Petition to UN 4th Committee about Western Sahara

My petition from the Swedish Western Sahara Committee deals with the basics: The character of the conflict, the Moroccan propaganda and the proper solution.

In Sweden we have recently met a very aggressive arguing from Moroccan representatives. I think you will meet the same in this session. Perhaps they are a little frustrated because they fail finding supporters and they lost their last real argument when Polisario released their last POW's.

Moroccan leaders tell us that Western Sahara is the Southern Provinces or the Moroccan Sahara. Morocco (and France) for example designs maps without national borders between The Kingdom and the neighbors. Moroccan police will confiscate maps showing correct borders. The Swedish committee has made a special investigation. It is hard to find any correct maps and facts relating to Western Sahara and Morocco. But the truth is: 2/3 of Western Sahara is still a colony (the last one in Africa), fenced by a huge 1,800 km armed wall with one soldier every 11 meter. Spain has a responsibility, but Morocco is responsible.

Moroccan leaders maintain the conflict is a family conflict Morocco-Algeria. They often repeat Algeria just wants to border the Atlantic ocean. The truth is easy to find in resolutions from UN and the Settlement Plan signed by the parties Morocco and Polisario. Saharawis have a hard living in the most unhabitable desert - far from their nice coast. Of course they long for their captured territory. The dispute is about forced occupation or self-determination.

Moroccan leaders have got back all their lost officers and soldiers from their war of conquest. First they did not exist and were not well-come home. Then the mutual release was a part of the peace plan refused by Morocco. Now if Morocco is civilized the POW's from Western Sahara, the political prisoners and the "disappeared" must be released.

Moroccan leaders nowadays accept the existence of Polisario and refugee camps outside Tindouf in Algeria. But they prefer to describe them as prisons for poor south-Moroccans sequestered by force. Every visitor to the Saharawi camps knows this is a lie. We are imposed by the good organization and democratic structure despite lack of resources. This is a very good model and training for the future of comprehensive Western Sahara.

Moroccan leaders blacken Polisario and the Saharawi society by telling tall tales on the education system in the camps. They say the children are robbed from their parents and sent by force to brain-washing and military training Cuba. The truth is the Saharawi education system is very effective with compulsory primary schools and total literacy in the camps. The University training is depending on good-will from Algeria, Spain, Libya and Cuba. Most of the brain-stormed students return to the camps - despite lack of jobs. The solidarity is more important.

All of you are free and wellcomed to visit Western Sahara. Wonderful beaches, open society. That is the message from the Kingdom. But you are not allowed to be critical. Several groups of journalists and politicians have been stopped or thrown out. Just if you go there under Moroccan management, like a Swedish conservative group recently. This group also demanded a meeting with some Saharawis. After a short meeting the Saharawis were caught by the police.


First of all Morocco must end the repression of Saharawis in the occupied area. The political prisoners must be released, international observers and independent journalists must be free to work. An international investigation commission could be formed to study human right conditions in the camps and in the occupied area.

Then a political negotiated solution must be realized without any delay. If Morocco continues to refuse the Baker II plan, the only alternative is to go back to the Morocco-signed settlement plan. We cannot ask Polisario to make more remissions. We must make great demands on Moroccan leaders. BUT THEY NEED HELP!


Jan Stromdahl

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