The Sixteenth Congress of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro

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Political Statement
The sixteenth Congress of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro was held under the slogan ” Escalation of fighting to expel the occupation and complete sovereignty ” from 13 to 19 January 2023 in Dakhla Camp. The Congress was held within its legal time frame and bore the name of the martyr M’hamed Khaddad, one of the Polisario Front’s faithful sons and prominent leaders , who joined the national struggle early and assumed many tasks and responsibilities in both the movement and the State until he passed away.

The congress was characterized by a large presence, at the national level, of Polisario Front militants and representatives of various branches and extensions: the People’s Liberation Army, the Refugees camps, liberated territories, occupied zones, and the Sahrawi diaspora. Such presence embodies the support and attachment of the Sahrawi people to the pioneer of their struggle and their legitimate and sole representative, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro.

The congress also had a wide international participation of hundreds of delegates from friendly governments, parties, organizations and associations from all continents and different political orientations. A participation that reflects the increasing solidarity and support for the just and noble struggle of the Sahrawi people.

The sixteenth congress is being held in a distinct national circumstance marked by the escalation of the national struggle against the Moroccan occupation since November 13 in a legitimate self-defence and a confrontation of the blatant act of aggression of the Moroccan occupation state and its violation and torpedoing of the ceasefire agreement. In this context, the congress cannot fail to highly appreciate the comprehensive uprising of all components of the

Saharawi people as an expression of their commitment to the option of resistance and the escalation of armed struggle until the completion of the Sahrawi State and its sovereignty over its entire national territory.

The congress is being held at a regional juncture marked by the will of the Moroccan occupation to aggravate the situation by implicating parties with foreign interests in its aggression, to create tension and destabilise countries and the security of their peoples. The most prominent element in the regional situation remains the strength and solidity of Algeria’s principled position and those of Mauritanian political forces and the active forces in Morocco. This confirms the growing position of the peoples of the Maghreb region which rejects the expansion of the occupation state and its destabilising actions in a region increasingly witnessing serious and complex security and economic challenges.

The international situation is marked by crisis, conflict, competition for influence and resources, and signs of emergence of a new multipolar world order with the impact that this could have on the United Nations in resolving disputes, as well as the special opportunities it gives to the African continent and the African Union role regarding the continent’s issues.

The congress represented an opportunity for the militants of the Polisario Front to conduct a broad and deep national debate that lasted for months; marked by an atmosphere of frankness and responsibility, evoking the looming dangers and challenges, and looking forward to the prospects and future tasks in our national struggle.
The congress also adopted an ambitious national action program aimed mainly at assembling all human and material means and mobilising all national energies to escalate the national struggle and accomplish the task of achieving sovereignty. The congress adopted,

as well, several recommendations and messages on national and international matters of national interest. On the other hand, the congress elected a Secretary-General and a National Secretariat to lead the movement until the next congress.

The congress stresses in particular the need to continue to strengthen the building of national self-power by reinforcing the bonds of national unity within the framework of the vanguard national organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro, and strengthening the Saharawi masses rallying around it as a national liberation movement that exists to complete the liberation of the national territory and build a modern society based on the ideals of democracy, justice, and equality.
The congress stresses the priority of expediting the plans, means, and methods of the Saharawi People’s Liberation Army to bring about the required transformation on the battlefield, which is the main engine of national action and the decisive element in the liberation battle.

While greeting the masses of our people in the occupied territories, southern Morocco and university premises, the congress pays particular attention to the Gdeim Izik Group and all the Sahrawi civilian prisoners in Moroccan prisons and calls on the international community to intervene urgently to release them. At the same time, the congress calls for a qualitative shift in the popular resistance in line with the epics of the Saharawi People’s Liberation Army and with the requirements of the new phase of the struggle of our people. The congress condemns in the strongest terms the heinous policy of repression and intimidation practised by the occupying power, which is witnessing an unprecedented escalation that does not stop at the plundering of the resources of the Saharawis but also to the confiscation of their lands in a systematic settlement policy framework.

