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Deadly virtues

Michael Winter, London

Thank you for publishing Milan Rai's excellent article “Deadly Obedience”(PN 2531 March). Obedience is particularly insidious because it is usually presented as a virtue. May I add one extra idea? Namely conscription. It is the most dangerous form of institutional obedience, as it seeks to impose a moral obligation on people to kill their fellow human beings. If its re-introduction were ever suggested for Great Britain, peace activists should oppose it from the start, by every possible means.

Topics: War and peace

Western Sahara

John Gurr, Ceredigion - Co-ordinator WSC UK www.tinyurl.com.peacenews275

The Western Sahara Campaign is leading a worldwide campaign to expand the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). As regular readers of PN know, Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. MINURSO is a UN peacekeeping mission – the only one in the world without a mandate to monitor human rights. The UN is currently failing in its responsibility to protect the victims of this conflict, as demonstrated by the recent violence in Western Sahara [see PN 2528 - Eds]. The lack of transparency surrounding the events demonstrates an urgent need for human rights monitoring.

WSC believes that human rights monitoring by MINURSO is essential to prevent further violence and instability. The MINURSO mandate is being renewed in April, and we urge everyone to write to their MPs, the foreign secretary, and the Colombian ambassador to the UN (chair of the security council in April) to urge that MINURSO take on a human rights monitoring role.

Topics: Western Sahara

Update from Tunisia

Raed Ben Mansour

Well, we didn't totally return to our normal life, there still are some incidents here in the capital. There are people who didn't accept the second transient government and are protesting peacefully in “El Kasba”.
But there are also unknown persons who want to make us feel unsafe and turn the capital upside down, so they pay offenders to rob, ransack and burn ... but our police and military arrested most of them. Finally, thousands of Libyan and Egyptian refugees are now in the south of the country, looking for shelters and food until the situation gets better in Libya. The passage of refugees across the borders between Libya and Tunisia is increasingly inaccessible due to the crowd before the border post. The situation at the border between Tunisia and Libya reached a “crisis” after the passage of 70,000 to 75,000 people fleeing repression in Libya.

Topics: People Power