US Western Sahara Foundation Condemns Kingdom of Morocco for Causing War’s Resumption; Calls on International Community to Uphold Self Determination to Resolve Western Sahara Dispute

Washington, D.C., 17 November 2020 (SPS) - Once again the Kingdom of Morocco has attacked innocent Sahrawi civilians for peacefully demonstrating their right to self determination, but this time they literally “crossed the line” attacking civilians in the demilitarized zone near Gueruerat border area last week.   International human rights organizations have long condemned Morocco’s brutality against the Sahrawi population in Moroccan Occupied Western Sahara, but this time the Kingdom of Morocco has attacked across the border to the liberated area of Western Sahara.

“We strongly condemn the King of Morocco for violating the cease fire which has led to the resumption of war over Western Sahara,” said US Western Sahara Foundation Chair Suzanne Scholte.  “Because of three decades of failure by the United Nations peacekeeping operation (MINURSO) and the constant caving in by the UN Security Council, we now have a resumption of war over the Western Sahara as the UN has repeatedly broken their 1991 promise for a free, fair and transparent referendum.

“We strongly affirm our full support for the Sahrawi Republic and the Sahrawi people and the actions they have been forced to take because of the brutal invasion and occupation of their homeland and these renewed attacks by Moroccan forces.

“We remember the words of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in which he described Western Sahara as ‘one of the forgotten humanitarian tragedies of our time’ and an ‘occupation’ by Morocco that is ‘unacceptable.’

“It is UNACCEPTABLE that the long promised vote has never occurred because the Kingdom of Morocco has poured millions of dollars into lobbying to block the successful implementation of the referendum bribing UN Officials and lawmakers as detailed by numerous leaked reports including one prepared by the United Nation’s own Department of Peacekeeping Operations.”

“The United Nations must uphold its promise and stop being a tool of the aggressor.  How much longer did we expect the Sahrawi to wait after 29 years of broken UN promises while seeing their loved ones tortured, imprisoned and disappeared by Morocco’s occupying forces and their natural resources plundered while a whole generation have been forced to live in refugee camps?" Scholte asked.

“We also fervently call upon the people of Morocco to pressure their King to end this brutal occupation so that stability can be brought to the Mahgreb.  It is time that the King invest his attention in helping the people of Morocco rather than subjugating his neighbors.”

Today, Western Sahara remains the only African nation that has failed to achieve decolonization because it was invaded by Morocco in 1975.  For sixteen years, the Sahrawi fought the Moroccan invaders and at the very point when it appeared the Sahrawi would win their freedom and Western Sahara would finally be free, the King of Morocco brought in the United Nations and sued for a cease fire.   In good faith, the Sahrawi laid down their arms and agreed to a cease fire only because the United Nations promised them the only thing they had ever asked for: the right to vote on self determination. (SPS)