UN Security Council Pushes Saharawi People To Resume War To Gain Their Freedom – OpEd


By Malainin Lakhal

The Security Council’s resolution 2044 adopted Tuesday 24 of April 2012 is an exact duplicate of the previous resolution 1979 adopted last year, with the only difference in mentioning few events that took place after the adoption of the last one, especially the organization of a seminar in Madera and reported progress in the implementation of the family visit exchange programme..etc.

The resolution, like the previous one, superficially touched the main question of current debate and concern: The serious human rights violations by Morocco in Western Sahara. Worse, the Security Council member states simply used the same paragraph used in last year’s resolution without changing a coma, which means that they opted for maintaining the status quo, and want to give Morocco another opportunity to keep up with what it is already doing: violating Saharawi people’s civil, political, social and economic rights with the benediction and protection of France.

South Africa, on behalf of African countries, has rightly denounced the UN Security Council’s attitude, which was influenced by the position of France and the fact that Morocco is a member of the Council this year.

South African Ambassador, Baso Sangqu, said after the adoption of the new resolution that “it is an anomaly that MINURSO is one of the few UN (peacekeeping missions) that does not have a human rights mandate,” Sangqu said. “This double standard creates an impression that the Security Council does not give priority to the human rights of the people of Western Sahara.”

He further estimated that “the selective approach to human rights by this council calls into question the motivation of those who have conveniently looked the other way while human rights abuses are committed in the territory of Western Sahara,” warning that if this continued, Security Council credibility would “erode.”

The UN attitude reveals a clear will to give Morocco an additional opportunity to control the situation in Western Sahara and impose its expansionist plans in the last colony in Africa in complete violation of international law and against the right of the Saharawi people to freedom and independence.

Despite of all international pressures calls and campaigns launched this year by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, many other human rights organisations, political parties, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the member states only “copied and pasted” the same paragraph they have already adopted last year in resolution 1979, and this fact alone is a proof on the superficiality and even deliberate ignorance of the serious human rights situation in Western Sahara.

The new resolution only “Stresses the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps”, and encourages “the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law”, in the two last resolutions this paragraph didn’t make any difference, because Morocco is still committing human rights violations in total impunity, and the UN Mission on the ground is still impotent and unable to monitor human rights and protect Saharawi civilians from daily abuses by Moroccan police and colonial authorities.

It seems that the Security Council is unwilling to resolve the last case of decolonization in Africa because of France influence and pressures. But the question is: Does the UN want by this attitude to push the Saharawi people and their political representative, POLISARIO, to resume war? It seems that this is the only option the so-called “international community” is leaving to Saharawis!

Malainin Lakhal is secretary general of the Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union.

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