I.

INTRODUCTION

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.
II.

COMPOSITION OF THE MISSION

4. The mission took place from 24 to 28 September 2012 and the delegation of the
Commission was comprised of:

-

Commissioner Dupe Atoki, Chairperson of the Commission and Chairperson of the
Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa, head of delegation;

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