Communiqué Of The International Conference On The Struggle Of Saharawi Women For Freedom” Organized By WAELE/ARCELFA, Held At Merit House, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria From 27th – 28th Of September, 2011

INTRODUCTION The International Conference on ” The Struggle of Saharawi Women For Freedom”, organized by WOMEN ADVANCEMENT FOR ECONOMIC AND LEADERSHIP EMPOWERMENT IN AFRICA (WAELE/ARCELFA) was held in Abuja, Nigeria between 27th – 28th of September 2011 with more than 700 participants and delegates drawn from 42 countries including USA, UK, Spain, France, Argentina, Lebanon, Holland and Portugal.

The conference was declared open by the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dame Dr Patience Jonathan, ably represented by H.E. Dr. Asma’u Abdulkadir the Presidential Adviser on Gender. The Speech by the Saharawi President His Excellency Mohamed Abdelaziz was presented by the Saharawi Minister in charge of the United Nations.

Topics of discussion centered around The Struggle of Saharawi Women for Freedom, The Role of The Organization of Islamic Countries {OIC} in the Struggle of Saharawi Women, Promoting International Solidarity With Saharawi People, Social and Humanitarian Challenges of Saharawi Women, The Deafening Silence and Responsibility of The International Community on The Situation of Saharawi Women and The Plight of Saharawi Women

Facilitators and dignitaries at the conference included

  • Comrade Abdulwahid Omar, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),
  • Senator Joy Emodi, Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters
  • Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie fnia, President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),
  • Hon Alhaj Mohrez Ammari (Algeria) President of Algeria Committee of Solidarity with the Saharawi People (CNASPS)
  • Hon Pierre Galand (Belgium) President of the European Solidarity Movement with the Saharawi People (EUCOCO)
  • Hon Regine Villemont (France) General Secretary of the French Association of Friends of Saharawi Republic (AARASD)
  • Hon Mme Khady Fall (Senegal) President West African Women Association (WAWA)
  • Hon Carmelo Ramirez (Spain) President of Spanish Federation of Institutions in Solidarity with Saharawi People (FEDISSAH)
  • Barr. Femi Falana (Nigeria) Former President of West Africa Bar Association (WABA)
  • Dr. Oladipo Fashina (Nigeria), Former President of ASUU and Co-chair of LASCO
  • Her Excellency, Chief Mrs Chinyere Ukpabi Asika (Nigeria), wife of former Administrator of East Central State of Nigeria and patron of WAELE/ARCELFA

 

  • His Excellency, Ambassador Frank Ruddy (USA), Former Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General to Western Sahara
  • Prof. Nuhu Yaqub (Nigeria), Former Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja
  • Dr. M’Hand Berkouk, Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Algeria.
  • Prof. Vivian Solana (Canada) Middle East University Project, Ottawa University
  • Mr Pedro Pinto Leite, (Holland) ,President, International Platform of Jurists for East Timor – IPJET, • Iyom Barrister Josephine Anenih, mni, Former Nigeria Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development
  • Mrs Michele Decastere (France), President of the French Association of Solidarity and Friendship with the Peoples of Africa (AFASPA)
  • Mrs Aminatou Haidar, Saharawi Human Rights Defender
  • Mrs. Dayo Oluyemi Kusa (Nigeria) Conflict Transformation Expert and Author, The African Refugee Phenomenon

METHODOLOGY The conference proceedings employed a participatory process which included a combination of power point presentations, plenary discussions, and question-and-answer sessions.

 CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS

  1. Condemns the abuse of human rights unleashed by the Morocco government on the occupied territories of Western Sahara
  1. Expressed unalloyed solidarity with the victims of bestial Moroccan colonial repression and oppression of innocent and peaceful Saharawi women, men and children in the occupied territories.
  1. Commends the special role of Saharawi women in the struggle for liberation of Western Sahara.
  1. Resolves to mobilize international lawyers to take Moroccan government to international court to answer for the crimes of genocide committed against the Saharawi people.
  1. Affirms its recognition of the right of the Saharawi people to self – determination in full sovereignty in their own country, and calls upon the United Nations to speedily conduct the referendum on self – determination of the Saharawi people in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Saharawi ( MINURSO,1991)
  1. Calls on the freedom loving peoples in the world and the international community to exert maximum pressure on the Moroccan government to realize the futility of its efforts to block the decolonization process in Africa.
  1. Condemns as hypocritical the position of western powers, especially France which celebrate as democratic the removal of long standing rulers in the Middle East and North Africa, while at the same time supporting Moroccan suppression of the right of Saharawi people. In this regard, the conference urges the western powers, especially France, to align themselves with historical progress, to end their complicity in the Moroccan suppression of the right of the Saharawi people to self – determination as they choose through the United Nations mandated referendum.
  1. Calls on the African Union (AU) to rise more decisively to the challenges of history and drive the process of decolonization in Africa to a conclusive end
  1. Calls on all African countries to individually and collectively provide educational, medical and all material resources to the Saharawi people in the refugee camps.
  1. Call on all African women and the world to give active support to the struggles of Saharawi people for the referendum.
  1. Condemns continued illegal exportation of the national resources (Fish, Oil & Minerals) of Western Sahara by European powers, in collaboration with Moroccan government.
  1. Commends the historical position of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the decolonization of Western Sahara and its support for the Saharawi people.
  1. Calls upon the Federal Government of Nigeria to take appropriate measures to ensure the fulfillment of the United Nations (UN) 1991 resolutions on the referendum in Western Sahara
  1. It was agreed that no African is really free until the last colony in Africa attains political sovereignty; the conference therefore urges all freedom loving peoples in the world to continue to support the struggle of the Saharawi people for independence until a victorious end.
  1. South Africa was proposed to host the next edition of this conference and the Vice President of WAELE/ARCELFA for Southern Africa Region was requested to make the necessary follow up.

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