Morocco’s recent troop deployment to Western Sahara is not only an affront to the sovereignty of the Sahrawi people, but also an unacceptable violation of the UN-backed ceasefire, MEPs from The Left in the European Parliament have said.
By sending the Moroccan army to Guerguerat, near the Mauritanian border, last week and by shooting at peaceful demonstrators against the occupation, Rabat has effectively ended the 29-year truce with the Polisario Front. The Left strongly condemns the military invasion, and reaffirm our solidarity for the Sahrawi people in fulfilling their inalienable right to self-determination.
We also urge the EU to act immediately to help resolve the conflict, and ensure that the rights of the Sahrawi people will not be violated.
Commenting on the escalating crisis, Manu Pineda MEP (Izquierda Unida, Spain) said:
“We strongly reject the opening of this illegal road by the Moroccan army as part of its trade route with the Sahel. This unlawful passage was never included in the military agreements signed by the Polisario Front and Morocco in 1997 and 1998. By modifying the status quo, Morocco has put the peace agreement at risk.”
“We also strongly condemn Morocco’s violation of the ceasefire on 13th November, and the attack on Saharawi. We demand the release of Saharawi political prisoners and their right to hold the referendum on self-determination. We continue to express our support and solidarity with the Polisario Front – the sole legitimate representative of the Saharawi people.”
“We call on MINURSO to fulfil the mandate for which it was created in 1991, and that is by holding a referendum on self-determination. We also expect the European Union to make a clear statement in this regard, in accordance with UN resolutions and international law,” he added.
Letters were also sent to EU High Representative Josep Borrell last week, including one from the Parliament’s Western Sahara intergroup last week. Miguel Urbán (Anticapitalistas) also sent a letter to Borrell. There has also been a proposal also to add the conflict onto next week’s plenary agenda.
A webinar will take place this coming Friday 20th November at 15h00-16h30 CET to discuss the conflict. Co-hosted by Pineda & Barrena, ‘The current situation in Western Sahara after Morocco’s attacks on Guerguerat’ will include contributions from representatives of the Polisario Front in Spain and the EU. You can watch it here.
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Raymond on Flickr