Call to “immediately” include human rights monitoring in MINURSO mandate

London, Jan 26, 2017 (SPS) - In its annual report of 2018, published on Wednesday, Western Sahara Action Forum (WSAF) called to “immediately” extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to include human rights monitoring in this occupied territory.

MINURSO must be able to make reports on the situation of human rights and in the Western Saharan zones occupied by Morocco and send its findings to the UN Security Council, recommended WSAF.

In this regard, the Forum considers essential the permanent presence of MINURSO in the region until the organization of a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara.

WSAF demanded to end the exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources through illegal transactions which do not take into consideration the interests and opinion of Sahrawi people, as stipulated by the international law, hence the need for MINURSO mandate to support the respect of this law.

It underlined that Morocco “continues” its efforts to economically take advantage of its occupation of the Sahrawi territory.

The report broaches the fisheries agreement between Morocco and the European Union which grants Rabat an annual aid amounting to €14 million for the development of its fishing sector.

In addition to the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources, the Moroccan occupying forces continue repressing and violating human rights in the occupied Western Sahara, added the source.

The Moroccan security forces continue resorting to violence to disperse the peaceful demonstrations of the Sahrawi people and continue undermining the freedom of expression in Western Sahara, added the report.

The Forum noted also that the political prisoners of Gdeim Izik group hadn’t benefitted from a fair trial in 2017, as affirmed by the reports of several human rights NOGs. (SPS)