Declaration of El Gargarat
Appeal to the UN and the international community.
We, those gathered here, and on behalf of broad sectors of Saharawi civil society, want to express our energetic indignation at the deliberate and unjustified delay in the implementation of the peace plan, to complete the decolonization process, and the derived and dramatic consequences, particularly for the suffering Saharawi people.
The conflict in Western Sahara, a classic decolonization conflict, is now in its fifth decade, and 29 years have passed since resolution 690/1991 was approved, thanks to which the United Nations, in coordination with the Organization for the African Unity, assumed the responsibility of carrying out the process of decolonization of the last colonial stronghold on the African continent, through a referendum of self-determination, free and regular, as established by the doctrine of the United Nations in its emblematic resolution 1514 (XX ).
The expectations generated by the creation of MINURSO, and the consequent agreement, solemnly assumed by Morocco and the POLISARIO Front, to renounce warlike hostilities and thus give peace an opportunity, and thereby end the tragedy that hit the Sahrawi people have been blown away, those expectations have been fading year after year due to the bandit like and intransigent attitude of Morocco. This attitude instead of being duly condemned by the United Nations and its mission in the territory, has enjoyed not only tolerance but also a clear and scandalous cover-up by these organizations during all these years.
Thus, enjoying notorious connivance at the Security Council level, Morocco has been making systematic use of violent repression and violations of the most basic rights of the Sahrawi population in the occupied territories; recourse to harsh sentences against peaceful activists in sham trials; the frenzied and ruthless looting of the natural resources of a territory still considered a Non-Autonomous Territory; the transfer of thousands and thousands of Moroccan settlers to the occupied territory to influence the demographic composition of the territory in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions; the military siege of the territory with a more than 2,700 kilometers long wall and hundreds of kilometers of minefields that daily reap the lives of peaceful nomads and their herds. All these misdeeds are committed daily before the very eyes of the troops of an indolent MINURSO in the face of these abuses.
In the 29 years since the ceasefire, the Sahrawi have been able, many times with great difficulty, to appease the spirits of our legitimately indignant people, not only because of the arbitrary and clearly reprehensible behavior of Morocco, which in addition to trampling at their will the clauses of the ceasefire, also aims to invalidate and deny the commitment on which the current peace plan is based, that is, the holding of a self-determination referendum.
Faced with this situation, which seeks to deprive the Saharawi people of their legitimate right to their territory, we demand:
- The immediate and definitive closure of the illegal breach in El Gargarat, since it constitutes a territorial acquisition through the violation of the ceasefire agreement. Trying to justify its opening with supposed considerations of “free civil and commercial trafficking”, is a euphemism that seeks to cover up and give legitimacy to the looting of the territory’s natural resources, and facilitate the transit of huge amounts of cannabis and other narcotics that constitute one of the main sources of income for the kingdom’s coffers.
- We vehemently denounce the cowardice, if not the clear collusion of the United Nations, and of its mission in Western Sahara, with the abuses that Morocco commits daily.
- We demand that MINURSO undertakes, with determination, the mission entrusted to it by the Nations, without further delay.
In El Gargarat, on October 22nd, 2020
Committee of the protesters