PUSL – Ebraun Schweig (Germany) – Participants in the annual conference of the Youth of the German Social Democratic Party (JUSOS) approved, by a majority, proposals and demands regarding Western Sahara.
The approval of the text presented means that it will be referred to the Social Democratic Party conference, which will be held from 8 to 12 December of the current year.
The annual conference of the youth of the Social Democratic Party, which was held on November 17, 18 and 19 in the German city of Braun-Eschweig, witnessed a speech delivered by the representative of the Youth Union of Saguia El Hamra and Oued Eddahab in Germany, Khadija Mohamed Badati, in which she denounced the human rights violations in Western Sahara at the hands of the Moroccan occupation state. And the systematic plunder of Saharawi wealth in collusion with foreign companies, including German companies.
The proposals and demands that were approved were as follows:
1 – We call on the German government to support the implementation of the agreed-upon referendum, and to hold this referendum, which aims to determine the political future of the Sahrawi people, under the supervision of the United Nations.
2- The European Union must not agree to any other agreements that include Western Sahara, and respect the rulings of the European Court of Justice, which declared that all investments related to Western Sahara are illegal and in violation of international law.
3- We demand the cessation of the German government’s economic cooperation with Morocco regarding the occupied territories of Western Sahara. For us, this means that about 15 German companies, including
(Köster Marine Proteins, HeidelbergCement, Siemens AG, DB Schenker, DHL, KMP) must abandon its projects and contracts in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
4- Germany should lobby the UN Security Council to obtain a mandate to monitor the human rights situation in the occupied areas of Western Sahara.
5- The federal government should work for diplomatic recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
The clapping and cheering after Badati’s speech is self explanatory, as you can see in the video below.
It is noteworthy that prominent figures from the Social Democratic Party have participated in this conference.
Here the Full text:
Historical developments in Western Sahara
Western Sahara covers an area of 266,000 square kilometres and borders the Kingdom of Morocco and the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the north and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to the east and south. Around 85 per cent of the territory, which was under Spanish colonial rule from 1884 to 1975/76, is now occupied by
occupied by Morocco. The Sahrawi population is estimated at around one million people.
After the former colonial power Spain decided to decolonise Western Sahara and prepare a referendum on the independence of Western Sahara at the beginning of the 1970s following repeated requests from the UN General Assembly, both Morocco and Mauritania laid claim to the territory and deployed troops to Western Sahara. Morocco’s territorial claim to Western Sahara is still not recognised internationally and the announced referendum has still not taken place.
From 1975, the Sahrawis organised themselves into an armed “independence movement” called Frente Polisario (Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia el-Hamra y Rio de Oro). In 1976, the Frente Polisario founded a “Sahrawi government in exile”, the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” (DARS), which is still largely not recognised as a state by the international community. The territory of Western Sahara is divided by a wall into a larger western area under the control of Morocco and an eastern and southern area under the control of the Frente Polisario
Morocco and the “Polisario Liberation Front” were at war until a ceasefire was agreed within the framework of the United Nations in 1991. This agreement stipulated that there should be a ceasefire followed by a referendum on self-determination for the population of Western Sahara. The agreement was ratified by both warring parties, but it remains unclear to this day who would be entitled to vote in such a referendum.
Five Sahrawi refugee camps have been set up near the Algerian city of Tindouf since 1975. Their inhabitants fled from the Spanish occupation and as a result of the deployment of Moroccan and Mauritanian troops.
The refugee camps in Western Sahara were set up without the involvement of the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees). They are under the control of the Frente Polisario. The self-proclaimed goal of the people living there is to gradually establish a pluralistic democratic system, which is also laid down in the DARS constitution. For example, regular elections are currently being held within the Frente Polisario. MINURSO, the UN mission for a referendum in Western Sahara, only has a mandate to guarantee compliance with the ceasefire and prepare for a referendum, but not to protect the population and uphold human rights.
