Zimbabwe calls on Morocco to review its refusal to hold the referendum in Western Sahara

Geneva (Switzerland), March 30, 2023 (SPS) - The Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr. Stuart Harold Comberbach, affirmed that Morocco must "review and reconsider" its decision which reject all recommendations related to the holding of the referendum approved by the United Nations in the occupied Western Sahara to enable the Saharawi people to determine their own destiny.

In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador Comberbach said that Morocco "rejected five recommendations made during the review process of its human rights policy conducted in November 2022, which call for it to enable the people of Western Sahara to freely exercise their right to self-determination and to manage its own natural resources," calling on him to reconsider his rejection of the self-determination referendum.

He added, "Morocco has militarily occupied vast areas of Western Sahara, imprisoned hundreds of Sahrawi citizens, and granted free access to its companies and European companies to exploit both mineral and fishing resources in the territory."

The diplomat stressed that "the right to self-determination is essential for the Saharawi people to enjoy all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights."

The Zimbabwean ambassador challenged Morocco's assertions that the Human Rights Council "has no jurisdiction over the situation" in the occupied territories, saying: "On the contrary, the recommendations regarding allowing a referendum on self-determination, and an end to the exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara without the consent of the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, it indeed falls within the oversight mandate of this Council

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