Open letter to members of the UN Security Council

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