Congressmen: US does not recognize Morocco's so-called sovereignty over Western Sahara

Washington, March 24, 2016 (SPS) -The United States of America does not recognize the so-called sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara, considered by the US as "a non-autonomous territory pending decolonization", congressmen stressed Wednesday in Washington.

 

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission dispelled any doubt about the position of the US government on the Western Sahara issue at a hearing Wednesday devoted to the status of Western Sahara.

"We must be clear: the US has not recognized the sovereignty of any State over the territories of Western Sahara considered as a non-autonomous territory pending decolonization," democrat John Conyers stressed before American politicians, NGOs and intentional bodies attending this hearing, the first of its kind held by this commission on Western Sahara.

To remain in accordance with this position and considering the Sahrawi territory as non-autonomous, the US did not include Sahrawi products in the free-exchange agreement inked with Morocco, said Conyers, stressing efforts spent by his country, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to find peaceful solution to this 40-year lasting conflict.  

Conyers recalled position of some American officials like James Baker, who renounced to pursue mediation in Western Sahara after Morocco's refusal to adhere to his plan that provided for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

Morocco's recent measures against the Minurso enabled the US government and other members of the Security Council to confirm "the hidden goals of Morocco that seeks a solution to the conflict outside the UN framework."  

Conyers, who also co-chairs the Sahrawi caucus at the US Parliament, called on the US government to support the Security Council's proposal to provide the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with a human rights monitoring mandate.    

For his part, James Mc Govern, co-president of Tom Lantos Commission, said that "Western Sahara is last colony in Africa whose people has been awaiting the self-determination process since 25 years."

Mc Govern, also representative of the Massachusetts State, stressed that "despite the US-Morocco ties, respect for human rights takes first place over any other interest because this principal represents a key component of security in the region."  

"Enquiries on human rights excesses in the occupied territories become more difficult due to restrictions imposed to NGOs and press," he affirmed.

After highlighting the humanitarian actions of Algeria that received thousands of Sahra refugees fleeing from dreadful violence committed by Moroccan authorities.  

For his part, Republican Joseph Pitts, who co-chairs the Tom Lantos Commission, stated that this heating comes in a critical time for the people of Western Sahara and the Minurso, targeted by a negative attitude from Morocco.

 

The Security Council, which is about to renew the Minurso mandate in April, is called upon to strengthen human rights monitoring in these territories, Pitts, a friend of Western Sahara, said. SPS

 

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