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Archive for December 12th, 2007

Morocco against holding of Polisario congress in Tifariti

Posted by African Press International on December 12, 2007

Rabat (Morocco) Morocco is kicking against the holding on Friday, of the 12th congress of the Polisario Front in Tifariti, arguing that the area is as a “buffer zone of the Sahara”, APA learnt Wednesday in Rabat.

In a letter to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon published Wednesday, Rabat said the “Algeria-backed” congress is a “violation of the cease-fire agreement” concluded with the Polisario in 1991 and “a challenge to the United Nations Security Council.”

Consequently, Morocco asks the UN to take the necessary steps “to deal with these dangerous and provocative intrigues which threaten peace and stability in the region, and which is against the trust and serene atmosphere which should prevail during the negotiation for a political solution” to this regional disagreement.

The Kingdom reiterates in this letter written by its UN permanent representative Mustapha Sahel, its determination to preserve its rights on the whole territory and its dismissal of any attempt to modify the statute of this region (Western Sahara).

According to Morocco, “MINURSO (UN contingent in Sahara) is supposed to make sure that the part of the territory, located at the east of the defence system is free from any military presence or civilian installations.”

The royal armed forces voluntarily withdrew from this region to consolidate the cease-fire and to prevent all new skirmishes, including with the Algerian army.

All activities undertaken in the buffer zone are completely illegal because those who carry them on have neither the authority, nor the legitimacy to do it,” it said.

Rabat added that “the parties which organise or support this sham congress in a danger zone, put in danger the life of the refugees” in Tindouf, on the Algerian territory, and whose situation is “already odd, since they have never been identified or registered and that they are deprived of their basic movement and rights of expression.”

These parties take “a direct responsibility in the diversion of the humanitarian aid provided by the international community, for the needs of this sheer propaganda operation.”

In his last resolution concerning the Western Sahara case in October, the UN Security Council called on the parties concerned to create an “atmosphere favourable to dialogue and the success of the negotiations”.

In 2007, Morocco and the Polisario Front held two rounds of direct negotiations in Manhasset, United States, under the aegis of the United Nations to end the Sahara conflict.

Rabat proposed an autonomy statute for the Sahara territory, which is under Moroccan sovereignty since 1975.

A third round of negotiations is scheduled for next January in the US.

In November, King Mohammed VI said Morocco “will not accept anything other than autonomy” to solve the Sahara issue within the framework of a “unified state,” stressing that “any thesis aiming at dipping into the sovereignty of Morocco” will not be acceptable.

Morocco, Mohammed VI continued, “is ready to continue the in-depth negotiations” on the Sahara issue while remaining “open to all constructive proposals and attempting to favour the necessary confidence conditions so that these negotiations can lead to a final resolution”.

Published by Korir, API/APN source.apa

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Uganda: LRA makes final appeal to Museveni, Kony

Posted by African Press International on December 12, 2007

Kampala (Uganda) The Lords Resistance Army (LRA) peace delegation on Wednesday winded up its national consultations with a solemn appeal to President Yuweri Museveni and the faction leader Joseph Kony, to sign a permanent peace deal early 2008.

The LRA is now ready than ever before to embark on the last round of negotiations towards signing a lasting peace with government, Chris Ayena-Odongo, the legal advisor to the team said in Kampala

He said having travelled throughout the country within the last 40 days to seek the views of Ugandans on the Juba talks, the delegation was convinced that citizens were supportive.

Ayena-Odongo expressed satisfaction over the reception that his delegation received during its visits in the various towns.

He said that the most crucial element was the International criminal court (ICC) arrest warrant, which he urged should be the first to tackle so that the Comprehensive peace agreement can be signed.

But the government delegation led by Ruhakana Rugunda, has maintained that it will only call on the ICC to reconsider the indictments after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is signed by the rebels.

Published by Korir, API/APN source.apa

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Posted by African Press International on December 12, 2007

Kampala (Uganda) Ugandan rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) peace delegation has written a protest letter to the peace talks Chief mediator, Riek Machar, complaining about the mismanagement of funds earmarked for the teams national consultations in Uganda.

Chris Ayena Odongo, the LRA legal advisor on Wednesday said he had sent an e-mail on Tuesday to Machar over the mismanagement of the funds by KPMG, the renowned international accountancy firm.

Ayena said the team incurred over 68,000 dollars in debts at hotels in Gulu, Lira and Masindi in Uganda.

The accumulated amount was now in the tune of 240,000 dollars.

The fund for the delegation is managed by the Government of Southern Sudan through an international accounting firm, KPMG which could not be reached for a comment.

The team is expected to return to Juba by December 15 to report to the chief mediator, Riek Machar.

Published by Korir, API/APN source.apa

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