President of the Republic calls upon the UN to intervene to compel Morocco to stop its illegal activities in Western Sahara

Bir-Lehlou (Sahrawi Republic) 18 August 2021 (SPS)- The President of the Sahrawi Republic and the Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO, Mr Ibrahim Ghali, called upon the UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, to intervene to stop all illegal activities carried out by Morocco in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara, including Rabat’s intention to include the Sahrawi Occupied Territories in its legislative elections scheduled to be held next month.

In a letter addressed today to the UN Secretary-General, a copy of which SPS has received, the President of the Republic underscored that all Moroccan actions in Western Sahara are merely colonial and unlawful practices that have no effect on the legal status of Western Sahara as an occupied country and a Territory subject to a decolonisation process in accordance with international legality. 

The full text of the letter is as follows: 

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H.E. Mr António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General

United Nations, New York

Bir Lehlou, 18 August 2021 

Mr Secretary-General, 

The occupying state of Morocco intends to include the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara in the Moroccan legislative elections scheduled to take place during the first fortnight of September 2021.

The Frente POLISARIO, the sole and legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, and the Government of the Sahrawi Republic (SADR) firmly condemn and reject this unlawful process because it is in utter violation of the legal status of Western Sahara as a Territory waiting for a decolonisation process under the responsibility of the United Nations. 

The Moroccan presence in Western Sahara is an illegal military occupation as affirmed by the UN General Assembly in its resolutions 34/37 of 1979 and 35/19 of 1980, among others. Therefore, all actions undertaken by the occupying state of Morocco, whether they are political or of another character, are essentially colonial practices imposed by force, and hence they have no legitimacy and cannot have any effect on the legal status of Western Sahara.

The Frente POLISARIO recalls that, in line with Security Council resolution 690 (1991) and subsequent resolutions, the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is to conduct a free and fair referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. 

Therefore, the only vote that the Sahrawi people must be called to today is through the ballot box in a self-determination referendum organised under the supervision of the United Nations in line with the provisions of the UN-OAU Settlement Plan that was accepted by both parties to the conflict, the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, and approved by the UN Security Council in its relevant resolutions.

Conducting elections in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara over which Morocco has no sovereignty is an exercise that we vehemently reject because it seeks to involve forcibly the Sahrawi citizens in a process that does not affect them, which is organised by an illegal military occupation whose record is replete with gross violations of the fundamental human rights of the Sahrawi people.  

Mr Secretary-General,

For almost three decades, we remained committed to the peaceful solution and exercised the utmost restraint to safeguard the ceasefire despite the continued provocations and destabilising actions of the occupying state of Morocco and its persistent attempts to impose a fait accompli by force in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara. 

In this regard, we can cite just a few serious breaches committed by the occupying state of Morocco in the face of which the United Nations and MINURSO have always chosen to turn a blind eye or to look the other way: ongoing repression against Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists; changing the demographic nature of the Territory through intensive settlement policies; plunder of our natural resources; opening of so-called “consulates” of foreign entities; holding of elections, international conferences and sport events; and imposing Moroccan laws and jurisdiction on the entire Territory including its maritime space.

As we have underscored on several occasions, it is the absence of a strong, unequivocal, and firm position by the UN Secretariat and the Security Council regarding Morocco’s disregard for the mandate and decisions of the United Nations in relation to Western Sahara that has emboldened the occupying state to persist, with full impunity, in such unlawful and reckless actions that are putting in jeopardy peace, security, and stability in the entire region.

Consequently, since 13 November 2020, the Territory of Western Sahara is witnessing very serious developments because of Morocco’s breach of the 1991 ceasefire and related military agreements and its aggression on the Liberated Territory of Western Sahara, which has led to the collapse of the ceasefire and the outbreak of war again in the region. 

Faced with the Moroccan new act of aggression, which continues with complete impunity, we have been left with no option but to exercise our legitimate right to self-defence. In this regard, we reiterate that, while we remain committed to genuine and lasting peace based on the precepts of international legality, we will never give up our inalienable and non-negotiable right to self-determination and independence and we will continue to use all legitimate means to defend our rights and the sovereignty of our country.  

The inaction and deafening silence of the United Nations in the face of Morocco’s continued illegal military occupation of parts of Western Sahara is what has emboldened the occupying state to persist in its unlawful and reckless actions that could lead to the most serious consequences for peace, security, and stability in the entire region. 

We therefore call upon you to intervene immediately and to take all necessary measures in line with the authority conferred upon you by the UN Charter and relevant UN decisions to compel the occupying state of Morocco to cease its unlawful and provocative actions in the Sahrawi Occupied Territories and to preserve the legal status of the Territory as a cardinal component of the responsibility of the United Nations towards Western Sahara and the decolonisation of the last colony in Africa. 

I should be grateful if the present letter is brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

Please accept, Mr Secretary-General, the assurances of my highest consideration.  

Brahim Ghali

President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO." (SPS)

 

090/500/60 (SPS)