Over 100 international academics, researchers call on Macron to reconsider France's position

Paris, April 21, 2018 (SPS) - More than 100 international academics and researchers called on President Emmanuel Macron to reconsider France's position regarding Western Sahara conflict, insofar as France has "heavy responsibility" in the non-decolonization of this territory, occupied by Morocco.

"There may still be time for the French state to reconsider its position regarding the Western Sahara conflict, by getting more involved in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict, along with international institutions," said academics and researchers from several countries, including France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland, Italy and Japan, in an open letter to the French president, submitted Wednesday to the Elysée Palace and of which APS obtained a copy.

"Every year in April, France supports, at the United Nations Security Council, Morocco's position opposing the extension of the mandate of the UN Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to include human rights monitoring, as well as the holding of a referendum on self-determination, the main objective of the ceasefire of 1991 and a requirement of the UN since 1996," the signatories recalled in their letter.

They added that this position "allows Morocco, which the UN, the African Union and the European Union continue to consider as an occupying authority of this territory (Western Sahara), to continue its colonization by displacing population from Morocco as well as imprisoning and sentencing Sahrawi political activists on the Moroccan territory: two major violations, among others, of international law and international humanitarian law." (SPS)