Read Time: 3 minutes
By Victoria Ojeme
The Ambassador of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic to Nigeria, Brahim Salem Buseif, has condemned what he described as Morocco’s “military illegal occupation” of Western Sahara. Often referred to as Africa’s last colony, Western Sahara has come to the forefront of world news multiple times in the past few months, most recently with the announcement by the Trump administration that the United States will recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over it.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/12/western-saharan-ambassador-condemns-moroccos-illegals-military-action-on-territory/
The announcement came as part of a US-brokered normalisation deal between Morocco and Israel. In an interview with Vanguard yesterday, Buseif said Morocco’s “historical” claims of the territory were rebutted and denied by the International Court of Justice on the 16th of October 1975. He said court’s advisory opinion regarding Moroccan pretensions was unequivocal and quotes the International Court of Justice as saying: “The materials and information presented to it [the Court] do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity. Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) in the decolonisation of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory.” He said that despite that clear ruling, Morocco invaded parts of Western Sahara on the 31st of October 1975 in total contempt for International Law. “King Hassan, the then Morocco’s king, vowed to wind up our resistance to their occupation in a few weeks. We proved him wrong, and after sixteen years of war, he realized that it was impossible to impose the fait accompli militarily, that why he agreed to the ceasefire brokered by the UN and the OAU, accepted the settlement plan which provides for a referendum of self-determination for the Sahrawi people and, also, accepted to negotiate with the Polisario Front. “During those years of war the United Nations General Assembly, in various resolutions, besides reaffirming the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence, deplored and condemned the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. He condemned the United Nations inaction on the matter saying the UN has not lived up to expectations in addressing the annexation Western Sahara by Morocco. “The Settlement Plan, jointly elaborated by the UN and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1990 and agreed upon by the two parties to the conflict – the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front – promised us a free and fair referendum to settle the dispute. That is why we accepted the ceasefire. However, after 29 years of endurance and suffering awaiting the referendum, Morocco renounced its commitments, refusing the agreed plebiscite, and saying he is only ready to offer autonomy for the Saharawi people under his sovereignty. “Just imagine how much would be your frustration and anger if, after gunmen had entered your home abducting your family, you denounce them to the justice, they refuse to withdraw and declare that the only thing they could do is to rent you a room of your own home and, after all that, the judge tells you to try finding a “compromise” with the aggressors! That is how we see the Moroccan proposed autonomy and how the UN, lately, is addressing the occupation. “If the UN fails to remain consistent with its purposes and reneges the principles enshrined in its charter, allowing the law of the jungle to prevail in the world, we will not be easy to swallow, we will defend ourselves, resist and fight back the aggressor, let be no doubt about that. “Since day one of their invasion, the Moroccan occupying forces committed massacres against defenseless civilians, whose mass graves were discovered, identified and documented by European forensics teams, they bombarded entire villages with napalm and white phosphorus and, since then, there have been hundreds of missing people who just disappeared after being detained by the police. “Nowadays, violations and human rights abuses are rife in the occupied territories, torture and imprisonment of human rights defenders. Journalists and International observers are not allowed to visit the territory.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/12/western-saharan-ambassador-condemns-moroccos-illegals-military-action-on-territory.