Morocco’s response to the UN Secretary General, following his visit to the Saharawi refugee camps shows utter contempt for him, the UN Security Council and international law.
The Secretary General’s promise of increased UN commitment to the people of Western Sahara, whose territory has remained the subject of dispute since Morocco’s invasion 40 years ago, was met with outrage, demonstrations and demands for the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers; demands that, incredibly, were met.
Since the 1991 ceasefire, the UN Security Council has stood by, whilst Morocco obstructs, obfuscates and stalls the UN process. As a result, Western Sahara remains Africa’s last colony, its people brutalised and its resources exploited for Moroccan gain. This is a striking impairment of freedom and of international law. One thing is clear: no country in the world recognises Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara. It cannot be allowed to dictate the mandate of a UN Peacekeeping Mission in a Territory it does not control.
The people of Western Sahara have suffered 40 years of occupation, repression and exploitation. This is enough. The UN Security Council must finally set a date for the UN mission to deliver a referendum to provide for self-determination.
Mark Williams MP, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Western Sahara
John Gurr, Coordinator, Western Sahara Campaign UK
Beccy Allen, Western Sahara Action Forum
Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Laureate, President, Defense Forum Foundation
Professor Stephen Zunes, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago
John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want
Michael Beer, Executive Director, Nonviolence International
Sara Eyckmans, Coordinator, Western Sahara Resource Watch
Fatma Mehdi, Secretary General, UNMS, Chair of Woman and Gender Cluster of ECOSOCC
Sidi Ahmad, President, Adala UK
Axel Goldau, Coordinator, Western Sahara Information Project
Jan Strömdahl, President, Swedish Western Sahara Committee
Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary, International Platform of Jurists for East Timor
Lyn Allison, President, Australia Western Sahara Association
Erik Hagen, Director, Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara
Morten Nielson, Afrika Kontakt
Hilt Teuwen, President, Zain Atfaak
Frank Willems, Coordinator, Stichting Zelfbeschikking West-Sahara
Tanja Brodtmann, President, Freiheit für die Westsahara e.V.
Mr. Matyas Benyik, President, Central & Eastern European Alliance for Solidarity with the Saharawi People
Moulay Mhamed Brahim and Dadah Mohamed Moulud, UESARIO (Saharawi Student Union)
Prof. Jorge Ferrer, FMedSci, Imperial College
Atle Simonsen, President, Progress Party’s Youth, Norway
Milan Rai, Editor, Peace News
Chris Brazier, Co-Editor, New Internationalist
Becky Finlay Hall, Director, Olive Branch Arts
Awel Irene, National Officer, Gwerin y Coed
Elisabeth Bäschlin, President, Schweiz. Unterstützungskomitee für die Sahraouis
Cristina Martínez Benítez de Lugo, President, WSRW España
José Antonio Gimbernat, Vice-president, APDHE (Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España)
Gyro F. Fjermedal, Leader, Rød Ungdom, Norway
Berthier Perregaux President, Comité suisse de soutien avec le peuple sahraoui
Mike Barton, Co-ordinator, Western Sahara Campaign-NZ