Board, the Western Sahara team meets the team's FA Esperanto, and wins the match 4-0 on decision of the referee. The motivation for further games is very strong locally and internationally.
The training of Saharawi athletes selected for the African Games has entered a new phase and intensified from August 10.


Meeting of state and community working groups, August 27, 2015
The members of the steering group have the agenda and announced that 5 students in master of law and chemistry have joined them.

The diplomatic group reports that:
- To conclude the meeting with special representatives, with the encouragement of Mr. Joaquim Alberto Chissano for the AU, Mr. Ross will present as soon as possible to the Security Council the request on the principle of use as refuge unclaimed or occupied areas. It was agreed that the next meeting would take place in the days following the meeting and that the protocol would be reduced to the minimum. It will nevertheless take into account the numerous requests of meetings made by Sahrawi associations who wish to share the wisdom of Mr. Ross and for others of Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano.
- Mr. Ross announced having to go to countries "involved" to meet leaders.
- A national education sub-group is responsible for contacting his Algerian counterpart about scholarships granted to Saharawi college students, colleges and universities.

The geographical study group reports that:
- On behalf of the State and the people, they supported the families of the dead deminer, and those injured in the accident following the explosion of an anti-tank mine in a partially decontaminated area. The lives of the five wounded were no longer in danger, 2 have lost a leg.
- A new version of the maps is available in idaras*. The contribution of the entire population has been very effective, accelerated the process and improved accuracy.
- Mozambique has sent demining rats and placed two instructors / trainers for the duration of one month. They arrived on August 14th in the camps. One of the trainers remains in the camps with 10 rats, the other joined the demining teams with other 30 specialist rats after four days of acclimatization.
- The team TIRAMISU (Toolbox Implementation for Removal of Anti-personnel Mines, Sub-munitions and UXO) was contacted and cooperation is being established, beyond prevention, to implement the results of technical discoveries demining, including with the prototypes.
- Given the progress made, the group asks the logistics group to identify – in the liberated territory - existing buildings, the routing possibilities, water resources, and their condition since it seems that the territory will be a part of the solution.

The logistics group received the proposal of a group of young engineers in mechanic to make an assessment of vehicles, maintenance and repairs. A large workshop has been set up in Aousserd. 15 youths have gone to Dakhla in order to help with the spontaneous workshop.
The National Education announced through its education inspectors, that the first months after leaving school could take place without major physical needs but would require at least one teacher book per class, subject and level. However, they emphasize that the beginning of the year is very cold and that shelters will be needed, in tents or buildings, and carpets for the 29 nursery and primary schools, with a minimum of 8 classes each.

The alternative ideas group reports that:
- Young people sent to lakeside cities and cities train avidly and regularly send reports. They are doing a tremendous job.
- They are passionate about the idea that for the first time a desert country becomes a sea.
- Other ideas are in the air, the minutes of the meeting with Mr. Ross with the Security Council will be decisive.
- Architecture ideas inspired by Call Earth techniques are tried out through the idea of ​​constructions made only of sand. This architectural group was contacted for discussions and improvements.

The steering group proposes the next meeting to be held on September 27, and advanced if necessary depending on the requests of special envoys.
It was decided that the school year for nursery, primary and apprenticeship classes would take place as usual in early October. The college students in Algeria will stay until the end of year holiday season. Students from schools and universities are encouraged to take up their studies if they are not at the end of a validated cycle. The Steering Group is committed to inform those who continue their studies about progress with the process and discussions by all possible methods.

The dynamism of recent months has given Mariem Hassan the strength to live a few more months, but weakened by a long illness, the resistance singer Mariam Hassan dies on August 22. The nation pays her tribute in Smara (camps).
Western Sahara was unable to attend the African sporting games in early September. The on-site presence of a delegation of athletes and officials allowed a symbolic participation by the presence of flag flying with other African countries. The Congolese steering committee invoked Article 5 on affiliation with international federations to justify its opposition. The disappointment was great for the Saharawis.
The work of the compliance of national sports bodies and relations with international bodies, under construction for 6 years is back on the table. The non-event for its symbolic face had an echo in Le Monde and Jeune Afrique newspapers.


