“Spain’s responsibility is not limited to Western Sahara, but towards the entire region” (Sahrawi diplomat)

Geneva (Switzerland), September 14, 2023 (SPS) - The representative of the Polisario Front in Switzerland and to international organizations in Geneva Mr. Oubi Boushraya al-Bashir, confirmed that the responsibility of the former colonial power in Western Sahara - Spain - is not limited only to the territory which it abandoned its international obligations towards it after Withdrawal without liquidating colonialism and organizing the promised self-determination referendum in 1975, but rather towards the entire North African region, the peoples and countries that found their internal relations, stability, and opportunities for prosperity and regional integration dependent on the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara.

The Sahrawi diplomat added in his intervention during a high-level symposium at the UN Human Rights Council, “The existing conflict in Western Sahara remains possible for further complication due to Spain’s mistakes in the past and then its insistence on continuing to fuel Moroccan expansion, and there is no clearer evidence of that than the sudden change of Madrid's position following Sanchez's letter to the King of Morocco in March 2022”­.

Mr. Oubi Boushraya al-Bashir highlighted in his speech “the seriousness of the recent change in the Spanish position, given the status of Madrid and its relationship to the conflict as the administrative power for the region, which includes a clear legal violation of the sovereignty of the Sahrawi people, the legal status of the territory of Western Sahara, and the endeavor to a miserable political effort to circumvent the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination by expressing clear support for the Moroccan proposal aimed at imposing a fait accompli policy and bypassing the Sahrawi people and their sole legitimate representative, the Polisario Front”.

The Sahrawi ambassador took the opportunity to express, on behalf of the Polisario Front, “its aspiration that the next Spanish government, regardless of who will head it, will review its position and listen to Spanish public opinion in solidarity with the Sahrawi issue and overcome the state of self-exclusion from playing any role in settling the conflict in Western Sahara due to its blatant bias towards the Moroccan occupying force.”

Mr. Oubi Boushraya Al-Bashir concluded by saying, “Madrid is not required to search far for an experience that can be benefited from in dealing with former colonies, as Portugal, through its accompaniment of the people of East Timor in their struggle for independence and self-determination, constitutes a model to be emulated in this regard."

SPS 110/T