Western Sahara: Morocco "dangerously fuels" escalation of tensions in region

APS - 30 January 2022

ALGIERS- Morocco blindly perseveres in its headlong rush and adventurism by "dangerously fueling" the escalation of tensions in the region, stated the Special Envoy in charge of the Western Sahara issue and Maghreb Countries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad, Amar Belani.

According to the Algerian diplomat, "Morocco, which affirms its presumed commitment to the political process and its alleged support to the efforts made by the United Nations (UN) to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, daily breaches the military agreements sealed by the two parties to the conflict and adopted by the Security Council."

"The Moroccan authorities conduct acts of war east of the wall of sand and commit extrajudicial crimes targeting civilians by sophisticated weaponry outside their internationally recognized borders," denounced the Algerian diplomat.

Moreover, they harden to the extreme their planned policy of repression and massive and systematic violations of human rights in the occupied Sahrawi territories," he said, recalling the last "damning" report of the Human Rights Watch that "exposes the brutal and illegal character" of the methods used by Morocco to cruelly repress the Sahrawi militants, such as the daily ordeal inflicted on the activist Sultana Khaya.

According to Belani, this dramatic situation acutely raises the issue of expanding the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), to allow it, like all other UN missions, to monitor, supervise and document the "catastrophic" situation of respect for human rights in the occupied Sahrawi territories.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres "keeps calling, but in vain, in all his successive reports, for an "independent, impartial, comprehensive and sustained monitoring of the human rights situation to ensure the protection of the inhabitants of Western Sahara", said the same official.

The Kingdom of Morocco, which is aware of its grim record in this regard, "is the only member state of the African Union (AU) that refuses to ratify the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights to block the sending of a fact-finding mission to the Sahrawi territories under occupation, and not to be held accountable for the premeditated, planned, flagrant and systematic violations against Sahrawi citizens," assured Belani.

Regarding the decolonization of Western Sahara and the "stale" allegations that continue to recycle the propaganda apparatus of this country about a so-called "regional conflict", the UN SG has singled out the responsibility of "two parties" to the conflict, namely the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front.

"His spokesman has hammered the nail by categorically denying the existence of child soldiers in the Sahrawi camps, subject of recurrent international press campaigns by some NGOs and online newspapers in the pay of Moroccan chancelleries," said Belani.