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Western Sahara conference in Tromsø

The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, Centre for Peace Studies and SAIH-Tromsø hosts the conference “35 years without rights” on Western Sahara in Tromsø on 6 November. The day before the 35 year anniversary of the Moroccan invasion and occupation of Western Sahara.
Published: 28.10 - 2010 22:00Printer version    
We hope students, academics, organisations, unions and others in Tromsø will take part in the conference and learn more about the conflict and what we can do to support the Saharawi struggle for self-determination.

Program (changes may occur):
09:30 - Registration and coffee.

10:00 - Conference opening by President of The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, Jørn Sund-Henriksen.

10:15 - Western Sahara – history, background and current situation
Senia Abderahman grew up in the refugee camps, has studied in Norway, USA and Sweden and has won several human rights awards for her work.

11:00 - ”My brother is a political prisoner”
Aicha Dahane is a Saharawi refugee in Scotland. The day before this conference her brother, Brahim Dahane, will face a court with charges of treason. He may be sentenced to death for visiting the refugee camps without permission.  Aicha will talk about the situation in occupied Western Sahara and the trial against her brother.

11:20 - Human rights abuses and the occupied Western Sahara
The UN forces in Western Sahara are the only ones on the only UN forces without a human rights mandate. The Saharawi journalist Malainin Lakhal grew up in occupied Western Sahara, but was forced to flee to the refugee camps. He will talk about the struggle and abuses in the isolated territory.

12:00 - Break

12:15 - The right to self determination
More than a 100 UN-resolutions confirms the Saharawi right to self determination.  Dr Hans Morten Haugen, will go through the international law, the role of the UN and relevant nations.

13:15 - Lunch (free, but requires registration)

14:00 - The resource theft
Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of the international organisation Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), and researcher Erik Hagen from Future in our hands explores the resource theft, the role of Norway and how natural resources help fuel and maintain the conflict.

14:45 - Education in Western Sahara
Habib Mohamed Abdel Aziz from The Saharawi Student Union will speak about education in the refugee camps and the situation for young people in Western Sahara.

15:00 - Work shops
The speakers will host different work shops where we will debate the issues and give input to how the Western Sahara movement in Norway and internationally should work in the future.

16:15 - Conference concluded by Jørn Sund-Henriksen

17:30 - 35 years of occupation
All participants of the conference are invited to take part in a short demonstration in down town Tromsø to remember the victims of the invasion and 35 year occupation.

20:00 - Dinner and socialising
All the participants from the conference are invited to a meal and interesting conversations at the end of the day. Venue to come. (free, but requires registration)

Register your participation by writing an e-mail to:

Most of the speakers will be in Tromsø from 5 November to 7 November.
They can be reached through, Jørn Sund-Henriksen, on phone number +47 95 16 17 41.




Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.

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