Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic: Fact-Finding Mission 2012



1. In January 2012, The African Union at its Twentieth Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia adopted Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec. 689 (XX), which decision: “requests the ACHPR to carry out a mission to the occupied territory of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, with a view to investigating human rights violations and report to the next Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in January 2013”

2. In order to give effect to the above Decision, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (the Commission) on 28 April 2012 sent Note Verbale Ref: ACHPR/CHAIR/MRC/SAHWI/PM/353/12 to the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco requesting for safe passage to the Occupied Territory. The same request was followed in a second Note Verbale Ref: ACHPR/CHAIR/SADR/670/12 of 8 August 2012. No response was received from the Moroccan authorities and the Commission was unable to visit the Occupied Territory as a consequence.

3. The Commission with the co-operation of the Government of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) only visited the refugee camps near Tindouf in the South of Algeria. The findings of the present report are therefore limited to observations on the field as well as the testimonies and exchanges that the Commission had with various actors in the refugee camps and part of the Liberated Territory of Western Sahara as well as various authorities and organizations in Algiers, Algeria.