Meeting of state and associative workgroups, September 17, 2015
The steering group has advanced the date of the meeting on the proposal of diplomacy group, and with the agreement of the other participants.

The diplomacy group reports:
- Mr. Ross reported that the response from the UN Security Council on the "principle of the use of unclaimed and  unoccupied areas as a refuge" is favorable. A written declaration is being elaborated.
The group proposes an official communication to be made quickly to the people on this point, which means that the new shelter solution will probably be released on the Sahrawi territory and sea.
- The Group measures the impact of the new position of the UN, and will inform the EU and the Russian and Japanese authorities that Sahrawi EEZ will present its regulations for fishing and that it will comply. The information will be public to inform other illegal fishermen, and companies for exploration and oil exploitation, Kosmos Energy and Total (France and USA respectively).

The geographical and logistical study groups report that work is moving very quickly.
The logistics group reports about the initiative of the formation of many tuizas* for making tents. This represents at least 3 tuizas by daira. All available material, even badly damaged have been recovered and used.
In Zug, liberated territory, the old people have established Frach making workshops, woven rush mats, to transmit the know-how to young people so that they in turn produce faster. The group believes it can successfully equip all primary and nursery schools, whether in buildings or in tents. The carpets measure 5 to 10 meters.

The Saharawi Red Crescent reports in a paper read by the steering group:
- Food reserves are quite low due to the timing of supplies, but also to the requirement of higher calorie food sent to the mechanical engineers and demining teams.
- The reserves of green canvas for tent manufacture are exhausted. The youth group’s assistant leader Yahia Buhubeni appealed to donors for such shortages to be given urgent consideration.

The alternative ideas group informs that:
- A group of young people is working on the problem of water recovery, all possible methods at family and community level, dew nets, towers for recovery of water in the air, solar wells ...
- Another youth group has developed in its studio how to grow a feed crop  on water, for herds. The "squares" are 1m2 and are on average 45 centimeters thick.
- the ostrich workshop has started to train ostriches to carry loads on their backs.
- The continuation of their thinking will take into account the position of the Security Council. The group asked to work with the group and diplomacy latter to invite Mr. Ross to a new meeting.

The steering group proposes next meeting to be held on October 17, date advanced if needed.
In line with the decisions of the meeting of April 27, the relevant ministries - culture, youth and sports - have informed their partners that international events ARTifariti, Fisahara (cinema), Sahara Marathon and Cultural Festival will not happen this year in the camps, but would be continued next year in the liberated territory.

The radio and television address by a member of the steering committee was rebroadcast by all the media.
The anticipated return after African sports games has been a very important moment for all, and gave rise to numerous demonstration workshops, to explain the values ​​of sport, and taking it to a high-level. A group of young critics, demonstrated in a pamphlet the paradox of the national non-participation regarding sporting values.
Back to school for children in the camps, and those attending middle school and high school boarding schools have left.
Humanitarian NGOs are beginning to take action taking into account the change in the situation. Some expatriate contracts are not renewed. Basic prefabricated offices of the UNHCR are sold to Algerian companies in Tindouf.
A new group of young people of the occupied territories, was constituted immediately after the meeting to identify all cargo ships stranded in shallow areas of the Saharawi sea, assess their condition and the feasibility of transforming into house boats / floating village. They send pictures that are broadcast on national television.
They also identify the boats, fishing and other, which belong to Saharawis.
The reactions from the Moroccan government to the position of the Security Council are lively. The negotiations and bargaining to overturn the decision include diplomatic veiled threats. The broadcast of the press conference of Christopher Ross, after his meeting with the deputy adviser to the king, delivered in Arabic, is clearly censored.
The Moroccan state media have no clear communication on the international position. The usual line seems to doubt what they should prepare the people to be allowed to think.



Meeting of state and associative workgroups, October 17, 2015
The steering group display the agenda. The meeting is held, despite the torrential rain that fell on the camps and the Sahara since yesterday.

The diplomatic group reports that:
- After working with alternative ideas group, it saw Christopher Ross again before his departure, with Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano, to announce to him a new claim for submission to the Security Council. The proposal remains confidential for the moment.