The current situation in Western Sahara
Since 2004, Morocco has rejected any proposed solution that involves the self-determination of the population of Western Sahara, which is guaranteed under international law. The human rights situation in Morocco in general and in Western Sahara in particular must be viewed critically. Morocco is a repressive monarchy; the security forces and the government systematically disregard the principles of the rule of law. This includes the restriction of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly as well as women’s rights, arbitrary arrests and the persecution of migrants, refugees and queer people. Any protest in favour of a referendum and independence for Western Sahara is suppressed, activists are harassed and imprisoned and journalists are prevented from reporting freely. Amnesty International accuses Morocco of imprisoning critical journalists from Western Sahara, as well as arbitrary arrests and even torture of activists campaigning for the region’s independence. The international community is ambivalent and driven by capitalist and geopolitical profit interests.
The resources in Western Sahara play an important role in the conflict, as Morocco benefits massively from investments by international companies. With its fish-rich waters and large phosphate deposits, the territory of Western Sahara is rich in raw materials and therefore of great economic relevance for all parties to the conflict. European and German companies are also cooperating with Moroccan companies operating in the territory of Western Sahara. Siemens Energy, for example, is working with an energy company owned by the Moroccan king and is involved in the construction of a wind farm in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
The wind turbines built there supply the electricity for the extraction of phosphate and its transport to the coast, from where the raw material is exported to fertiliser producers abroad.
In 2019, the EU concluded a fisheries agreement with Morocco that included the occupied territories in Western Sahara. This was annulled by the European Court of Justice, as Morocco had no right to negotiate over the unresolved territory. The fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco is presumably also part of the EU corruption scandal that came to light in 2022. Other Western states such as Spain and the USA have changed their positions on a potential resolution in recent years, partly for geopolitical, migration policy or supposedly prestige-related reasons, thus at least leading to a diplomatic escalation of a conflict.
The diplomatic escalation of a conflict that has been fought for decades at the expense of the people in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. The status of Western Sahara under international law is still disputed. The inadequate human rights situation, the lack of ongoing international attention and independent monitoring in the region have favoured a lack of reliable information
The situation finally escalated again in November 2020. Since then, the people on the ground have experienced a new wave of an ongoing spiral of violence. The Moroccan army has entered the demilitarised buffer zone near the town of Guerguerat. The reason for this is said to have been the blockade of a road between Morocco and Mauritania by Polisario activists.
The incident shows how important Western Sahara is for Morocco, not only in monetary terms but also strategically. Ultimately, what is at stake for Morocco is access to the rest of Africa: Algeria has closed its borders, meaning that the only overland route for Moroccan goods leads through the territories of Western Sahara. Morocco is probably also using the situation to move its own positions to the Mauritanian border and reduce the Polisario territory. As a result, the Polisario declared the ceasefire in place since 1991 null and void and, according to its own statements, launched artillery attacks on Moroccan positions. Morocco denied that it had been attacked – presumably to conceal the conflict from the international public – even though the attacks were confirmed by the United Nations.
We are demanding that the German government should support the implementation of the agreed referendum. This referendum, which is to determine the political future of the Sahrawi people, should be held under the leadership of the UN. If the referendum shows that a majority of the population wants the independent state of the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” (DARS), the German government should directly recognise the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” (DARS) as an independent state and thus as a subject of international law and the Sahrawi government-in-exile as the government of this state.
The European Union may not conclude any further agreements that include Western Sahara as a territory of Morocco. The judgements of the ECJ, which declare all investments in connection with Western Sahara illegal and contrary to international law, must be complied with.
We also demand that the German government’s economic cooperation with Morocco concerning the occupied territories of Western Sahara be suspended. For us, this also means that around 15 German companies (including Siemens AG, HeidelbergCement, Köster Marine Proteins (KMP), DHL, DB Schenker) must give up their projects and contracts in the occupied territories.
Germany should lobby the UN Security Council for a human rights mandate to monitor the human rights situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.