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.

243 organisations ask UN to condemn Morocco’s colonial oil plans

April 19th, 2015

protest_camps_natural_resources_hr_full.jpgThis letter was sent on 15 April 2015 to the President of the UN Security Council, HE Dina Kawar, Ambassador of Jordan to the United Nations, with a request for circulation among the Members of the Council.
“No oil drilling should take place in the territory until the Saharawis have had the chance to exercise their right to self-determination and have freely and fairly decided the political status of their homeland”, the appeal to the Security Council writes…

AWSA is one of the signatories of this open letter to the Security Council: Read the Letter and list of signatories

Norwegian report: Acting with Impunity - Morocco’s Human Rights Violations in Western Sahara

April 17th, 2015

Acting with Impunity - Morocco’s Human Rights Violations in Western Sahara and the Silence of the International Community
SAIH, the Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund
13 April 2015

This excellent report examines the human rights abuses committed in Western Sahara since April 1 2014 until March 1 2015. Based on 163 documented cases, 256 different human rights violations have been reported, involving 283 named victims.
The report concludes that the continued gross human rights violations committed in occupied Western Sahara illustrate the total inadequacy of Morocco’s national human rights framework. Whilst UN Special Procedures, which involve short and infrequent visits by UN rights experts to Western Sahara, are important, they are insufficient.

Press Release >>

Download Report: Acting with Impunity >>

Read the extended annex >>

10 April 2015: United Nations Secretary-General’s Report on Western Sahara

April 15th, 2015

10 April, United Nations, Security Council
This latest UN Secretary-General report on the situation concerning Western Sahara is a disappointing indicator of the UN’s current position on Western Sahara.
In many respects it simply reaffirms the status quo and once again offers little hope that the UN will instigate meaningful change to support the Saharawi’s right to their country and their future. All this in a context of Morocco’s blatant violations of the basic requirements of the international community – self-determination – and of international law – the protection of human rights during an armed occupation.

UN Secretary-General’s 2015 report >>

Tim Robertson, SC; Natural Resources – the Key to Western Sahara’s Future, 19 March 2015

April 15th, 2015

Thursday 19 March - Conference Dinner presentation

Tim Robertson, SC in his Conference Dinner presentation at the Melbourne conference Natural Resources – the Key to Western Sahara’s Future, 19 March 2015 argues that exploration and exploitation cannot be meaningfully separated in practice. He calls into question a crucial distinction in Hans Corell’s 2002 UN legal opinion on oil exploration licences in Western Sahara.
Accepting Robertson’s view would mean that no prospective activity licensed by Morocco can take place in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara until a referendum of self-determination is held.
Conference Details: http://www.sahararesourcesday.info

Watch Tim’s speech on YouTube >>
Read the rest of this entry »

Spanish judge names 11 Moroccans wanted for genocide

April 15th, 2015

The New York Times, 10 April 2015
Carlotta Gall
Pablo Ruz a judge of the highest court in Spain, has ordered the detention of 11 Moroccan military or administrative officials accused of genocide of Saharawis between 1976 and 1992.  He has specifically called for the arrest of seven of the eleven and for them to be extradited to Spain.
He has documented 50 assassination cases and 202 cases of illegal detention. All the victims, whether members of the Polisario Front or Saharawi civilians have Spanish passports or identity cards.
There is no official Moroccan reaction to the ruling.

Read more >>

Polisario Front reiterates its request to provide MINURSO human rights monitoring in Western Sahara

April 15th, 2015

Sahara Press Service. Sat, 04/11/2015 - 6:20pm

In a strongly worded appeal, the representative to the United Nations, Ahmed Boukhari issued a press statement on 11 April in response to the new report of the Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon on Western Sahara submitted on Friday to the Security Council:

Read more >>

Major development: African Union Peace and Security Council requests the UN to expedite process of decolonisation

April 6th, 2015

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 496th meeting held on 27 March 2015, adopted the following decision on the situation in Western Sahara:

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has asked the United Nations Security Council (UN) to “make every effort to expedite the process of decolonization of Western Sahara “. The Council appealed for an enhanced and coordinated international action towards the early organization of a referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in compliance with relevant OAU/AU decisions and UN resolutions; (…cont.)

Read communique >>

New Zealand TV: Human rights violation: NZ companies under fire for fertiliser imports

April 1st, 2015

Sunday March 29, 2015 Source: ONE News

A protest in the depths of Africa has drawn attention to two New Zealand fertiliser companies.
Ballance and Ravensdown are being urged to stop importing the main fertiliser ingredient phosphate from Western Sahara because of alleged human rights violations. Forty years ago Morocco invaded Western Sahara and started mining phosphate rock and selling it around the world for millions of dollars.

Video and report >>

AWSA Press Release: Australia urged to make Western Sahara imports illegal

March 27th, 2015

Australia Western Sahara Association - Press Release, 25 March 2015

Following the inaugural International conference on the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara resources held in Melbourne on 20 March, the Australia Western Sahara Association called on the Federal Government to prohibit Australian company trade in Western Saharan resources from the occupied territory and to push the UN to force a breakthrough in the 40 year stalemate of Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.

Professor Stephen Zunes states that “International law makes it clear that Morocco has no entitlement to control and exploit Western Sahara’s natural resources (…cont. )”

Read the rest of this entry »

President of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic decorates Australian supporter with 2O May Medal

March 25th, 2015

024_0.JPGSahara Press Service
Melbourne  March 23, 2015 (SPS)

The President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, decorated Kate Lewis, vice president of the Australian Association of solidarity with the Saharawi people (AWSA) with the 20 May Medal for supporting the people of Western Sahara.

Read more >>