Sahrawi government expresses astonishment at Spanish Foreign Ministry's warning against visiting Sahrawi refugee camps

Bir Lehlou, 30 November 2019 (SPS) - The Sahrawi government in a communiqué issued by the Ministry of Information on Thursday, expressed deep surprise at the suspicious statements made by the Spanish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, warning Spanish citizens not to visit the Sahrawi refugee camps.

The communiqué questioned the timing of the Spanish statement, which “unsurprisingly came out immediately after the meeting between the Spanish Foreign Minister and his Moroccan counterpart” calling on the Spanish government to “stop its shameful targeting of the Sahrawi people and, instead, to assume its political, legal and moral responsibility for ensuring the decolonisation of Western Sahara based on the exercise by the Sahrawi people of their right to self-determination and independence.”

The following is the full text of the communiqué:

“Communiqué of the Sahrawi Government and the Frente POLISARIO on the statements of the Spanish Foreign Minister

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Ministry of Information

Bir Lehlou, 28 November 2019

COMMUNIQUÉ

On Wednesday, the Spanish Foreign Ministry surprisingly issued a statement advising its citizens not to visit the Sahrawi refugee camps. The Spanish Ministry cited security threats that it claims could result from what it calls growing instability in Mali.

The Government of the Sahrawi Republic and the Frente POLISARIO express their deep regret and astonishment at this suspicious statement because warning against visiting the Sahrawi refugee camps is not justified, and consider the move to be motivated by political motives emanating from the blatant complicity that seeks to harm not only the refugees themselves but also the host country.

It is regrettable that the Spanish government continues to persecute the Sahrawi refugees even after it had contributed to their forced exile from their homes forty-four years ago, because of its collusion with the Moroccan occupying state that has sought to exterminate our people by bombing them with the internationally prohibited napalm and white phosphorus.

It is also regrettable that the Spanish government, the main cause of the tragedy of the Sahrawi people, is still seeking to harm our noble struggle and tarnish the bright image of the Sahrawi refugee camps, while evading its responsibility for working to end their plight and find a solution to the problem that it itself has created.

Once again, the Spanish government unfortunately seeks to create ambiguity and confusion, and even paint a fabricated picture of fear and imminent danger in the Sahrawi refugee camps. It is the same government that had previously sought to compel humanitarian organisations to cease their activities in

the camps and to reduce the humanitarian support provided to the refugees in consonance with the campaign led by Morocco and France.

The Sahrawi Government and the Frente POLISARIO reaffirm that there is absolutely no basis for such warnings about visiting the Sahrawi refugee camps that are known for their safety. As for terrorism in the Sahel, the identity of who encourages, supports and creates problems for the countries of the region is known for terrorism thrives mainly on the drugs coming from Morocco, the largest producer and exporter of cannabis in the world.

The Sahrawi Government and the Frente POLISARIO condemn this statement, which unsurprisingly came out immediately after the meeting between the Spanish Foreign Minister and his Moroccan counterpart. We call on the Spanish government to stop its shameful targeting of the Sahrawi people and, instead, to assume its political, legal and moral responsibility for ensuring the decolonisation of Western Sahara based on the exercise by the Sahrawi people of their right to self-determination and independence.” (SPS)

062/SPS