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Date of posting : July 1, 2018

Laayoune: Experience of Laayoune-Smara Regional Human Rights Committee Presented to Horst Köhler

 The experience of the Laayoune-Smara Regional Human Rights Committee was presented on Friday to UNSG personal envoy for the Moroccan Sahara Horst Köhler who is currently on a visit to Laayoune.

During a meeting at the said Committee headquarters in Laayoune, Köhler was briefed on the body’s missions and its efforts in the field of human rights in the region.

In a statement to the press following the meeting, President of Laayoune-Smara Regional Human Rights Committee Mohamed Salem Cherkaoui said that the meeting with Köhler touched on many issues relating to the social field, human rights and the humanitarian situation in the Tindouf camps.

Köhler, who arrived Thursday in Laayoune as part of a visit to Morocco within the framework of his 2nd regional tour, held meetings with elected officials, cheikhs and notables in Laayoune and Smara who reaffirmed their unwavering attachment to the autonomy initiative as the only solution to the artificial conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.

From different political formations, these elected officials, cheikhs and notables of Saharawi tribes, legitimate representatives of the local population, recalled the support of the international community for the autonomy plan described by the UN Security Council as “credible and realistic”.

This regional tour comes following the adoption of resolution 2414 dated April 27, 2018, in which the UNSC reaffirmed the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative, stressed the need to make progress in the search for a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue, and called on neighboring States to make an important contribution to the political process and to engage further in the negotiations.

It is worth to recall that on the occasion of the meeting in Lisbon in March 2018 with the Personal Envoy, the Moroccan delegation reaffirmed the fundamentals of the Moroccan position as reiterated in HM the King’s speech on the occasion of the commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the Green March, on November 6, 2017:

-‘No’ to any solution to the Sahara question other than within the framework of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Autonomy Initiative, which has been declared serious and credible by the international community.

-Draw lessons from past experience, for the problem is not so much finding a solution as determining the process that produces it; for this reason, all the parties that have concocted this dispute must fully shoulder their responsibility in order for a final solution to be reached.

-Ensure full compliance with the terms of reference adopted by the UN Security Council when addressing this artificial regional dispute, for the Security Council is the only international body tasked with overseeing the settlement process.

-Outright rejection of any transgression or attempt to infringe on Morocco’s legitimate rights or its best interests; rejection of any obsolete proposals designed to divert the settlement process from the set terms of reference, or to introduce or impose other issues which are dealt with by other relevant bodies.