Mr Kofi Annan
Mr James A. Baker
Members of the Security Council of the United Nations
Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations
Delegation of the European Commission to the United Nations
Permanent Observer for the Org. of African Unity to the United Nations
subject: Western Sahara - SG Report - Security Council 26.06.01
The latest UN Secretary General report advocates a "third way" which France and Morocco have been pushing for years, but which has been totally rejected by the Sahrawis because it is counter to democratic principles of self-determination and international legalities. Furthermore, the Western Sahara has never been under Moroccan sovereignty as affirmed by the International Court of Justice in 1975 which upheld the Sahrawis right to self-determination.
The latest developments bear evidence of the attempt, by Morocco and its ally in the Security Council France, to impose on the Saharawis a solution which abandons the 1991 UN/OAU Peace Plan, although this plan was accepted by both parties in conflict, that is, Morocco and the Polisario Front, and confirmed by the 1997 Houston Accords under the auspices of James Baker. What's more, this "third way" is totally contrary to international law and to all the UN resolutions on Western Sahara.
After over $530 million expenditures and nine years of broken promises, the United Nations has failed to deliver on the referendum over Western Sahara. Now, they seem to be imposing a "third solution" that is totally against everything the UN purported to be advocating at the outset of the UN peacekeeping mission, MINURSO.
At the end of 9 years of work by international teams, MINURSO completed the list of voters in accordance with all the criteria accepted by both parties, as they are defined by the UN Peace Plan and confirmed by the 1997 Houston Accords. This list of 86349 people recognised as voters by the international community (more than thirty countries took part in the identification work) allows one to deduct that the result of the referendum will be favourable to those who support independence. These figures and the conclusions that anybody can draw from them lead Morocco to lodge over 130 thousands appeals to the Minurso, most of which are devoid of any technical or practical justification. Yet this obstacle can be overcome: in his report at the end of February 2001, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan indicated that it was possible to find the means to expedite these appeals.
The proposed "new plan" of integration defines a sort of assembly half-legislative half-executive which would be elected by the Sahrawis - apart from all the crucial areas which would fall under the exclusive competency of Moroccan authorities, Moroccan law would be the rule. A few years later, if Morocco wants to, it would offer a referendum of confirmation (nothing to do of course with self-determination) to all the inhabitants of Western Sahara, including the Moroccan citizens who would have been living there for at least a year !! Given the policy of colonisation after the Israeli model that Morocco has enforced in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, the "success" of this consultation would be secured well in advance.
This shocking parody of political proposal shames Morocco which worked it out, James Baker who proposed it to the Polisario Front while knowing its unacceptable nature all the more that he mediated the 1997 Houston Accords.
We are deeply troubled that if the referendum is not held, war will break out once again between the Sahrawis and Morocco, because there would be no other option left. The Sahrawi people have fought for 26 year for one simple objective: the right to vote on self-determination. War would be devastating to this region.
We ask you:
Associazione Al Awda
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e Meccanica
Facoltà d'Ingegneria - Università di Catania
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