sábado, 25 de outubro de 2008

RASD- President Abdelaziz' letter to Sarkozy

Tifariti, [Western Sahara]

16 October 2008

H.E. Mr Nicolas Sarkozy
President of the French Republic,
President of the Council of the European Union

Mr President,

In view of our conviction that the European Union, over which you preside, has become, during the last years, the driving force of a democratic Europe that has succeeded in making the values of freedom, equality and good governance the basis and essence of its system, whilst emerging as a model and a very powerful motivation for all other peoples and nations seeking liberty and dignity.

Considering our confidence that this august and prestigious organisation, at the risk of changing its position or being discredited, cannot become the accomplice, on the threshold of the twenty first century, of a colonisation and repression policy that has been pursued by the Kingdom of Morocco in Western Sahara for decades, in flagrant and clear violation of the international legality and in disregard for the most basic rights of Sahrawi women and men. In view of the above, we have decided to address to you this letter.

Mr President,
During the past days, and contrary to all expectations, the European Union granted an "advanced status" to the Kingdom of Morocco, and approved a package of measures geared to reinforcing its partnership with this country in the political and security domains, among others.

These measures cannot be judged, if they to be translated on the ground, without real cooperation on the Moroccan part in terms of important issues such as the rights of Sahrawi men and women in the territories occupied by the Moroccan Kingdom and the holding of the self-determination referendum for the people of Western Sahara, which has long been promised by the international community and constantly delayed by the Moroccan authorities. Otherwise, they can only be construed as a clear encouragement to the illegal occupation by the warmongering and expansionist Kingdom of Morocco. One should not forget that this special status granted by the European Union to Morocco, and reinforced by numerous opportunities to be given in several domains, will be undoubtedly and understandably considered as a direct sign of clear distrust with regard to the other peoples of the region. Because of their engagement in serious and promising processes of consolidating democracy, these peoples would have deserved from the democratic Europe as well as its institutions and representatives the necessary support and assistance to face up to the challenges confronting them.

Mr President,
You are undoubtedly aware that Western Sahara is still considered by the international community as a Non-Self-Governing Territory that remains, since 1975, under the yoke of a military occupation carried out in flagrant violation of the principles of the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations.

You are also aware that the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seized upon by the Moroccan authorities, in the absence of the legitimate representatives of Sahrawi people, to decide on possible ties between Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco, affirmed solemnly that: "the Court's conclusion is that the materials and information presented to it do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity. Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) in the decolonization of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory"..

With the deployment of the forces of MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara), in 1991, Western Sahara has been placed under the mandate of the United Nations.

Would it be necessary to also remind you, Mr President, that the question of Western Sahara is registered, since 1966, on the agenda of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation and that, since then, it has been waiting for a happy end that could only materialise by forcing the Moroccan occupier to recognise its wrongdoings and allow the Sahrawi people to freely choose their destiny through a free and fair referendum?

Mr President,
Since the military invasion of its country by the Kingdom of Morocco, a major part of the Sahrawi population has been forced into exile where it has been living in precarious and difficult conditions, while the other part remained in the territory under the Moroccan occupation, which has turned it into an open prison. The people living there have been constantly subjected to a systematic policy of ferocious and inhuman repression that is generally manifested in detentions, abductions and forced disappearances. These abuses have frequently been denounced by international organisations of human rights and non-governmental organisations.

The Moroccan colonial authorities have employed blind and systematic repressive measures against our population in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. These authorities have ensured that there is not a single Sahrawi family that has not been affected directly in its dignity or suffered the repression exerted, with complete impunity, by the authorities of the Moroccan occupation.

It is also noteworthy that Morocco constructed, during the last years, a wall that is equipped with sophisticated surveillance apparatuses and fortified with anti-personnel mines. This long wall of 2300 kms divides the territory of Western Sahara into two parts.

By deciding to split the territory in this way, the Moroccan authorities increased the suffering of the Sahrawi families, and severed all ties between them. They have thus become responsible for a crime for which they must be held accountable before the international community.

Mr President,
It needs to be stressed that the Frente POLISARIO has nothing against the fact that the European Union has privileged relations of cooperation and special ties with Morocco. What it fears, which you can readily understand, is that Morocco takes advantage of such relations and consider them as an encouragement or a guarantee by your organisation of its colonial enterprise. You would also agree that there is no need for any move that could have adverse consequences for the stability and peace in the region of northwest Africa as a whole, which may have negative repercussions on its relations with the European Union.

The countries of the European Union, while granting a special and advanced status to Morocco, should have assessed these serious risks, and foreseen ways to contain any possible drift that may involve real dangers for the evolution of the question of Western Sahara and for the future and stability of the whole region of the Maghreb.

In the opposite case, we can only remind these countries, while hoping that they would know how to act appropriately to deactivate a situation that may lead to destabilisation in the region of the Maghreb.. One of the first measures that, in our view, could help to avoid the worst situation consists in compelling the Kingdom of Morocco to put an end to its policy of repression and degrading practices employed against our population in the illegally occupied territories of Western Sahara. Moreover, Morocco should honour the commitments that it has solemnly and officially undertaken before the United Nations to allow the Sahrawi people to exercise, without any pressure and coercion, their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

I should be grateful if you would bring the content of this letter to attention of the Member States of the European Union.

Please accept, Mr President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Mohamed Abdelaziz
Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO,
President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

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