Alert – Get you Congressional representatives to endorse a sign on letter to President Bush in support of self-determination for Western Sahara
To: Friends of Western Africa
From: Richard Knight
Date: May 10, 2002
Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to sign on the letter being circulated by Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Congressman James Pitts (R-PA) in support of a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara. Be sure to tell them that signatures are being coordinated by Charisse Glassman in Congressman Payne’s office and Karin Finkler in Congressman Pitts’s office.
The Bush administration is pressuring members of the UN Security Council to impose the “Framework Agreement” on the people of Western Sahara. Last month the U.S. circulated a draft resolution to members of the UN Security Council that would have imposed the Framework Accord on the people of Western Sahara. The Framework Agreement, if adopted, would effectively give Morocco sovereignty over Western Sahara and deny the people of Western Sahara the right to self-determination. The Framework Agreement would supercede the current UN settlement plan that includes a referendum to determine the will of the people of Western Sahara. The Security Council did not vote on the U.S. draft resolution and on April 30th extended the mandate of United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for three months until 31 July 2002. But the U.S. government is still working behind the scenes to get the Framework Agreement adopted before July. If adopted as currently proposed, it would be forced by the UN on POLISARIO and the people of Western Sahara.
Below is the text of a letter sent by Africa Action and TransAfrica to Assistant Secretary of State Burns on the Framework Agreement that will give you background on the issue. I urge you to send your own letters to President Bush and Secretary Powell as well as urging you Representative and Senators to sign the Payne/Pitts letter.
You can get more information on the issue on my web site www.richardknight.com.
You can easily get the fax number of your Congressional representatives by going to www.google.com and searching for “Senator X” or “Representative X.” You should fax your letters to Congress since mail delivery is still very slow because of security. I have included a few names here:
Representative Charles Rangel -Fax: (202) 225-0816
Senator Charles Schumer -Fax: (202) 228-3027
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton - Fax: (202) 228-0282
President George W. Bush, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 Fax (202) 456-2461
Secretary of State Collin L. Powell, Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520 Fax (202) 261-8577
For more information on Western Sahara and the Framework Agreement, including a letter from Salih Booker of Africa Action and Bill Fletcher of TransAfrica to Assistant Secretary of State Burns, see Bush Administration Seeks to Deny Self-determination to the People of Western Sahara, and Western Sahara on richardknight.com.
Richard Knight, Consultant
521 West 122nd Street, Suite 61, New York, NY 10027
Tel: (212) 663-5989 Fax: (212) 280-2442
Below is the text of a letter I faxed to Senator Charles Schumer. Similar letters were sent to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congressman Charles Rangel.
May 10, 2002
Senator Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20515
BY FAX (202) 228-3027
Dear Senator Schumer,
As a supporter and constituent, I urge you to sign on to a letter to President George Bush in support of a referendum for self-determination in Western Sahara being circulated by Congressman Donald Payne and Congressman Joseph Pitts. Signatures are being coordinated by Charisse Glassman in Congressman Payne’s office and Karin Finkler in Congressman Pitts’s office.
The Bush administration has been circulating a draft resolution to members of the United Nations Security Council that would impose a “framework agreement” on the people of Western Sahara. The World Court has rules that the people of Western Sahara have the right to self-determination “through the free and genuine of the will of the peoples of the territory.” The Organization of African Unity has recently re-iterated its support for a referendum to allow the people of Western Sahara to exercise the right of self-determination. The framework agreement would effectively annex Western Sahara to Morocco and deny the people of Western Sahara the right to self-determination. The U.S. should be a world leader in supporting people’s rights, especially of those small territories threatened by larger neighbors. Just as we supported Kuwait, we should support the people of Western Sahara.
If you need more information I would gladly be of assistance. I would draw you attention to a recent letter send to Assistant Secretary of State Burns from Salih Booker of Africa Action and Bill Fletcher of TransAfrica. The text of the letter is on the Africa Action web site www.africaaction.org. . My own web site www.richardknight.com has information on the framework agreement, background on the issue and the Africa Action/TransAfrica letter.
I have been involved with situation in Western Sahara since 1977. In 1979 I visited the refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria and traveled inside Western Sahara with Polisario. This was part of my work with the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and The Africa Fund, where I worked for twenty-six years.
I know you are a supporter of Africa and human rights. Please sign on to the letter to President Bush.