Frente POLISARIO takes note with satisfaction the UN Secretary-General Report on Western Sahara

Bir Lehlou, April 5, 2018 (SPS) – the Frente POLISARIO has took note with satisfaction the UN Secretary-General Report (S/2018/277) submitted to the Security Council on 29 March 2018 on Western Sahara according to statement issued today, a copy of which obtained by SPS

Following the full text of the Frente POLISARIO´s Statement:

The Frente POLISARIO takes note with satisfaction of the Report of the UN Secretary-General (S/2018/277) submitted to the Security Council on 29 March 2018

The Report clearly refutes all the false allegations and unfounded claims made by Morocco for propaganda purposes regarding alleged violations of the ceasefire by the Frente POLISARIO.

On Human Rights, the Report provides a good indication of Morocco's violation of the human rights of the Sahrawis in the occupied territory, including the Gdeim Izik trial, and highlights the respect for and promotion of human rights by the Frente POLISARIO in the Sahrawi refugee camps. Interestingly, the Report acknowledges that human rights concerns are linked to the non-realisation of the right to self-determination, albeit in the context of the human rights of the Sahrawi refugees. The Report also underscores the necessity for and importance of independent, impartial, and sustained monitoring of human rights for the people of Western Sahara.

On the challenges faced by MINURSO, the Report for the first time acknowledges that MINURSO effectiveness depends on its ability to exercise 'the full range of standard peacekeeping functions', something that the Frente POLISARIO has called for on a number of occasions. Furthermore, the Report highlights all the Moroccan actions that pose a challenge to the Mission such as UN vehicles having Moroccan number plates, the practice of affixing Moroccan stamps on UN passports, among other things.

With regard to the political process, it is noteworthy to see the Report advocating for direct negotiations between the two parties, the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, without preconditions as the way forward.

On the situation in Guerguerat, the Frente POLISARIO reaffirms that it has no military presence in the buffer zone. As recognised by the UN Secretary-General in the Report, the Frente POLISARIO welcomes the deployment of the UN expert mission as proposed by the Secretary-General, and calls for implementing Security Council resolution 2351 (2017).

The Frente POLISARIO regrets the assertion contained in the Report that the issue of natural resources, particularly in relation to Moroccan and international investments in the territorial waters adjacent to Western Sahara, remains a subject of contention between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco. This is wholly inaccurate given that international law is clear on the ownership of the natural resources of Non-Self-Governing Territories, and given the recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is not included in the Report.

The Frente POLISARIO reaffirms its strong commitment to the UN peace process and to the ceasefire and the related military agreement no I., and to cooperating fully with the efforts undertaken by the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr Horst KOhler, with a view to achieving a peaceful, just and lasting solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

The Frente POLISARIO calls on Morocco to desist from its intransigence and flight forward, to engage seriously and responsibly in the UN peace process, and to avoid taking any action that may increase tension in the region and threaten its peace and stability.

Bir Lehlou, 5 April 2018

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