Letter from Western Sahara Campaign UK to Kofi Annan

10 December 2001

Mr Kofi Annan
c/o United Nations Information Centre

Millbank Tower (21st Floor)
21-24 Millbank
London SW1P 4QH


Peace for the Saharawi people

Dear Kofi Annan

We would like to congratulate you on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001. We regard the work of the United Nations as extremely important and it is good to see recognition of it. We hope it will strengthen the moral authority of the United Nations and your ability to champion the causes of the weak in a world where the powerful are more often the winners.

One such cause, which we support, is the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and peace. After 26 years of living as a divided people, some under Moroccan occupation, others in refugee camps, the time has surely come for them to be allowed to vote on their future. It is time to stand up to all those who would create obstacles to such a referendum. The game is up. Nothing and nobody should be able to prevent the exercise of an inalienable right such as that to self-determination.

We hear much talk today of the 'war against terrorism'. A positive way to promote this cause would be to reward those who have never resorted to terrorism (not simply punish those who have used violence). For this reason the Saharawi people doubly deserve a reward for their peaceful pursuit of the just cause of self-determination.

In practical terms, we believe the UN must now abandon for good any departure from the agreed settlement plan for Western Sahara. It must find a way to make the peace plan work. The UN has the good will of the Organisation of African Unity, co-sponsor of the peace plan. President Abdelaziz of the Saharawi Republic has offered to talk to the King of Morocco. There is a way forward.

With your leadership in promoting this just cause, the Saharawi people could achieve their much prized peace within the coming year. And you will have achieved the liberation of the last colony of Africa.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Luetchford

Chair, Western Sahara Campaign UK

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