The geographical study group reports that:
- 5 new wells are operational in the northern area of ​​the liberated territory
- Part of the hydrogeologists team was strengthened by prominent Sahrawi researchers and French specialists, and prospects in the decontaminated areas of southern territory.
- Mapping of the level of danger of the different zones is updated and is available to all in the Asavim* Association office in Rabouni. For convenience, a copy is sent regularly to Dakhla. The scan dated maps are available on Asavim website.
- Training demining continues, and the teams are now working 7 times faster than 8 months ago.
- Following the proposals of civil society through the walis*, a list of possible new locations of wilayas was submitted, free territory and sea territory. Proposals are being studied to check consistency and will be made public soon.
- Some families and groups have announced plans to start leaving from mid-November, according to them, if there are no children in primary school, it is not necessary to wait until the end of year holidays, or at the latest until February to leave.

A group is reformed around logistical issues and relationships with NGOs and donors. It announced the transfer of part of the food aid based in Tifariti, near the airstrip for large aircraft, for the end of December at the latest.

Abroad, all young people in satisfactory physical condition have moved to the port cities, and shipyards to offer themselves as workers, apprentices or even trainees, sailors and builders. There is no expertise in the naval field for young people born in the refugee camps, and very few for young people born in the occupied territories.

The steering group proposes the next meeting to be held November 17, 2015.

Rain fell continually alternating days and nights until 27 October. All wilayas were affected. The houses destroyed or damaged in Dakhla are many. The road to the liberated territory is cut off for a week, demining teams experienced logistical problems though quickly forgotten when the trucks were able to move again.
Christopher Ross came to see the damage on October 26 on a short visit.
At the health level, the over-proliferation of flies and mosquitoes, led to an outbreak of diarrhea continuing until the first weeks of November.
Despite the deadline imposed by the treatment of the emergency, the list of temporary locations for new willayas is given on October 30.
The first groups of refugees depart from November 10 to Mheriz in liberated territory. What was lost in this land in the rain has finished cutting the last ties. Some say they would rather go on leaving behind a house capable of sheltering new residents. The trip takes caravans three days and passes without notable incident except for some mechanical problems. This is the right time for the flocks, there is grass in quantity, the floods have benefited the trees and pastures.

And there are many terfes (truffles) in this period, which is a good staple for all.


Meeting of state and community working groups, 17 November 2015
The steering group presents the agenda of the meeting that will be in 2 stages. The usual punctuation meeting, and for the second, the update on the logistical achievements, status of water research, demining and other technical points, which will lead to the establishment of a separate document.

The diplomatic group reports that:
- After the UN recognition of the possibility of the Saharawis installing themselves on areas unclaimed by Morocco, first described as the liberated territory and the sea, and understood as a de facto and de jure sovereignty recognition on these areas, the new proposal submitted to Mr. Christopher Ross and to the Security Council adds airspace. The discussions are very lively in the Security Council and in the General Assembly of the UN. Morocco and its supporters, notably France, Spain and Israel, try to find objections to the obvious and unavoidable legalistic arguments of the proposal. The proposal will be submitted to the vote of the UNGA on 29 November. The consequences could be decisive for the future.

The geographical study group reports that:
- Young people of the occupied territories have identified the vessels but also mapped the areas where the current would allow installing homes on stilts a few meters from the shore. 5 stranded cargo vessels, deadweight of 35 000 or 60 000 tones can be transformed into homes.

The steering group proposes next meeting on 1 December

Caravan departures to the liberated territory are daily and give rise to scenes of joy. Military trucks are used for reinforcement ahead of schedule. It appears that fuel shortages will quickly be felt. In a communication, the steering group in response to the remarks of civil society groups, informs that the able-bodied will walk to the liberated territory. The old people argue that since it is not under bombardment, it is with honor and they walk on their liberated land, even for a new exile.
Families living in exile in Europe have arrived in the camps to help with the move. This is a movement that is growing, Air Algeria has reduced its tariffs 90% on Algiers Tindouf rotations, and has added flights. Military flights are full.
In the occupied territory, Sahrawi pro-independence demonstrations multiply, organized daily and simultaneously in all neighborhoods of El Aaiun, Smara, Dakhla and Boujdour. The Moroccan repressive forces, destabilized by the global political situation are not very effective faced with multiple and massive demonstrations.
Citizen movements are noticeable in non-contested territories, north of the Western Sahara border - Morocco.



