Bir Lehlou (Saharawi Republic) 08 November 2020 (SPS)- The President of the Saharawi Republic, Brahim Ghali, sent a congratulation letter to US President-Elect, Mr. Joe Biden, hoping that the US will effectively engage in the international efforts for the decolonisation of Western Sahara.
“Aware of the global responsibility and leadership of your nation, we hope earnestly that the United States, under your leadership, would engage more actively in the international efforts aimed at achieving a speedy, peaceful and lasting solution to the decolonisation question of Western Sahara based on the exercise by our people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence,” Saharawi President emphasised.
Following is the complete text of the letter of which SPS received a copy:
H.E. Mr Joe Biden
President-Elect of the United States of America
The White House
Bir Lehlou, 8 November 2020
Dear Mr President,
It gives me great pleasure to address to you this message, on behalf of the Sahrawi Government and people, to express our most sincere congratulations on your election as the President of the United States of America and to wish you every success in your mission.
The legal nature of the question of Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony, is easy to comprehend. It is not an ethnic, religious, or intrastate conflict. It is simply an overdue case of decolonisation as recognised by the United Nations and its subsidiary organs since 1963.
Despite an opinion by the International Court of Justice in 1975 and many United Nations resolutions affirming the right of our people to self-determination and independence, Morocco still illegally occupies by force Western Sahara since 31 October 1975. Morocco’s continued occupation of parts of our Territory and other regional security challenges make the achievement of a speedy, peaceful, and lasting solution to the decolonisation question of Western Sahara more imperative and urgent than ever.
During the past 29 years, the United Nations has been trying to implement the resolutions that were adopted by the Security Council with a view to completing the decolonisation of Western Sahara. It set in motion a peace process, which was accepted officially by the two parties to the conflict, the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, aiming at the holding of a free and fair referendum on self-determination in the Territory.
To this end, the Security Council established the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) in 1991. Apart from supervising the ceasefire accepted by both parties, the Mission has also managed to identify and compile the list of the voters in the referendum. However, Morocco’s obstructionism has so far resulted in denying our people their internationally recognised and inalienable right to self-determination and independence. This is the main reason that MINURSO has so far failed to fully implement the mandate for which it was established almost three decades ago.
Together with its obstructionist attitude towards the UN peace process, Morocco continues to violate systematically human rights in occupied Western Sahara and to plunder illegally the natural resources of the Sahrawi people. These human rights violations have been documented and made public by international organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (formerly the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others. We hope that the United States, a defender and promoter of human rights, would engage actively in the protection of the human rights of the Sahrawi civilians living in the territories illegally occupied by Morocco as long as the conflict remains unresolved.
Despite the occupation and partition of our land, we have managed to build a modern society based on the values of social justice, democracy, gender equality and the rule of law, and where women play a fundamental role in all aspects of political, social and economic life. As widely recognised in the region and beyond, the Sahrawi society has engendered a culture of moderation and tolerance that is strongly averse to violence and all kinds of extremism. We also continue to contribute effectively to the ongoing efforts to combat terrorism and organised crime in the region in conformity with our regional obligations as a member of the African Union.
The Sahrawi people have been patiently waiting too long for exercising their legitimate rights. What is needed now is to exert all the necessary diplomatic pressure so that the United Nations could resume, without further delay, the implementation of the peace plan and thus allow our people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence through the free and genuine expression of their will and without any constraints or restrictions.
The ideals of liberty, equality and popular sovereignty reflected in the formation of the United States of America have made many people around the world, including the Sahrawi people, look to the United States as a beacon of hope and a defender of freedom, democracy and respect for human and peoples’ rights against oppression, tyranny and injustice.
Aware of the global responsibility and leadership of your nation, we hope earnestly that the United States, under your leadership, would engage more actively in the international efforts aimed at achieving a speedy, peaceful and lasting solution to the decolonisation question of Western Sahara based on the exercise by our people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
In closing, we strongly believe that a peaceful, just, and democratic solution to the question of Western Sahara will have a great impact on Africa and the entire region, because it will expedite the integration in North Africa and the Sahel region. It would also be a success story for the United Nations that reinforces its credibility as an indispensable tool for maintaining international peace and security.
Please accept, Mr President, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO
President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.” (SPS)