Blog

La APDHE solicita al Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas que fije fecha para celebrar el referéndum en el Sáhara Occidental

La APDHE solicita al Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas que fije fecha para celebrar el referéndum en el Sáhara Occidental, que se renueve el mandato de la MINURSO, y que exija a España que asuma sus obligaciones como Potencia Administradora:

H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations
333 East 38th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Madrid. October 25, 2019

Dear Ambassador:

After nearly 30 years of the United Nations Security Council stalling with regard to the referendum promised to the Saharawi people, it is long past due to reevaluate MINURSO. The failure of the UN to move forward with the process has served to encourage Morocco to ramp up its abuses and violations throughout occupied Western Sahara. The situation is growing increasingly tense. To avoid renewed conflict, the UN must take action to assure the Saharawi people that law and human rights will be respected and upheld in the region by the international community.

Unfortunately, the stagnation of MINURSO is allowing the Moroccan government to act with impunity. It continues to threaten basic human rights in the region and is currently expanding its movements and operations in the buffer strip. States must begin to follow through on their commitments to make progress in Western Sahara. MINURSO needs to be reconfigured in a way that successfully delivers on a referendum and provides the Sahrawi people with a credible path towards self-determination. Additionally, the UNSC should place the dignity of the people of Western Sahara at the center of the recalibrated political process and be explicit with Morocco that the continual human rights violations are unacceptable.

This renewed political process must begin immediately. The failure to appoint a new Personal Envoy is emblematic of the incessant delays made by the UN. The international community is failing to make good on its promise of a break to the status quo. The UNSC must take the issues in Western Sahara seriously. It is of the utmost importance that the UNSC and SG move quickly to renew the political process and move Western Sahara forward.

Spanish State has also a relevant role as the Administering Power of Non-Autonomous Territory of Western Sahara, in accordance to Art. 73 (Chapter XI). However, we need to highlight the failure to fulfill their responsibilities.

In consideration of the mentioned above, we appreciate the remission of the following petitions to the members of the United Nations Security Council:

1.      Immediately renew the political process for Western Sahara.

2.      Set a date for the long-awaited referendum to be carried out in Western Sahara with an option for independence on the ballot paper

3.      Appoint a new Envoy with urgency

4.      Renew the MINURSO mandate for 6 months so as to ensure the progress that Kohler made is maintained.   

5.      Reconfigure MINURSO to guarantee a path forward for Saharawi self-determination.

6.      Prioritise the human rights and dignity of the Saharawi people in the renewed political process.

7.      Authorise independent human rights monitors to gain access to all of Western Sahara. The UNSG report is very clear that OHCHR monitors should have access. 

8.      Ensure Moroccan compliance with past international agreements.

9.      Require Spain to comply with its obligations as Administering Power (protection of Saharawis against abuses, protect of their natural resources, take into account their political aspirations), until the effective celebration of the referendum

Yours sincerely

Mr. Carlos Castresana Fernández

President Human Rights Association of Spain