Meeting of state and community working groups, on 1 December 2015
The steering group presents the agenda and expresses the popular proposal that schools be relocated during the first fortnight of January for the school year so that primary and professional classes can take place without further disturbance.

The diplomatic group reports that:
- The General Assembly of the UN voted in favor Sahrawi sovereignty, therefore independence, on the liberated territory, the Sahrawi sea and air space of the whole Western Sahara. To take effect on 15 December 2015.
- Groups of civil society are urging MPs to vote laws on airspace, and that at first it should be completely closed. They ask the same measure of total closure to be applied provisionally on the sea for at least six months.
- The shipping companies carrying the fuel imports for the occupation, exports of phosphates, will be contacted to be informed of the prohibition on navigation. The oil platform Kosmos Energy must leave Saharawi waters immediately, survey vessels under contract with Total as well. The airlines using the Western Sahara air corridors will be informed officially.
Approvals, permits and other agreements with Morocco on the Saharawi sea are canceled, holders will be prosecuted before the competent justices.
- The consequences of these measures are the Moroccan occupier militarily into the western part of the territory will no longer refuel either by sea or by air. Only road transport will remain possible, including for the supply of fuel.
- Official statement by the head of state will be held on December 2. A communication to the UN General Assembly for all its members, the AU and the UNPO*, will be sent the same day.

The Geography Study Group reports that:
- The young people of the lakeside dwellings and shipyards have gone to Lagouira to build prototypes. They found financial support at international level and will obtain materials in Mauritania.
- Sahrawi from undisputed territories, in southern Morocco, have asked to participate in demining courses to begin the cleanup of the area around the wall that separates them from Algeria. Ten of them have already finished an internship. A hardware problem remains. In Morocco, the detectors are held by the army that has refused to make them available.

The alternative ideas group reports that:
- 5 tons of reserves of "bales" of fodder, dried this summer were shipped to Bir Lahlou and Tifariti. They opened a workshop in Tifariti that produces very well.
- The domed constructions made from sand are ready and the construction of a house of ​​40m2 takes two days (one room and two bedrooms).
- A group is working to write the foundation for the new governance, in relation to civil society groups, working groups, and historical leaders and ministers of the Republic. It seems that popular reflection grows to a secular independent state. The date of the next Congress, to amend the constitution and elect a transitional government before the next election, is under discussion for practical reasons.
- Another group works on health, including the development and dissemination of guidelines for other food practice. The emergency food aid basket and inactivity have forced refugees to have to change some habits. Helped with good advice. Thematic radio communications will begin on December 15. Sensitization has already begun in primary schools.
- A working group on the economic system to be developed into the independent state and its stages. It will make currency proposals at the next meeting.

The steering group validates the priority to move schools from December 30. Families with children have priority for departure from the 5 January. The school year is set for January 16, 2016 for more than 32,000 primary and intermediate (up to 16 years). The return of 7000 kindergartens is postponed to 30 January. The group proposes a consultation meeting on 1 January 2016. There will remain less than two months for all refugees to be gone from the Tindouf camps.

