Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) is an incorporated non-profit Association which was set up to raise awareness and promote the Saharawi cause in Australia, and to campaign for a free and fair referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people.

The independence struggle in Western Sahara mirrors almost exactly that of the East Timorese. In 1975 when the colonial power Spain withdrew, the neighbouring country, Morocco, invaded. A war ensued until a UN sponsored ceasefire was declared in 1991 when a referendum was promised.
Despite UN pressure Morocco refuses to agree to a referendum.

US and UK students detained in El Aaiun

April 20th, 2014

Today, April 19, two students from the U.S. and UK have been detained at a checkpoint in El Aaiun. Kristina Nygaard, with U.S. passport, and Joanna Allan, a British citizen, had traveled to occupied Western Sahara to learn more about the concerning situation of the Saharaui population and to gather information on human rights violations and natural resources exploitation in the occupied territory.

In one of the many existing checkpoints at El Aaiun, Kristina Nygaard and Joanna Allan were arrested by the Moroccan police. As declared by the students themselves, they have been told that “they are not welcome” and they will be driven in a car, probably to Agadir.

Violations against human rights in the Western Sahara after the April 25, 2013 UNSC Resolution 2099

April 20th, 2014

Between April 26, 2013 (the date on which the Security Council adopted Resolution 2099) and April 5th, 2014, Morocco has continued its usual repressive policy with regard to Sahrawi civilians in the part of the Western Sahara it occupies and in Southern Morocco.

In fact:

- the withdrawal of the resolution proposed before the Security Council by the United States in April 2013, a proposal on which the Sahrawi population and human rights defenders had been relying heavily in order to put an end to the human rights’ violations by the Moroccan State,

- Security Council Resolution 2099/2013, which  did notbroaden the mandate of MINURSO to cover human rights monitoring and protection in the Western Sahara,
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AWSA joins 116 other associations from 22 countries to plead for human rights monitoring by UN in Westen Sahara

April 17th, 2014

Joint letter from humanitarian organisations working in support of the people of Western Sahara

President of the UN Security Council,
Ambassadors of Member States of the UN Security Council,
New York.

16th April 2014

Mrs. President, Ambassadors of the Member States of the United Nations Security Council,

In 1991 Security Council resolution 690 established the mandate for MINURSO to conduct a free and fair referendum for self-determination for the Sahrawi people. 23 years later the Sahrawi people are still waiting to enjoy that inalienable right which is laid out in United Nations resolution 1514 (XV).

In the meantime, Western Sahara remains a colony of Spain, illegally occupied by Morocco and the largest of only 16 remaining non-self-governing territories identified by the United Nations which have yet to be decolonised. Up to 160,000 Sahrawis remain in refugee camps in the desert of neighbouring Algeria, reliant on diminishing international aid. Read the rest of this entry »

Australia Western Sahara Association presents a film about a remarkable young activist fighting for a free Western Sahara

April 14th, 2014

Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain, will host this special screening of The Runner at NSW Parliament House

The Honorable Dr Meredith Burgmann will introduce the film

The Runner is the story of a world champion long-distance runner Salah Hmatou Ameidan whose journey transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. He comes from Western Sahara, under Moroccan occupation since  1975. His story is an inspiring one.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

6.00pm for 6.15pm start

Location: Theatrette, NSW Parliament House, 6 Macquarie Street


March 20th, 2014

18 March 2014

The Government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is pleased to announce that it has awarded the Bir Lahlou Block to the UK-based Red Rio Petroleum Limited (“Contractor”), effective from 18 March 2014. The award is under the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) terms previously promulgated by the SADR:

The Bir Lahlou block is situated in the north-east corner of the Territory of Western Sahara (see map here:, in the area controlled by the Frente POLISARIO, which leads the Government of the SADR. The block overlies part of the Paleozoic Tindouf Basin, which extends eastwards into Algeria and east and south into Mauritania. The Basin sits over the top of a stratigraphic section of rocks ranging in age from Cambrian to Carboniferous, which is analogous to other sub-Atlas basins to the north-east, and which produce large amounts of gas and oil in Algeria.
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AWSA slams Incitec Pivot for stolen phosphate from occupied Western Sahara

March 14th, 2014

AWSA today condemned Incitec Pivot for their latest import of phosphate rock, due on Sunday from Western Sahara, saying Pivot should stop the trade with Morocco in what is essentially stolen property, as other Australian fertiliser companies (CSBP/Wesfarmers and Impact) have done.

A shipment of conflict phosphate is due to arrive in Portland on 16 March on board the bulk carrier, Eurosun. The ship will discharge only part of its cargo of phosphate rock in Portland and the rest in Geelong on 20 March. Read the rest of this entry »

Sons of the Clouds screened in Melbourne

March 10th, 2014

Afterward the screening there was a discussion about the filmIn collaboration between Filmoteca and the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA), The Sons of the Clouds documentary was screened to a large crowd at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne.

The film was introduced by Cate Lewis, Vice-President of AWSA, saying  “Every year, in the most remote of the four refugee camps near Tindouf in south west Algeria, a magical, miraculous thing happens,”

“ The Sahara Film Festival takes place on a big screen outside at night. It’s called FiSahara and last October saw its 10th anniversary.”

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March 8th, 2014





APHEDA (Please specify Western Sahara)


Ron Guy 0428 173 970

Georgia Vlassopoulos 0425 702 975 -

Fish, phosphates and tomatoes

March 7th, 2014

By Olivier Quarante for
LeMonde diplomatique, Friday 7 March 2014

Morocco exploits Western Sahara’s natural resources

Morocco is making considerable profits from the land and waters of the annexed Western Sahara, and no external power, including the UN, has challenged this.It’s impossible to count the lorries laden with octopus and fish streaming north on the main road between El Aaiun, the major city in the north of Western Sahara, and Dakhla, 500 km south. Read the rest of this entry »

SADR flag raised in many Australian cities to mark 38th anniversary

March 1st, 2014

Canberra, Feb 28, 2014 (SPS)

Flag of the Saharawi Republic (SADR) was raised at top of many buildings in many Australian cities to mark the 38th anniversary of the proclamation of SADR, informed Polisario Front’s office there.

In this regard, the Saharawi flag was raised on Balmain Town Hall (New South Wales), Fremantle Town Hall (Western Australia), Moreland City Council (Victoria), Yarra City Council (Victoria), Ballarat Trades Hall (Victoria), Geelong Trades Hall (Victoria) and Victorian Australian Workers Union (Melbourne office).

The move is a gesture of solidarity and support with the Saharawi people and their just cause.