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.

March 2015: International Conference, Melbourne ‘Natural Resources - the Key to Western Sahara’s Future’

November 10th, 2014

You are invited to register for this important international conference

‘Natural Resources - the Key to Western Sahara’s Future’

at Deakin Edge on Federation Square, Melbourne Friday 20 March 2015

This will be the first international conference on the question of Western Sahara’s natural resources, featuring an impressive array of international and local speakers, including Emhamed Khadad, Aminatou Haidar, Stephen Zunes, Damien Kingsbury, Ben Saul, Erik Hagen and Kamal Fadel.

See:
Conference program

Registration and further details

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The Runner - Friday October 10th 2014 - New Council Chambers, 2 Lygon St, Carlton South

September 23rd, 2014

The Runner

Directed by Saeed Taji Farouky
An inspiring story that is now being shared with the world

Friday October 10th 2014
6.00pm for 6.30pm start

New Council Chambers, 2 Lygon St, Carlton South

The Runner is the story of world champion long-distance runner, Salah Hmatou Ameidan, and the journey that transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. He comes from Western Sahara, under Moroccan occupation since 1975. He is willing to risk his life, his career, his family and his nationality to run for the cause of a free Western Sahara.

The saharas forgotten war

August 17th, 2014

Part 1
https://news.vice.com/video/the-saharas-forgotten-war-part-1

Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtiUzPsYzQg

Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6QLwJOxo10

Part 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHGQP6qF4QQ&feature=youtu.be

Part 5


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKMOvqfT5-U

FiSahara 2014: sharing Sahrawi stories at the world’s most remote film festival

August 17th, 2014

Stefan Simanowitz for Voices of Africa, part of the Guardian Africa network

As the great and the good of the world’s film industry prepared to descend on Cannes last week, a very different film festival was coming to a climax deep in the Sahara desert.

Far from the red-carpeted Mediterranean opulence of the Croisette, theSahara International Film Festival – known as FiSahara – took place in a sun-baked refugee camp deep in the Algerian desert. What it may have lacked in glittering VIP premieres and champagne-fuelled yacht parties, FiSahara made up for in spades with dune parties, camel races and multiplex-sized screenings beneath the stars.

Read more >>

Nowhere Land

July 1st, 2014

STORY BY DAVID CONRAD
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICAH ALBERT

After 40 years of fighting in the desert for their unrecognized country, the people of Western Sahara may be on the cusp of collapsing into extremism — and it could be the thing that saves them.

IN A FORSAKEN TOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF SOUTHWESTERN ALGERIA’S HARSH SAHARA DESERT, BACHIR MEHDI STANDS IN THE ROAD AS A RUSTED TOYOTA LAND CRUISER SPEEDS IN HIS DIRECTION.

An anti-aircraft gun is mounted to the truck’s bed, where five young soldiers, dressed in loosely worn combat fatigues, the insignias torn off, are sitting with Soviet-manufactured guns strapped to their shoulders. Read the rest of this entry »

Morocco’s King Slow to Deliver on Pro-Democracy Vows

June 26th, 2014

By AIDA ALAMIJUNE 11, 2014

RABAT, Morocco — A few weeks shy of his 15th anniversary as Morocco’s ruler, King Mohammed VI was spotted on the streets of Tunisia in jeans and a T-shirt while on an official visit, living up to the King of Cool nickname given to him by the foreign news media.

Back in the kingdom, however, tensions have been rising. Pro-democracy activists and journalists have faced increasing repression, as the government tries to tame an opposition emboldened by the 2011 Arab revolutions.
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P for Phosphate – P for Plunder - Morocco’s exports of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara and Australia’s controversial imports

June 20th, 2014

A report, launched on 13 June by Western Sahara Resource Watch, reveals that Australia now has just one importer of the controversial phosphate: Incitec Pivot.

Incitec Pivot Limited is one of ten companies on the P for Plunder report’s red list of companies involved in this unethical trade, spending US$11million per annum on the high-grade phosphate to use in the production of superphosphate fertilisers. By coincidence, it is currently receiving yet another phosphate shipment from Western Sahara in Geelong on board the Western FedoraWesfarmers/CSBP is on the orange list of “companies under observation”. This is because although it has put its imports on hold for the past 2 years, it has reserved the right to make a commercial decision to resume if need be. Read the rest of this entry »

Incitec caught in crossfire

June 19th, 2014

GREGOR HEARD for Stock Journal

14 Jun, 2014

INCITEC Pivot (IPL) has come under fire from an independence group from the disputed territory of Western Sahara in Africa for continuing to buy phosphate from Morocco that originates from the north-west African state.

Kamal Fadel, a spokesman for the Polisario Front, a group dedicated to Western Saharan independence, claims IPL is in violation of international law by continuing to purchase phosphate from Morocco, which he claims extracts the phosphate from Western Sahara illegally. Read the rest of this entry »

Statement of the Saharawi Republic concerning Incitec Pivot Limited and the trade in phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara

June 12th, 2014

In 2013 IPL imported two shipments of phosphate mineral rock from occupied Western Sahara, valued at approximately $ AUS 12 million. Such shipments have been routinely protested by the SADR, and despite them, continue to arrive in Australia.  Western Sahara remains illegally occupied by Morocco, contrary to declarations of the United Nations General Assembly and a 1975 determination of the International Court of Justice.  No state recognizes Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara and all countries are under a positive duty to support the self-determination of the Saharawi people.  As the original inhabitants of the territory until its invasion, the Saharawi people have exclusive sovereign rights to phosphate, a non-renewable resource, and have continuously called for an end to its taking.      Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release: Incitec Pivot continues plunder in Western Sahara

June 12th, 2014

The Australian Fertiliser company, Incitec Pivot (IPL), has been involved in the exploitation of Western Sahara phosphates for many years in violation of international law.
IPL latest shipment of phosphates from Western Sahara is due to arrive at Geelong on 12 June 2014 on board the Cypriot flagged bulk carrier Western Fedora vessel.
The cargo is estimated to be worth about US $4 million.
The Polisario Front (Western Sahara independence movement) Representative to Australia, Fadel Kamal, “deplored IPL illegal and unethical exploitation of phosphates from Western Sahara through deals made with the authoritarian regime in Morocco which illegally occupies the Territory and oppresses its people.” Read the rest of this entry »