The information disseminated by the Saharawi head of state is extensively taken up by the international media. Some misunderstanding and panic movements occur among Moroccan settlers in Western Sahara some of whom came 40 years ago following the attractive conditions offered by the Makhzen.
The members of the entourage of the Moroccan king and the king himself multiply "diplomatic" blackmail such opening doors of sub-Saharan illegal immigration and immediate decriminalization of drug traffic nationally.
The senior military, industrial managers of companies operating in the occupied territories make their presence felt on Moroccan media scene by offering various narratives than that officially held for years.
Members of the Democratic Way notice a resurgence of interest in and solicitation to their political position and vision for the future of Morocco.
The capacity of the oil reserves of the occupation is estimated at 1 month for civilians, and two months for the military. Beginning from December 10 settlers are migrating back to Morocco. It is said that some of the oldest settlers declare they are waiting for the total independence of Western Sahara to change their nationality.
Many resignations take place in the Moroccan army. Young recruits say they are not concerned and take advantage of convoys heading north. Older ones who have started families with Saharawi women refuse to participate in troop movements and intimidation.
The Saharawis who were made rich by their allegiance to the occupier go to their properties located in Morocco taking with them their valuables.
The first groups of families arrive at Lagouira on 20 December, to inhabit the tents on stilts, and others to join teams who are going to fix up the stranded ships. In line with WFP * part of food aid is stored Lagouira, pasta, flour and pulses. Young people installed in Lagouira begin organizing fishing for protein intake.
Large demonstrations are held throughout the month in uncontested Saharawi territories, against the plundering of the land, the destruction of the ecosystem and widespread discrimination introduced by Morocco.


Meeting of state and community working groups, on 1 January 2016
The steering group sets the agenda

The diplomatic group reports that:
- Intense pressures are being put on the group and its individual members, the amounts of attempted bribes by Morocco are "interesting." Talk of accepting the money to fill the coffers of the Republic, as cash to the new economy.
- Diplomatic congratulatory messages poured in. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Catalonia and Iceland will vote in the course of January to recognize the Saharawi Republic. The echoes of the discussions in Italy and Great Britain seem to augur the same vote in the course of February.
- Contacts were initiated by a lowcost airline for the development of a line Lyon – El Aaiun - Dakhla. Their argument is that Lyon is easily accessible from all over Europe. This is the first proposal. The matter is under consideration.
- Work on the specific visa arrangements for entry to Western Sahara is ongoing. They will be simplified and standardized. Visas for journalists will be accelerated. Solidarity friends of the fight will have a special status exempting them from a visa.

The geographical study group proposes to change its name, it suggests being called the natural environment group.
- The coordinators of de-miners say they have cleared more than ¾ of the liberated territory.
The immediate vicinity of the wall remains to be done, which is currently not approachable because of Moroccan military gunfire.

The alternative ideas group decided to now be called group for the new republic, they report:
- They work on the new governance to set up, and on a specific program for the first Government of independence. It will be proposed to the people on January 8.
- They want a debate in the population for a choice between a capitalist and environmentalist future.
- The Saharawi currency will be called Ouali*, its value would be 1 dollar = 1 Ouali. The group will make proposals on the design of coins and notes.
The New Economy document includes several proposals, is almost completed.
- The research group on justice asked for extradition of all Saharawis detained by Morocco. They will be retried as soon as possible. Political prisoners first.

The steering group proposes the next meeting to be held in Tifariti on February 1, unless there are events requiring the date to be advanced.

In occupied territory, Moroccan settlers organized as militias loot and vandalize the houses of their compatriots already left. They use explosives to blow open the doors. Industrialists set fire to their plants in an attempt to burn their archives urgently before leaving. The Saharawis are organizing themselves to defend and contain the fires.
Saharawi demonstrations in undisputed territories continues. The situation with the passage of many Moroccans returning north is chaotic, law enforcement agencies are overwhelmed.
The departures of refugees intensified. Primary and secondary schools have resumed their activities as envisaged in the liberated territory on January 16. In Lagouira the first school on stilts is very successful, the few children who are scared on the first day do not want to go home in the evening.



Meeting of state and community working groups, 23 January 2016, at Bir Lehlou.
The Steering Group notes that the date of the meeting has been brought forward because of recent statements and Moroccan news: debacle of Moroccans settlers in Western Sahara, withdrawal of the army. Faced with the popular movement, the military pressure and the AU, Morocco by way of General Oufkimi yesterday announced its unconditional withdrawal from Western Sahara on February 2. The word
coup d’État is not pronounced in Morocco.

After consultation with all members of the groups and representatives of civil society, it is determined that the Saharawi army will be deployed immediately on all borders.

