Representatives of Human Rights Organisation, Civil Society, and Solidarity Groups from Africa urge the UN for the Western Sahara Referendum
Open Letter to the July-August Presidency of the UN Security Council
Attn:H.E. Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra & H.E. Ambassador Joanna Wronecka,
Permanent Representative of Peru &Poland to the United Nations
New York – United States of America
As Representatives of Human Rights Organisation, Civil Society, and Solidarity Groups from Africa. We write to you with a firm condemnation of the ongoing siege in the occupied territory of the Western Sahara.
We have watched with great disdain an escalation of barbaric and violent acts of human rights abuses perpetrated against the Sahrawi citizens by the Moroccan colonial occupation forces in the city of El Aaiun on the 19th of July 2019. These acts of barbarism, torture, and human pain perpetrated by the Moroccan occupation forces on the legal citizens of the occupied territory of Western Sahara is not the first of its kind.
It is also with deep regrets that, while the city of El Aaiun and other Sahrawi Cities are under siege by the Moroccan occupation forces, and the Saharawi population is under savage attacks. The United Nations Security Council and the United Nations at large, and the International Community are in total silence.
However, it is a shame for global humanity to stay quiet amidst such level of human wickedness and human rights abuses.
In our previous communiqué, we have repeatedly call on the attention of the United Nations Security Council re the absence of a human rights component including a protection mechanism for the Sahrawi population in the occupied territory to be included in the mandate of MINURSO.
As you can see from clear images coming from the city of El Aaiun, even innocent Sahrawi children are severely and brutally beaten by the Moroccan occupation forces. And dozens of Sahrawi citizens including under age children are on arbitrary detentions.
Just looking at the size and weight of the batons used by the Moroccan occupation forces, the effects of the teargas, the speed of the poisonous water cannons, the velocity of the rubber bullets and the sharpness of the stones used. One cannot imagine that the international community is silent vis-à-vis such level of atrocities.
The Moroccan security forces, notably policemen, gendarmes, paramilitary forces are noted for the frequent night and day raids and invasion of homes of Saharawi citizens. Including the destruction properties and belongings. While injuring thousands of Sahrawi citizens in the process. The Sahrawi citizens cannot also go to the hospital for fear of being attack further or arrested in worst case scenario.
Notwithstanding, we recall that, the key focus of the diplomacy of the Government of Peru is characterized by an active and committed effort towards global peace, stability and security. Which are all human values that can contribute to the progressive of international law.
The full respect for, and the promotion of international law, human rights and the peaceful settlement of disputes are historically essential components of Peru’s foreign policy.
Contrary, what is happening in the occupied territory of the Western Sahara is against universal values, the philosophy of Ubuntu, International Law and Human rights etc.
The repeated barbaric actions of the government of Morocco, its forces and despot, are a fist to global solidarity of a common humanity. Such actions only deter MINURSO from fulfilling its mandate and consequently put every progress toward a peaceful settlement of the Moroccan occupation of the Western Sahara to look bleak.
We are mindful of the fact that, after the cease-fire-agreement in 1991, the Saharawi citizens of Western Sahara and the Sahrawi Polisario Front government, have respected all the conventions, treaties, agreements and clauses related to International Law jurisprudence. On the contrary, the government of Morocco has violated all the terms, and conditions of the clauses without impunity from the United Nations Security Council.
Sadly, it is true that the international community and the United Nations Security Council have betrayed the Saharawi people. The Sahrawi people hitherto, with the complicity of the United Nations Security Council have been denied the inalienable rights to Self- determination which is an International Law provision as well as a fundamental human rights principle.
But, for you, H.E. Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, we urge you as someone who has shown honesty and humility in the manner in which you conduct yourself as an organic diplomat. Please, watch the videos and see the images coming from El Aaiun. You will witness for yourself, the pain that cannot be captured on this letter. It is deplorable and humiliating because the events of pain unleashed against the Sahrawi people occurs under the watchful eyes of members of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), which remains accountable to the United Nations Security Council.
We remain certain that, you H.E. Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra would do the right thing to denounce such grievous acts of barbarism and police brutality committed against the free will of the Sahrawi human spirit.
We still believe that, the UN-led process is the only justifiable route towards a lasting solution. We are convinced that, for more than three decades of territorial dispossession, life in penury, it is high time for global politics to cease from double standard and dollar politics and organize a Referendum that would deliver the Saharawi people’s right to self- determination.
We urge you to use your voice and position at the United nations Security Council to influence your colleagues to start preparing grounds for the referendum. The right to self- determination is enshrined in the UN Charter and is the foundation on which MINURSO’smission was built.
Atabongwoung Gallous – President – Africa Solidarity for Sahrawi
Magdalene Moonsamy -Attorney & President – Women’s Justice Foundation
Professor Paul Ntah -Human Rights Lawyers
Reddy Nicolas – Africa Actions
Fritz Mabange – One Humanity
Judith Mah – Journalist