sábado, 29 de novembro de 2008

New Danish Committee of support to the Saharawi people created in Copenhagen

A new Danish Committee of support to the Saharawi people was created last Thursday in Copenhagen and is calling on the European Union not to grant a so-called Advanced Status to Morocco, unless the occupied Western Sahara is specifically excluded from the agreement.

In a press release issued Friday, of which UPES received a copy, the Danish Support Committee for Western Sahara (DSCWS), also called on the “UN Secretary General Mr. Ban ki-moon to resume the negotiation process between the Moroccan government and POLISARIO Front with the aim to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise freely their right to Self-determination”.

On the other hand, the text indicates that the new Committee aims to “raise awareness and promote the Solidarity with the Saharawi people”, as well as to “campaign for a free and fair referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people”.

The Committee further expressed concerns about the serious human rights situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, and declared its willingness to campaign “against the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources, and
Promote intercultural exchange between The Saharawi and the Danish people”.

“Morocco commits widespread human rights violations against Saharawi people in the occupied territories who strive for self-determination in Western Sahara. More than 500 Saharawi have disappeared since Morocco invaded the territory in 1975”, the text adds.

The Danish Support Committee for Western Sahara, finally, “underlines that Morocco continues to be an illegally occupying power in Western Sahara, in violation of over 100 UN Resolutions which call for the Western Sahara’s people’s right to self-determination. Western Sahara is an occupied and annexed territory. Furthermore, the International Court of Justice has rejected Morocco’s claims over Western Sahara, and the UN considers the Western Sahara case as a decolonisation issue”.

The new Committee is constituted few days after a propaganda claims spread by Rabat media according to which the representation of Western Sahara in Copenhagen has been ordered to close down by the Danish government.

"Rubbish," say Danish sources, adding the false information comes as an answer to Danish media reports over a sex scandal at the Moroccan Embassy.

Asking several sources in Denmark why Moroccan government-controlled media would publish such a story at this moment, all independently told AFROL News that there had to be a connection with "the very amusing story" in Denmark’s conservative daily ‘Jyllands-Posten’ about a sex scandal at the Moroccan Embassy in Copenhagen.

Consul Raddad el Okbani at the Embassy is accused of sexual harassment and corruption by the Danish-Moroccan population, out of which around 200 took to the streets on 15 November to demand his resignation. Protesters told ‘Jyllands-Posten’ how the Consul repeatedly had demanded bribes and sexual services to get his signature on official documents. He was also reported to have taken photographs of visitors to the Embassy, threatening with reprisals in Morocco if his personal demands were not met.

The Consul has been removed from the Moroccan Embassy in Copenhagen, probably having been sent home to Rabat. But the demonstrators are not satisfied, still demanding legal actions to be taken against him.

Ms Pedersen, notably amused by the seldom scandal in the diplomatic landscape, holds that there may be a connection. The false Polisario office closure story was published "to take away the attention" from the Embassy scandal, she holds. Polisario representative Malainin agrees Moroccan officials had spread the false story "to cover and attract the public opinion from the scandalous shame in Morocco’s Embassy in Denmark."

But, Mr Malainin adds, the scam was also a reaction to Polisario’s relative successes in Denmark and other Nordic countries, where some political parties now even are in favour of recognising Western Sahara as a sovereign state, in line with the AU. "The Moroccan system is worrying about the raising awareness and solidarity of the just cause of the Saharawi people ... in all Scandinavia," he holds. "This increasing awareness and solidarity reached to a point that Moroccan system propaganda machine can not influence it," Mr Malainin adds.

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