The diplomatic group reports
- Brussels Airline has made a proposal for a flight Brussels – El Aaiun - Dakhla. The choice of the first operator will be announced on February 3 after discussion with other working groups, and after examination of the economic and ethical arguments.
- The President of the Republic of Madagascar, the first country to recognize SADR, announced his official visit for February 5. Ban Ki-moon announced his visit for February 7. They will be received in Smara where the steering group schedules the new meetings.
- Tunisia - encouraged by her Nobel Prize-winning national dialogue committee, last October 9 - and NEPAD* in connection with UNDP* offers to host in April 2016 an International Conference of Western Sahara construction.
- Fishing and agriculture Commissions of the European Commission contacted early January the Saharawi representative to the Union, Mohamed Sidati, requesting that consideration be given to the start of negotiations for new agreements. The latter informed them that he was taking his leave, leaving in the desert writing poetry, his lifelong dream, and referred them to the group. The issue will be considered globally, including the submission of the Polisario before the European courts, but is not considered a priority.

The environmental group reports
- That deminers continue the work close to the wall. They need reinforcements and they call for the expansion of their group for the destruction of the wall from the east side. There is much highly sophisticated military equipment to recover. Storage areas will be established outside of the wadi* beds, pending the availability of large trucks.
Demining of the western part is more complicated because Morocco has never done any mapping or tracking, but teams are becoming more effective. They will begin by establishing a gap and secure a road to reach Smara (liberated), starting from Tifariti, about 140 km.
More demining rats were sent, and rats that arrived in August had babies. New trainers sent by Mozambique began to raise them.
The group believes that this route will be able to be available to all  by 15 February.

The new Republic group reports that
- The Saharawi prisoners are organized in Moroccan prisons of El Aaiun and Dakhla. Morocco has not yet responded to the request for the extradition of those held in Morocco. There must be a movement for extradition of Moroccan settlers who are prisoners of common law to Morocco, for those who request it.
- Popular debates on the first government of independent policy resulted in an environmental and solidarity popular choice. The bedouin traditional values.
- The first coins, Ouali are issued, three designs were selected, and banknotes are being printed with the support of Nigeria.
- The program proposes: economic and political independence, the construction based on the strict respect for human rights, equality of rights and duties for all, secularism. The separation of powers in a democracy combining participatory and direct operation. A policy and economy based on the rule of respect for the environment. Regional collaboration, active support for self-determination of other peoples, support for regional and global security organizations. The first diplomatic gesture will be the recognition of Palestine.
The first national projects: an excellent education from kindergarten to university.

The steering group proposes that the next meeting be held on February 3 in liberated Smara.

On January 24, by all the media simultaneously, a member of the new republic group, known for his calm and precision, informed the people of the country's independence, and recalled the upcoming dates of the withdrawal of Morocco and the safe accessibility to the homeland.
The announcement was greeted with laughter and tears, great popular jubilation in the desert and in the streets.
In a speech the same day, the historic leaders and founders of the Polisario and SADR announced that they would withdraw into the desert and give way to new generations. They add that they remain available to the people as they have always been, consulting if requested.
The transitional government is set up at the meeting of 3 February. A group is to achieve a collective writing of the new constitution.
The parliament made its first session on March 5, and formalizes the government. The first laws passed concerning the environment. Protection, pollution control and prevention, including by mandatory rules on the quality of imported products.
Transitional justice is responsible for judging cases Moroccan police torturers and their Saharawi collaborators.
The Hassanya is declared the single national language.


APSO, 11 November 2015

Ouali Sahraoui illustration credit: B-APSO

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* UNHCR: High Commissioner for Refugees
* Tuizas: grouping of citizens for making the tent of one of them
* SADR: Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic
* Willaya: town
* Daira: districts
* Idaras: town hall
* Lhoul: popular songs born in Mauritania, appreciated by Saharawis
* Frach: braided rugs
* Asavim: Sahrawi Association of Victims of mines
* Walis: Governors
* Wadi: river
* Ouali: hero of the struggle of the Saharawi people
* WFP: World Food Program
* NEPAD: New Partnership for Africa's Development
* UNDP: United Nations Development Program
* UNPO: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization