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CrisisWatch Database

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106 results found
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Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Security forces 15 Feb violently dispersed march in Laayoune chanting slogans calling for freedom, self-determination and extension of MINURSO prerogatives to include human rights monitoring in W Sahara.

Western Sahara

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Polisario Front 10 Dec declared that approval of new Protocol to EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) amounts to EU support for Morocco’s “illegal claims” on W Sahara; protests against agreement same day in Laayoune violently dispersed by police and army. UNGA 11 Dec adopted resolution reasserting support to negotiation process “to reach solution which allows Saharawi people to exercise right to self-determination”. Morocco, Polisario 1 Jan confirmed new round of talks will be held Jan in Sweden and Morocco.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Following “acts of provocation and hostility” from Algeria, including 28 Oct African Conference of Solidarity with Sahrawi people in Abuja where speech read out on behalf of President Bouteflika called on UN to support efforts aimed at setting up international mechanism to monitor “massive and systematic human rights violations”, Morocco 30 Oct called back ambassador in Algiers. King Mohammed VI 6 Nov accused “foes” of buying opinions hostile to Morocco; Algerian PM Sellal 7 Nov said country “did not want to teach any of its neighbours lessons, and only wanted to live in peace”. Nationalist Istiqlal party called for Morocco to “recover territory in south east that Algeria took by force”.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Police 19 Oct violently dispersed pro-independence protesters in Laayoune during 3-day visit by UN envoy Christopher Ross aimed at breaking deadlock; 20 Oct reportedly wounded 20 protesters in Smara. Ross 30 Oct presented report to UNSC, announced launch of new phase in negotiations based on discreet and separate bilateral exchanges with each party. UN Special Committee on Decolonisation 14 Oct adopted resolution reiterating need for negotiated settlement. Morocco 30 Oct recalled ambassador to Algeria over President Bouteflika’s remarks accusing Morocco of “massive and systematic human rights violations” in W Sahara.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Senior Polisario Front leader Mustapha Bachir Essaid 14 Aug said Polisario “does not exclude return to armed struggle” if Morocco continues to delay negotiation process. Controversy over extension of MINURSO mandate continued: Mahrez Lamari, chairman of Algerian National Committee for Solidarity with Sahrawi People (CNASPS), 17 Aug called on UN to protect human rights in W Sahara; President of European Conference of Coordination and Support to the Sahrawi People (EUCOCO) 15 Aug denounced France’s “perverse” role in blocking enlargement of MINURSO mandate.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

Following acquisition of 24 U.S.-made F-16 jetfighters and 200 Abrams-type tanks by Morocco, Algerian army announced allocating additional $300m in military equipment to Polisario Front.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma 4 June called on Morocco to end occupation of Western Sahara, stop persecuting Sahrawi people. EU parliamentary delegation 24 June visited territory capital Layyoune to inquire about rights situation.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Pro-independence rallies held almost daily following April renewal of MINURSO peacekeeping mandate, especially in Laâyoune, Smara and Boujdour. Amnesty International 23 May condemned authorities’ use of “excessive force” to quell protests and continued targeting of Sahrawi human rights defenders and self-determination advocates. MINURSO 17 May discharged Egyptian soldier accused of inciting young Sahrawis from Tindouf to “claim their rights”.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Polisario Front 17 April issued statement denying jihadis from Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) have entered Sahrawi refugee camps. Human Rights Watch 17 April called on UNSC to task UN with monitoring rights violations in Western Sahara and in refugee camps around Tindouf, Algeria; following U.S. demand that MINURSO mandate be expanded to carry out “monitoring and reporting of human rights”, Morocco called off military exercises with U.S., engaged in intense lobbying against UN mission’s rights mandate at UNSC; 23 April MINURSO resolution now encourages “enhanced efforts and progress on human rights”. 

Western Sahara

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

French media 4 March reported Polisario Front fighters captured in Mali following battle with AQIM “emir” Abou Zeid. UN SGSR Ross 20 March visited Western Sahara, hoping to “end current impasse”. Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz 16 March said Saharawi people will continue peaceful fight for independence, resume armed struggle “if necessary”.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

UNHCHR and rights organisations 19 Feb expressed concern about fairness of trial of Sahrawis who participated in riots at Gdeim Izik camp in 2010; after 2 years of pre-trial detention, military court handed out prison terms for 24 detainees ranging from time served to life in prison. Prisoners reiterated claim they were tortured in prison; Amnesty International called for retrial, investigation of torture allegations.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Security forces 3 Nov violently dispersed demonstration in Smara calling for self-determination, 10 injured. UN envoy Christopher Ross met with pro-independence Sahrawi activist Aminatou Haidar and members of Sahrawi parliament in exile, urged UNSC resolution to crisis.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

11 Sahrawi detainees in Laayoune’s “black jail” 1 Sept initiated hunger strike in solidarity with detainee held in solitary confinement. Polisario Front, Moroccan govt, MINURSO 16 Sept held 3rd meeting in Geneva to evaluate progress on implementation of confidence-building measures; U.S. Sec State Clinton 14 Sept restated U.S. support for Moroccan “Autonomy Plan for Sahara”.

“Un rapport dénonce un ‘climat de peur’ au Sahara occidental”, Le Monde, 4 Sept. 2012.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

UNSG Ban late Aug stressed his confidence in UN envoy Christopher Ross, said will not cede to Morocco’s May 2012 demands for replacement. Security forces 25 Aug violently dispersed demonstration in Laayoune, several injured. Moroccan FM Saad Dine El Othmani 10 Aug said Polisario aided by Qadhafi arms, money.

 

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Spanish FM Garcia-Margallo 20 June urged UN special envoy on Western Sahara Christopher Ross to engage with “central issues” surrounding disputed territory, called for lasting solution within framework of UNSC resolutions. UNSG Ban 17 June named Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber new MINURSO head.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Morocco 17 May said UN Western Sahara envoy Ross biased, criticised April UN report accusing Morocco of spying on MINURSO. Human Rights Watch (HRW) 15 May denounced authorities’ failures to investigate Nov 2010 police beating of HRW researcher investigating human rights violations.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

UNSC late-month renewed MINURSO peacekeeping mandate for 1 year; South Africa criticised UNSC for “conveniently ignoring” human rights abuses. Leaked report by UNSG Ban on last round of failed negotiations implied Morocco spying on MINURSO, said UN interaction with local population hindered by authorities. 

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

UN 24 Feb announced it would host further negotiations 11-13 March between Polisario Front, Moroccan govt

Western Sahara

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Polisario Front’s security agency 15 Dec reportedly detained 11 suspects in 22 Oct kidnapping of 3 aid workers in southern Algeria.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

UN Western Sahara Envoy Christopher Ross toured capitals of countries included in so-called “Group of Friends of Western Sahara” in attempt to solve deadlocked talks between Polisario Front and Morocco.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Peace efforts between Morocco and Polisario Front suspended after UN envoy 27 Oct unable to organise new talks. 11 people sentenced 12 Oct for up to 1 year in prison for involvement in Sept football riots in Dakhla.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

At least 7 killed, including 2 police officers, 25 Sept in clashes in Dakhla; authorities claim violence followed football riot.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Eighth round of UN-mediated informal negotiations 20-21 July between Morocco and Polisario Front failed to reach agreement.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

No progress in seventh round of unofficial, UN-brokered talks between Polisario Front and Morocco 7 June in New York; UN Envoy Ross said both sides continued to reject other’s proposal as sole basis of negotiations.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

UNSC 27 Apr extended mandate of MINURSO for 1 year. Polisario Front 19 Apr criticised UNSG Ban’s report to UNSC on disputed territory for not providing human rights role for MINURSO.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

Sixth round of talks between Polisario Front and Moroccan govt 8-9 March in Malta under aegis of UN, no signs of progress; sides agreed to meet again late May. U.S. Sec State Clinton 23 March reiterated support for Moroccan autonomy plan in disputed territory.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Violent clashes 26 Feb in Dakhla between local Sahrawis and Moroccan youths; at least 2 killed. Morocco FM Taieb Fassi Fihri 15 Feb said Algeria and Polisario Front may use political upheavals in Arab countries to stir unrest. Representatives from Polisario Front, Moroccan govt 9-10 Feb discussed humanitarian conditions at Tindouf refugee camps at Geneva meeting.

 

Western Sahara

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

New round of UN-brokered talks between Polisario Front and Moroccan govt 21-23 Jan stalled over basic issue of disputed territory’s future status; agreed to new round of talks in March

Western Sahara

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

Rights group 24 Dec said more than 150 people remain in detention following Nov police raid on protest camp near Laayoune, accused authorities of torture (see Morocco).

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2010

Deteriorated

Violence broke out 8 Nov following Moroccan security forces raid on protest camp housing some 15,000 outside main town of Laayoune. Morocco reported 13 killed including 11 members of security forces; Polisario Front 9 Nov said more than 36 Saharawis killed, 723 injured and 159 missing. UNSC 16 Nov condemned clashes but declined to authorise formal probe. Moroccan authorities 13 Nov said over 163 people arrested for inciting violence (See Morocco). Third round of UN-brokered peace talks carried out in New York 8-9 Nov, same time as clashes; both sides agreed to meet again Dec.

  • "‘Eleven dead’ in clashes in Western Sahara camp", BBC, 9 Nov. 2010.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

New round of talks between Polisario Front and Morocco to be held early Nov according to UNSG’s special envoy Christopher Ross, first since Feb. In protest at social conditions at least 10,000 Sahrawis since 9 Oct moved out of cities to camps outside capital El Aauin. 14 year-old boy killed, 5 injured 25 Oct by Moroccan soldiers at checkpoint to protest camp.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jun 2010

Unchanged
Polisario Front 2 May criticised UN for not including human rights monitoring in Apr UNSC resolution to extend MINURSO mandate. Morocco 4 May welcomed resolution reportedly seeing it as supporting W Saharan autonomy rather than independence.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2010

Unchanged

UNSG Ban noted failure of recent talks to move Morocco, Polisario Front closer to agreement in 7 Apr report. Following 23 Apr meeting with Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, Ban expressed concern about human rights violations in territory. UNSC 29 Apr extended mandate of UN mission MINURSO to April 2011.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Apr 2010

Unchanged

UN envoy Ross met regional leaders in 17-25 March tour of Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Sahrawi refugee camps, in push to revive negotiations over territory.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2010

Unchanged

UN-brokered informal talks between Morocco and Polisario Front in New York State 10-11 Feb failed to make significant headway; sides agreed to continue negotiations.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Feb 2010

Unchanged

Moroccan King Mohamed VI 3 Jan announced plan to devolve power to regions while maintaining territorial unity; stated Western Sahara would be among first regions to benefit from plan.

Western Sahara

  |  4 Jan 2010

Unchanged

Sahrawi rights activist Aminatou Haidar, expelled to Canary Islands in Nov, allowed to return by Moroccan authorities 18 Dec after 32-day hunger strike. UNSG Ban 14 Dec called for resumption of Morocco-Polisario Front negotiations “as soon as possible”; the 2 sides 23 Dec both announced willingness to participate in new round of UN-brokered talks.

  • “Hunger striker Aminatou Haidar returns to W Sahara”, BBC, 18 Dec. 2009.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2009

Unchanged

Moroccan authorities 4 Nov ordered Swedish diplomat to leave country for allegedly passing state documents to Polisario Front; 13 Nov expelled Sahrawi rights activist Aminatou Haidar to Canary Islands. UNSG 23 Nov expressed concern at growing Morocco-Polisario tensions, called on parties to cooperate with further talks. U.S. Sec State Clinton expressed continued support for UN-mediated talks in 6 Nov Morocco visit.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Nov 2009

Unchanged

7 Sahrawi activists detained in Morocco following widely denounced visit to Polisario-run camps in Tindouf, SW Algeria. UNSG 7 Oct appointed Egyptian Hany Abdel-Aziz as new head of MINURSO.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Oct 2009

Unchanged

UNHCR head visited Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria 9-10 Sept as part of North African tour; proposed establishment of land corridor to Moroccan-held zone to facilitate refugee family visits. Morocco 28 Sept called for UNHCR to facilitate refugees’ relocation to third countries.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Sep 2009

Unchanged

Morocco, Polisario Front agreed on further negotiations in 10-11 Aug informal talks with UN envoy Ross in Austria, also attended by Algeria, Mauritania.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jul 2009

Unchanged

Polisario representative in Algeria 11 June denounced extension of Moroccan local elections to Western Sahara as “serious provocation”, “illegal”, called for UNSG intervention. Newly-formed reformist Authenticity and Modernity Party campaigned widely in territory. UN envoy Ross made second tour of states in region end June.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2009

Unchanged

1,400 supporters of Polisario Front entered military zone from Algerian camps for pro-independence demonstration 11 Apr. Morocco alleged ceasefire violation, blamed Algeria for allowing border crossing. UNSC 30 Apr renewed UN mission (MINURSO) mandate for 1 yr, endorsed shift to small-scale informal peace talks proposed by envoy Ross

  • “U.N. council favors informal talks on Western Sahara”, Reuters, 30 Apr. 2009.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Apr 2009

Unchanged

UNHCR, WFP mission 18 March began assessment of malnutrition in Sahrawi refugee camps. European Parliament delegation expressed concern for human rights in camps, Moroccan-controlled areas, called for MINURSO mandate to include HR monitoring.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2009

Unchanged

New UN envoy Christopher Ross met with Moroccan, Algerian and Polisario Front leaders during 18-25 Feb tour of region; affirmed commitment to Sahrawi right of self-determination, called for mutually acceptable political solution to conflict.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Feb 2009

Unchanged

New UN envoy Christopher Ross formally appointed 7 Jan. Polisario Front 14 Jan asked Dutch oil company to cease exploration in territorial waters; 22 Jan called on EU to prevent fishing off coast of disputed territory, suspend 2005 EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.

Western Sahara

  |  5 Jan 2009

Unchanged

Christopher Ross 5 Dec confirmed as new UN special envoy, as Morocco and Algeria reasserted positions on WS status: Rabat 4 Dec said ready to resume stalled talks but only from principle of autonomy, while Algeria issued longstanding call for referendum on independence. Human Rights Watch 19 Dec report alleged pro-independence Sahawis subject to extensive repression and abuse by Moroccan authorities, drawing angry response from Rabat. Report also called on Algeria to take responsibility for protecting rights of Algerian-based Sahrawi IDPs.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2008

Unchanged

Moroccan King Muhammad VI 6 Nov launched scathing verbal attack against Algerian support for region’s independence, accusing Algiers of seeking to balkanize Maghreb and demanding it re-open common border.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Nov 2008

Unchanged

In 21 Oct resolution, UN called for intensification of status talks towards solution guaranteeing “self-determination” of region’s people. Both parties welcomed statement: Morocco as endorsement of autonomy plan, Polisario Front of independence.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Oct 2008

Unchanged

Former U.S. diplomat Christopher Ross expected to replace Peter van Walsum as UN Special Envoy after latter forced out in Aug over Polisario Front (PF) complaints of favouritism toward Morocco. No movement in deadlock over disputed territory.

  • For background, see Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°65, Western Sahara: The Cost of the Conflict, 11 June 2007; and N°66, Western Sahara: Out of the Impasse, 11 June 2007.

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CrisisWatch N°128

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