- President of the Western Sahara, Mohamed Abdelaziz, has pleaded with the UN Secretary General to urge Morocco to back down on its plan of organising elections in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
According to a letter addressed to the UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon, Morocco’s intention of organising the local elections in the Sahrawi territory occupied by Moroccan forces is illegal, urging UN Chief to intervene.
The Government of the Kingdom of Morocco is preparing to organise local elections on 12 June 2009, the letter reported.
“In view of these sincere concerns that reflect the severity of tangible facts, I would like to call on you, Mr Secretary-General, to act in an appropriate, public and adequate way to avoid that the Moroccan elections extend illegally to Western Sahara,” the letter said.
The letter further said the elections constitute a deliberate act of provocation that would eventually halt the resumption of the negotiations aimed at resolving the stalled peace process.
It further said despite the efforts carried out by the UN, Morocco decided, in 2004, to turn its back on the UN and to renege on all the commitments that it had undertaken. “It has henceforth been bent on sabotaging the efforts deployed by the UN with a view to resuming the decolonisation process,” the letter stated.
The letter accuses Morocco of trying to impose on the international community the legitimacy of its illegal occupation of the Territory, the illegal exploitation of the natural resources of the Territory, systematic repression and violation of basic human rights.
“All these practices are clearly in contravention of the UN resolutions relating to the decolonization of Western Sahara,” it said.
The letter further said the Moroccan attitude represents a deliberate political provocation that hampers the efforts deployed by the international community with a view to resuming the negotiations on the self-determination of the Sahrawi people in line with the UN principles and resolutions.
The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has been in place since September 1991 to monitor the ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario Front, which contests the territory.
Morocco has annexed the former Spanish colony since 1976, leaving around one third of mostly uninhabited Sahrawi lands, the interior part bordering Algeria and Mauritania on Polisario's hands.
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