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Cablegate: Icrc Pending Humanitarian Issues in the Western

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAS #1120/01 1711403
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201403Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1377
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0363
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0356
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 1344
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 6192
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1854
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1302
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 8462
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 2695
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS ALGIERS 001120

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PBTS WI AG MO
SUBJECT: ICRC PENDING HUMANITARIAN ISSUES IN THE WESTERN
SAHARA CONFLICT


(SBU) In follow-up to a June 10 meeting with Ambassador,
Bernard Pfefferle of the Tunis office of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provided us June 12 a faxed
English-language non-paper on pending humanitarian issues in
the Western Sahara conflict. Below is the text of selected
portions of the note.

PENDING HUMANITARIAN ISSUES
---------------------------

From the outset of the conflict, and even more so since the
1991 cease-fire agreement, the ICRC has been handling
requests to trace people who were reported missing during the
conflict, whether they went missing in action or were
allegedly arrested. The ICRC has received a few certificates
confirming the death of prisoners during their internment.
The parties must keep information on the exact location and
marking of graves and make it available when circumstances
permit.

LIST RECEIVED FROM THE POLISARIO FRONT IN DECEMBER 2000
--------------------------------------------- ----------

In December 2000, the Polisario Front gave the ICRC a list of
179 missing bearers of weapons. The cases were submitted in
stages to the Moroccan authorities, whose written replies
were passed on to the Polisario Front. Moreover:

-- in November 2001, 22 people on this list were located and
met by an ICRC delegate in Laayoune.

-- during the same month, Morocco released a prisoner
captured at the start of the conflict whose status was
disputed and who had regularly been visited by the ICRC.

-- in September 2002, the Polisario Front closed six other
cases.

-- in May 2003, four people on the list received from the
Polisario Front were located and met by an ICRC delegate in
Laayoune and Dakhla.

-- in January 2004, another person on this list was located
and met by an ICRC delegate in Nouadhibou, in Mauritania.

-- in January 2005, the Polisario Front closed another case.

The ICRC is continuing its consultations regarding the cases
that have not yet been resolved.

LIST RECEIVED FROM THE MOROCCAN AUTHORITIES IN APRIL 2002
--------------------------------------------- ------------

In April 2002, the Moroccan authorities gave the ICRC a list
of 253 soldiers and five civilians reported missing during
the conflict. These cases were submitted in stages to the
Polisario Front. Moreover:

-- in December 2003, 19 cases of missing Moroccans concerning
whom the ICRC had obtained information confirming their
deaths in action were closed.

-- in February 2005, the Moroccan authorities closed 32 more
cases and reopened six others.

-- in July 2005, the Moroccan authorities closed another case.

The ICRC is continuing its consultations regarding the cases
that have not yet been resolved.

LIST RECEIVED FROM THE POLISARIO FRONT IN NOVEMBER 2004
--------------------------------------------- ----------

In November 2004, the Polisario Front gave the ICRC a
provisional list of 249 missing civilians and 13 missing
bearers of weapons. In April 2005, the ICRC talked with
families of missing civilians in order to complete its files.
The following month, seven cases were submitted to the
Moroccan authorities, who replied to the ICRC in late
October. In November, the ICRC passed on these replies to
the Polisario Front and submitted a further 230 cases to the
Moroccan authorities, including those of 226 civilians and
four bearers of weapons.

OTHER MISSING PERSONS
---------------------

The ICRC is also pursuing its efforts to resolve all
documented cases of people who have been reported missing by
their relatives or anyone else and whose names do not appear
on the above-mentioned lists.


ERDMAN

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