Seminar on Politics & Human Rights in Western Sahara, in Pretoria, South Africa

PUSL.- Last Monday, 13th of May a Seminar on Politics & Human Rights in Western Sahara, took place in the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa.

The seminar was hosted by the Africa Institute of South Africa and co-organized by Africa Solidarity for Sahrawi and (PUSL). This seminar intended to unpack the political and human rights aspects that need to be considered when developing a solution for the continued conflict. Currently negotiations continue in order to resolve the dispute. There have been accusations of many human rights challenges as many Sahrawi people are in refugee camps, under Moroccan occupation or in prison. For more than 40 years the Sahrawi people have been waiting to exercise their right to self-determination.

Dr Check Achu, Senior Research Specialist at AISA/HSRC made the opening remarks, followed by Dr Onuorah Obodozie, Research Associate, Institute of African Renaissance Studies who made a short summary of the events leading to the conflict.

Advocate José Nascimento, gave an insight to the legal status of the territory, the opinion of the International Court, several resolutions of the UN, the recent decisions issued by the European Court of Justice all of them clear in the fact that Morocco has no claim, or sovereignty over the territory that it invade in 1975 and continues under military occupation for over 43 years.

Isabel Lourenço, Portuguese Human Rights activist and researcher in the Centre for African Studies, University of Porto-Portugal, presented the data recollected on the ongoing human right’s violations concerning the Saharawi population in the occupied territories and informed about the existence of the 2720km wide military separation wall built by the Moroccan authorities.

Several ambassadors and academics intervened after the presentations of the speakers, adding to the presented information and highlighting the need for the solution of the conflict.