By Chimezie Godfrey
The Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of the People of Western Sahara (NMLWS) has urged the United Nations (UN) to force Morocco out of the Western Sahara as the only just means of resolving the crises between the two nations.
Dr Dipo Fashina made the call on behalf of NMLWS in a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline.
Fashina noted that the UN ceasefire in Western Sahara which has been in place since 1991 collapsed on Friday 13th November, 2020 and war resumed between the Moroccan forces and the POLISARIO Front.
He recalled that on 21st October, 2020, civilian protesters from the Saharawi refugee camps began a peaceful blockade of an illegally built road at Guergarat, southwestern Western Sahara, which Morocco uses to transport stolen Saharawi natural resources (Phosphates, fish), drugs, and for human trafficking, adding that Morocco sent in troops to drive away the protesters so as to open the road.
According him, by this action Morocco violated the ceasefire agreement which forbids armed forces from entering the buffer zones between the parties, and in response, the POLISARIO forces responded by evacuating its civilians. In the meantime, fighting is ongoing.
Fashina pointed out that a major cause of the steady degeneration of the situation in Western Sahara is that Morocco has been getting away with repression of the Saharawi people in Saharawi territory seized, stolen from the Saharawi through force, adding that this is unacceptable.
He stressed that with the UN ignoring loud and clear calls from a large number of countries and very credible international organizations rejecting Morocco’s bestial violation of the human and nationality rights of the Saharawi people, it is a necessity to actualize the expansion of the mandate of MINURSO monitoring and reporting.
Fashina stressed that the UN ought to produce a set of measures punishing all violations and all violators of human rights in Western Sahara.
According to him, the only resolution that is just and fair is to call upon Morocco to get out of Western Sahara.
“For us in the Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara (NMLWS), reality should be defined by what is right historically and the universal human rights, right to national independence and justice.
“For a colonized people, the exercise of their right to national independence is the only route to justice.
“Peoples right to self-government in their own country is not a matter for compromise in the 21st Century, and we in the NMLWS assert that it is unjust to propose compromise to the Saharawi people.
“What is needed in Western Sahara is justice. Justice abhors sharing stolen goods. Justice is not comparable with theft of land and resources that belongs to other people. Justice requires return of stolen goods to their proper iwners.
“Fundamentally, the question of Western Sahara is about the right of all peoples in the world to independence. For the Saharawi people, justice requires nothing less than independence,” he stated.
Fashina noted that the United Nations has failed to resolve the question of Western Sahara for three decades.
According to him, a close look at Resolution 2548 (2020) adopted by the United Nations Security Council on the 30 October, 2020, renewing the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) reveals that the UN is carefully avoiding the term “Referendum”, which is the basis of the ceasefire agreement.
He stressed that Morocco must be compelled to abide by the objectives and principles of the African Union Constitutive Act (Article 3 and 4).
He added that Morocco’s act of expansionism, aggression and the occupation of the territory of Western Sahara by military force stands at odds with the objectives and principles of the Constitutive Act that was signed and ratified by Morocco after joining the African Union.
In the light of the foregoing, NMLWS, therefore called on the UN Secretary General to urgently intervene in the ongoing war so as to avoid a genocide, and to appoint a new UN special envoy.
“MINURSO’s mandate should be expanded to include the monitoring of human rights violations especially now that Morocco is targeting Saharawi civilians and journalist in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
“We also demand that Morocco should release all Saharawi political prisoners immediately.
“The question of Western Sahara is an unfinished decolonization that must be resolved in accordance with international law.
“Sixty (60) years ago (14 December 1960) since the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 1514 (XV)- the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples- In commemorating this anniversary, we demand the UN to publicly condemn Morocco’s violation of the ceasefire.
“Instead of allowing Morocco to contemptuously continue to abuse the right of the Saharawi people to self-rule, the UN should, following Hans Corell, declare the SADR an independent country. Doing this is within the powers of the UN. It would be a victory for humanity.
“We assert, and will continue to assert, that the only just solution to the question of Western Sahara is that the United Nations should force Morocco out of Western Sahara,” he stressed.