Occupied Western Sahara: France has “key role” in resolution of conflict

Paris, April 16,2016 (SPS) - France has a “key role” to play in the resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara, said Monday a French deputy from the socialist parliamentary group (Meurthe-et-Moselle), underlining that there “is no alternative to the total respect to the United Nations resolution 1514.”

In a question to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development on the situation of Sahrawi political prisoners on unlimited hunger strike in the Moroccan prison of Rabat-Salé since 1 March 2016, deputy Hervé Féron affirmed that France has “a key role to play in the resolution of this conflict in view of its privileged relation with Morocco, it should remember that there is no alternative to the total respect of UN resolution 1514” concerning the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.

The deputy said that he “hopes to know which steps the French government intends to undertake with Morocco” so that this latter grants the status of political prisoners to these detainees, and that it starts the process of their release.

21 Sahrawi activists were arrested and sentenced, on 17 February 2013, by the military court of the Moroccan forces to prison terms ranging from 20 years to life.

He added that the “United Nations acknowledged that this sentence was made arbitrarily,” in a report of 2014 by special rapporteur on arbitrary detention.

Ban Ki-moon’s visit, last March, to the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf was an opportunity to shed light on the situation of Western Sahara and that of all the Sahrawi political prisoners in Morocco and in Western Sahara, he said. (SPS)