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Date of posting : October 10, 2020

Ambassador Hilale Demystifies Algeria’s Spurious Allegations on Moroccan Sahara

The virtual ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held Friday under the theme “65 years after Bandung”, was a moment of demystification by the Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN, ambassador Omar Hilale, of the spurious allegations of the representative of Algeria on the Moroccan Sahara.

In response to the biased and hostile statement of the Algerian official, ambassador Omar Hilale recalled that the Moroccan Sahara is a matter of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom, saying that Morocco has exercised its inalienable right to territorial integrity and recovered its Saharan provinces in 1975, through the Madrid Agreement and in accordance with the practice of the United Nations.

The Moroccan diplomat stressed that in these times of COVID-19, which calls for solidarity, “Morocco would have wanted the participants to stop attacking the territorial integrity and sovereignty of their neighbor,” adding that “respect for territorial integrity is a cardinal principle for Morocco and the Non-Aligned Movement and should not be used in variable geometry”.

Hilale noted that Morocco, which has chosen the path of dialogue, is fully engaged in the exclusive UN political process on this regional dispute, on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions adopted since 2007.

“The political process has had a positive momentum, initiated by the former Personal Envoy, Horst Köhler, through the holding of two round table meetings in Geneva, with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and +polisario+”,” ambassador Hilale said, stressing that Security Council resolutions 2440, 2468 and 2494 established Algeria as the main party to this regional dispute and called on it to contribute in good faith to the process.

Hilale added that Security Council Resolution 2494, “enshrined the roundtable process as the only way to achieve a political solution to this regional dispute”.

The ambassador also reiterated that the Moroccan autonomy initiative is the embodiment of the political, realistic, pragmatic, and sustainable solution based on compromise advocated by the Security Council.

“This initiative is consistent with international law and remains the one and only way for the final resolution of this regional dispute within the framework of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of the Kingdom of Morocco,” he stressed.

With regard to the situation of the populations held against their will in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, Hilale drew the attention of the representatives of the 120 member States of the NAM to the various violations and abuses of fundamental rights of which they are victims. In this regard, he stressed the obligation of the host country, Algeria, to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to register these populations, in accordance with international humanitarian law, including the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees.

The Moroccan diplomat castigated the diversion of humanitarian aid in the Tindouf camps, which the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), UNHCR, and WFP confirmed in their investigation reports. These reports, he said, have confirmed the large-scale diversion, for several decades, of humanitarian aid destined for the Tindouf camps, and the involvement in these diversions, of “polisario” and local officials, for their personal and fraudulent enrichment.

In addition, he held Algeria accountable by declaring that the host country can in no way delegate its obligations on its territory to an armed separatist group with proven links to international terrorism. He also stressed that the host country bears full responsibility for the grave violations in the Tindouf camps, as confirmed by the UN Secretary General and human rights bodies, including the Human Rights Committee and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.