SADR continues struggle for independence, 46 years after its proclamation

Shahid Al Hafed, 26 February 2022 (SPS) - This February 27 marks the 46th anniversary of the proclamation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), an event that comes in a context marked by diplomatic and military victories for the Sahrawi people, who are determined to continue its struggle to assert the undeniable reality of the SADR.

The constitutive milestone of the Sahrawi Republic dates back to February 27, 1976, when the SADR was proclaimed in Bir Lahlou (liberated territories), the day after the last Spanish soldier left the Sahrawi territory. Since then, the SADR has continued to achieve success on the international scene and has attracted multiple adherents to its just cause.

However, more than four decades later, the Sahrawi issue remains unresolved and Sahrawis continue to demand their right to self-determination, against the backdrop of continued violations of the rights of Sahrawi civilians by the Moroccan occupier.

Thus, the Sahrawi people will seize, once again, the opportunity of the 46th anniversary of the announcement of the creation of the SADR, to reaffirm that the Sahrawi Republic "is an existing fact and that no one can question or deny it.

Today, the SADR, a founding member of the African Union (AU), is present at many regional, African and international events. The most recent was the summit that brought together AU and European Union (EU) leaders on February 17-18 in Brussels.

Moreover, the participation in the EU/AU summit of a large Sahrawi delegation led by SADR President Brahim Ghali has been described as a "great diplomatic and political victory" for the Sahrawi issue.

On the legal front, the Sahrawi cause has made new gains, notably when the EU Court, in two rulings of 29 September 2021, annulled the new EU-Moroccan agreements that illegally included the part of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation. 

Following previous rulings by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in 2016 and 2018, the Court ruled that the new EU-Moroccan agreements were concluded in violation of international law, without the consent of the Sahrawi people, and that these agreements do not apply to Western Sahara because the Sahrawi territory has a separate and distinct status from the Kingdom of Morocco.

The celebration of the 46th anniversary of the proclamation of the SADR comes after more than a year of the resumption of the armed struggle, following the breaking of the 1991 ceasefire by the Moroccan occupier through its aggression on November 13, 2020 carried out in El-Guerguerat against Sahrawi civilians who were demonstrating peacefully.                                

The return to arms constitutes for the Sahrawi people a new opportunity to reaffirm its inalienable right to independence and freedom.