The congress applauds brotherly Algeria, its great people, and its government under the leadership of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for their firm principled positions and for their loyalty to the ideals and principles of the glorious November Revolution. The congress salutes, as well, the brotherly Mauritanian people and their political and social forces, which have always expressed the depth of the ties that bind the two brotherly peoples and their common destiny.

While reiterating the readiness of the Sahrawis to cooperate with the efforts of the African Union, the congress calls upon the continental organization to assume its responsibilities vis-à-vis the state of aggression and blatant occupation of a member State of the Union, the Sahrawi Republic, by another Member State, the Kingdom of Morocco, and calls for the necessary urgent measures to be taken against the latter in order to comply with the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the Union; in particular respect for the borders existing after independence and the prohibition of the acquisition of land by force.

The congress deplores the shameful attitude of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, which is totally contrary to Spain’s historical and moral legal responsibility towards the Saharawi people, as well as to the positions of the Spanish political power, peoples, and civil society. The congress calls upon Spain to reverse this failing attitude and to use its position and potential to contribute constructively to the completion of decolonisation and to put an end to the tragedy she brought to the Saharawi people.

The congress recalls the fact that the European Union bears great responsibilities in the continuation of the Western Sahara conflict by signing illegal agreements, contributing to the plundering and exploitation of the natural resources of the Territory, encouraging investments in the occupied territories, and lavishing generous funds on the occupying Power in the form of aid and donations exploited by the Moroccan regime to continue its occupation of Western Sahara to perpetuate its intransigence and rejection of peace, and to escalate its harassment of its neighbours and partners, including the Europeans themselves.

The congress is astonished by the position of the European Union, which, instead of complying with the decisions of the European judiciary, challenges them and tries to obstruct their implementation in blatant complicity with the occupying Power, which uses all dirty means of bribery, drugs, blackmailing, and espionage with the aim of undermining the position of European institutions and interfering in their affairs. The latest chapter in this criminal policy is the series of scandals in the European Parliament

The congress calls on the European Union to adopt a new policy in a way that enables it to play a constructive role in resolving the Western Sahara conflict based on international law, which will have a positive impact on the establishment of security, stability and cooperation in North-West Africa, a region that has many common denominators, ties and interests with the peoples and countries of Europe.

While reiterating the readiness of the Sahrawi party to cooperate with the efforts of the United Nations to complete the decolonisation of Western Sahara as the last colony in Africa, the congress reaffirms its firm position in rejecting any endeavour or approach aimed at confiscating the inalienable and non-negotiable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and national independence. The congress also stresses the unrelenting attachment of the Saharawi people to their legitimate right to self-defense and to defend

their sovereignty over their land and natural resources by all legitimate means, including armed struggle.
The congress expresses its strong and full support for the decision to resume armed struggle and terminate the ceasefire agreement as the political and field framework for dealing with the UN peace process. In this context, the congress empowers the elected leadership to take all necessary decisions and measures to ensure the implementation of the 1991 UN-Africa Settlement Plan, which remains the only contract concluded between the parties and the United Nations.

The congress reiterates its call upon the United Nations and all its relevant bodies and structures to assume their responsibilities and fulfil their obligations towards the decolonisation of Western Sahara in accordance with the aims and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

The congress calls upon the masses of the Sahrawi people, wherever they are, to stand tall and proud to strengthen the bonds of cohesion and national unity so that they meet the requirements of the current phase. It is a new phase that requires a comprehensive qualitative leap to face the great and increasing challenges, and to confront the conspiracies and manoeuvres of the enemy and its intransigence,

including the need to close ranks and prepare for all possibilities, and to fuel the struggle on all fronts of the struggle, foremost of which is the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army, and the Independence Intifada in the occupied territories and southern Morocco, so that 2023, which is the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro and the anniversary of the outbreak of the armed struggle, becomes, above all, the year of the comprehensive escalation to defeat the occupation and to consolidate the sovereignty of the Sahrawi State over all its national territory.

Escalation of fighting to expel the occupation and complete sovereignty.

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