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Statement by the Sahrawi Republic and Polisario Front on the position of Spanish government and Moroccan occupation

The Government of the Saharawi Republic and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia El-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario Front) were informed with astonishment, on Friday afternoon, of the content of the two statements issued by the Moroccan occupier and the Government of the Spanish administering power. Therefore, they wanted to express the following:

The position expressed by the Spanish government is absolutely in contradiction with international law. The United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice and all regional and continental organisations do not recognise the (alleged) Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Spain, along with France, has more legal and political responsibilities than others in defending the recognised international borders of the Western Sahara and its three neighbors, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania and fighting against Moroccan expansion. In addition to its responsibilities towards the Sahrawi people and the United Nations. This responsibility does not end until the Saharawi people can exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

The position expressed in the two declarations lacks credibility, seriousness, responsibility and realism, as it is a dangerous move, it contravenes international law, supports the occupation, encourages aggression and the policy of the fait accompli and the headlong rush, and will legitimise the repression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the plundering of wealth that Morocco continues to use against the Saharawi people, in violation of international resolutions.

This comes at a very critical time in the conflict in Western Sahara following the war resumption in November 2020, and the tension in the region due to the persistence of the Kingdom of Morocco in its expansionist policies and plans to disrupt the security and stability of the region

The change of position of Madrid is, according to the Sahrawi presidency and the Polisario Front, the result of months of intense Moroccan blackmail against Spain to restore diplomatic relations to their previous state. Unfortunately, instead of Madrid intending to restore its bilateral relations with its southern neighbour on a solid basis, it has chosen to submit, once again, to Moroccan blackmail. The price, requested by Rabat, was to sacrifice the Sahrawi people once again, crossing all the red lines.

The position expressed by Madrid ” includes very dangerous elements, such as the referencing of the Moroccan proposal as “the most serious, realistic and objective… to resolve the conflict of Western Sahara”, in clear support of the unilateral approach, in contradiction with legitimacy, international law and the free and democratic exercise by the Saharawi people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The statement of the Spanish government did not stop there, to the agreement on “the respect of the territorial integrity of the two countries”, which, in the context of the dispute over Western Sahara, is only a clear adoption of the Moroccan expansionist thesis.

Madrid’s position prejudices any possible role of Spain in the solution of the conflict and in the decolonisation of Western Sahara, as well as the current efforts to reactivate the UN-backed peace process. We had hoped that Spain would accompany both parties and the new personal envoy of the UN SG to revive the political process. It is regrettable that Madrid has chosen, once again, to submit to Moroccan blackmail and to dissipate the hopes that existed, fuelling tension and escalation.

Despite all this, Spain cannot unilaterally relinquish its legal responsibilities towards Western Sahara and its people, being the administering power of the Territory while awaiting its decolonisation. Nor can it turn its back on its political responsibilities, since it is the main party responsible for the suffering of the Saharawi people and all the peoples of the region, who have so far been unable to achieve stability because of the haemorrhage left by Spain in 1975, and which continues to poison the relations of the peoples and countries of the region.

The Saharawi people, their government and the Polisario Front make an urgent appeal to the Spanish political forces and to all the peoples of Spain to put pressure on the Spanish government to correct this unfortunate mistake, in order to oblige Madrid to assume its responsibilities that can not be extinguished by prescription, in the decolonization of Western Sahara in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, particularly with regard to the enjoyment by colonial peoples of their right to self-determination and independence.

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