Western Sahara: GRIP calls on European countries to refuse any arms exports to Morocco
Dk News.- The Peace and Security Research and Information Group (GRIP) called on European countries to refuse any export of military equipment to Morocco, raising the issue that these weapons are used to commit numerous human rights violation in occupied Western Sahara.
GRIP warned, in a recent report, European countries about their arms exports to Morocco by insisting on the non-compliance of the transfer of these military equipments with the pre-export evaluation criteria established by the European Union in the “Common Position”.
“Morocco continues to occupy most of Western Sahara,” said the GRIP report, while referring to “repressive practices violent and disproportionate to international standards regarding freedom of movement, freedom of expression and of association, the right to a fair trial or the safeguarding of the economic, social and cultural rights of the Saharawi people.
In this report, the research center also recalled the brutality of the Moroccan invasion of the Saharawi territories and “the napalm and white phosphorus bombings of the Moroccan aviation against Saharawi civilians forcing a large part of the Saharawi population to take the path of exile “.
“At present, no state recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, territory it has occupied since 1975,” noted the GRIP in its analysis.
Based on various documentary sources and reports from international organizations, the think-tank, therefore, called on EU states to take into account in their arms exports “repeated violations of fundamental rights that are committed by Moroccan authorities, particularly in the occupied territories of Western Sahara “.
This report highlights “serious violations” by Rabat in Western Sahara
In this regard, the GRIP report cited the recent reports of the NGOs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which highlighted “serious violations committed” by Rabat in occupied Western Sahara.
Among the recent developments, the research center has mentioned, as an example, the trial of Saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik, which constitute, this report states, “examples of violent and unjustified repressive practices concerning freedom of movement, freedom of expression and association, the right to a fair trial or the safeguarding of economic, social and cultural rights “.
In addition, in this analysis, GRIP experts mentioned that “the Moroccan authorities impose restrictions on journalists and organizations interested in Western Sahara” and that “foreign defenders of Saharawi rights are regularly expelled from Moroccan territory .
“The occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom, in contradiction with the provisions of the opinion of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, as well as past and current human rights violations of the Saharawi people can serve as an argument for refuse arms exports to Morocco “, recommended this research center based in Brussels in its document.
In this wake, the GRIP report has proposed to invoke, in particular, the third criterion of the EU Common Position, which provides for the refusal of authorization to export arms if they are likely to provoke or prolong conflicts. armed forces or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination.
Moroccan media lead “disinformation campaign” against Algeria
This report by the GRIP had, however, been the subject of an “information campaign” by the Moroccan media that “intentionally distorted it to attack Algeria,” said a European source close to the center.
While the report of the center explained that Algerian imports meet the needs of renewal and modernization of the military arsenal “to adapt to new security challenges, including terrorism and border security,” some Moroccan media have “deliberately raised the question of the ambition of regional hegemony to explain these imports, ” he said.