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Date of posting : February 16, 2021

Sahara: Morocco’s Ambassador in Geneva Demystifies Algeria’s Chimerical Elucubrations

 Morocco’s ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Omar Zniber, has exposed, with supporting evidence, the untruths and the chimerical and misleading elucubrations peddled by Algeria at each session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the issue of Moroccan Sahara.

In a letter sent to diplomatic missions accredited in Geneva in preparation for the 46th session of the HRC, Zniber drew attention to the biased and politically motivated nature of the declaration “which unduly targets and attacks, at each session, the Kingdom of Morocco, in connection with the regional dispute over the Sahara issue”, denouncing the political instrumentalization of this issue by a small group acting at the instigation of Algeria to divert the Council’s discussions.

In this letter, Zniber gave an historical overview of the process of completing the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, the artificial dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, and the credible efforts made by the Kingdom to end this conflict which is only the residue of the cold war.

Almost half a century, noted the ambassador, Algeria, through military, diplomatic and financial means, has supported the armed separatist militias of polisario, created to oppose the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco in the name of the so-called struggle against colonialism and for self-determination.

Zniber noted that polisario did not exist before Morocco began the recovery of its provinces, and never manifested itself during the colonial occupation. “It is simply the emanation of unspoken geopolitical ambitions, and yet quite obvious to everyone,” he went on.

Concerning the principle of self-determination that the Algerian leaders proclaim they want to defend, he recalled that, as proof of their direct and self-serving involvement, and in total contradiction with this principle, these same Algerian leaders did not hesitate to present, in 2001, to the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General, James Baker, a document openly proposing the partition of the provinces concerned, during a closed-door meeting in Houston.

This is therefore a major contradiction with their so-called attachment to self-determination, in addition to the fact that this proposal consisted, in a blatant manner, in separating by fake borders the populations and families concerned.

As for the fight against colonialism, he said that Morocco has led a relentless fight for several decades against this phenomenon, not only on its own territory, but through military, financial and diplomatic support to many sister African countries, first and foremost Algeria.

In addition, since 2007, at the request of the United Nations, Morocco has made a proposal aimed at settling definitively the dispute over the Sahara, through an autonomy initiative which, since then, has won the support of a large part of the international community, he recalled, stressing that the Security Council, through its multiple resolutions that followed, considers this initiative as the “credible and serious way” to resolve this dispute.

Disregarding the serene and positive character that should prevail during debates of the Human Rights Council, the countries hostile to Morocco’s territorial integrity, constitute a limited group that has significantly regressed in recent years, by the withdrawal of half of its members, he noted.

Zniber recalled that this separatist group is involved in human rights violations and the recruitment of children into military militias, not to mention the massive diversion of humanitarian aid duly and officially documented by international agencies, including the 2015 report of the European Union’s Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

He stressed that the Sahara provinces in southern Morocco are in a stable and perfectly normal situation, have international airports and are regularly visited by the Personal Envoys of the Secretary General of the United Nations, several special procedures under the Human Rights Council, many delegations of foreign diplomats and MPs, as well as representatives of international NGOs and a multitude of representatives of the media and the international press.