Bir Lahlou, 10 October 2021 (SPS) – The Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, said that any possible political process in Western Sahara will have to guarantee the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination in accordance with the settlement plan unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council and accepted by both parties in the conflict, namely the Polisario Front and Morocco.
«If Special Envoy De Mistura succeeds in setting a date for the referendum or develop a practical plan to put an end to the maneuvers and procrastination that have hampered the UN’s efforts to decolonize Western Sahara, to allow the Saharawi people to exercise its right to self-determination, history would have remembered that he succeeded with the UN Secretary General in putting the train of international legality in Western Sahara on the rail», declared Saturday the head of the Sahrawi diplomacy.
«This could open up vast prospects for a just and final peace in the region,» he added.
«Known for its commitment and cooperation with the UN and the AU, guarantor of the settlement plan, the Sahrawi side recommends to Mr. Di Mistura to propose to some member states of the Security Council or the so-called group of friendship with Western Sahara to reread Article 5 of the settlement plan accepted by the two parties and unanimously adopted by the Council, which stipulates that the referendum of self-determination is the consensual solution and the practical and logical basis,» indicated Mr. Ould Salek.
«Any approach contrary to the agreements between the two parties will be doomed to failure,» said Mr Ould Salek, adding that «it will be a resounding scandal of those who, for three decades, have been hiding behind the General Secretaries and successive special representatives, with the aim of preventing the independence of the Saharawi people».
Warning against attempts to «rob the Sahrawi people of their rights to freedom, independence and sovereignty, he said that these «will not succeed, as the past three decades clearly proved». The same official recalled that the Sahrawi people «was betrayed by a colonial power that abandoned its mission as the territory’s administering power».
In this context, the Sahrawi minister added that «there are those who become very innovative, inventing completely new qualities and attributes, in order to avoid mentioning the right to self-determination, with the aim of robbing it and removing it in order to change the mandate of MINURSO, and even change the nature of the question of Western Sahara, as a question of decolonisation.
But «this approach will not succeed», assures the head of the Saharawi diplomacy who believes that it is contrary to «international legality, as unanimously set by all organizations and international courts, undermines at the same time the credibility of the United Nations and constitutes a great financial loss for it and above all a crime against the Saharawi people, an encouragement to aggression and a destabilization of the entire region.
Ould Salek called on the UN not to give in to Morocco’s provocation, which uses drugs, the weapon of illegal migration, terrorist networks and the buying of consciences as a means to impose its aggressive and expansionist policies.
«It is the credibility of the UN that is now in question,» he warned, adding that «the failure of the Security Council to fulfil its direct responsibilities in the completion of the UN mission for the organisation of a referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and the blatant conspiracy with the Moroccan occupier, are all factors that have favoured a return to a war that will only end with the cessation of the illegal Moroccan occupation of this territory and the respect of the internationally recognised borders.
He urged the International Security Council to prevent Morocco from dispossessing its neighbours of their lands, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as the opinions and decisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The statement of the head of Sahrawi diplomacy comes after the announcement made last Wednesday by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, regarding the appointment of Staffan de Mistura as UN Special Envoy for Western Sahara, replacing Horst Kohler who had resigned from this post on 22 May 2019.