By Staff Reporter
- France has been called to exert its influence at UN to pressure Morocco let go of occupied Saharawi territories
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, or the Western Sahara, as it’s also known is a former Spanish colony
- The struggle for independence of the Sahrawi people nestled between Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania is interpreted by many as the last colonial struggle in Africa.
- The liberation movement, the Polisario Front, recognised by the United Nations as the legitimate representatives of the Sahrawi,
- South Africa and Algeria shared the same views on the issue of Western Sahara – championing self-rule for the Sahrawis.
- The US position on Western Sahara, like that of the French, takes a different view. Both France and the US support a plan for a semi-autonomous state and not complete independence in the Western Sahara.
- In November 2009, on a visit to Morocco, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Moroccans that the US policy on Western Sahara – supporting partial autonomy for the Sahrawi – remained consistent through various administrations in the White House.
- According to Clinton, partial autonomy for the Sahrawi under Moroccan sovereignty is the only realistic solution to ending the stalemate between the Polisario and the Moroccans.
- More recently, in April this year, the United Nations Security Council began debating a renewed mandate for the UN peacekeepers in the disputed region, MINURSO, to include the protection of human rights.
- Significantly, that resolution was drafted by the US. Morocco, however, was said to be furious about the UN proposal and the added human rights was withdrawn shortly before the vote.
- Morocco has linked the threat posed by the ongoing Western Sahara issue to the threat of terrorist groups like the al-Qaeda presence in North Africa that so spectacularly prised away northern Mali recently.
- There has been no clamour among world powers to solve Western Sahara dispute partly because Moroccan King is viewed as an ally of the west in fight against terror.
The Prime Minister Mr. Abdelkader Taleb Omar has called today, Thursday, on France to “positively” contribute in facilitating the decolonization of Western Sahara, urging, on other hand, Spain to assume its historic, legal and moral responsibilities vis-à-vis the right of Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.
In a speech delivered during the celebrations marking the 38th anniversary of the proclamation of Saharawi Republic (SADR), held today morning in the Wilaya of Boujdour, the Saharawi Prime Minister renewed Polisario Front’s gratitude for the position expressed by the United States last year, which provides for the extension of MINURSO, UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, to include human rights monitoring.
He, in the same regard, asked to put into action this resolution, during the UN Security Council session next April devoted to examine the situation in Western Sahara in the light of the annual report of the UN Secretary-General.
In a ceremony attended by a significant number of foreign participants, including those who took part at the 14 edition of Sahara Marathon, Mr. Abdelkader Taleb Omar stated that such position (U.S. position) would help the UN special envoy to carry out his duties in the region.
He also warned that the Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front, can no longer remain “idly by”, but they will continue to escalate the resistance and peaceful action, especially in the occupied territories and southern Morocco.
Saharawi PM reiterated his call on the UN Security Council to intervene to lift the siege imposed over the occupied Saharawi territories, as to speed up the conduct of Saharawi people’s self-determination.
He, therefore, hailed Algeria’s position towards the Saharawi cause, which has been stressed by President Bouteflika in his letter to the Saharawi President Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of SADR declaration.
He, on other hand, added that such celebrations being held in a time marked by the success of several national events, of which the elections of members of Saharawi Parliament, Martyr El-Ouali’s military competition, 40th anniversary of Polisario Front and outbreak of armed struggle, Youth Union’s Congress and lately 14th Sahara Marathon.