Arms pass between Algeria and Morocco in the Committee on Decolonization

The Special Committee on Decolonization held a new meeting on Monday as part of its 2022 session. The UN Committee thus approved two related draft resolutions, while postponing the consideration of its annual draft resolution on “disseminating information on decolonization”. At the meeting, several issues were addressed, including Western Sahara. The meeting was particularly marked by another exchange of accusations between Morocco and Algeria on this issue.

During his speech, the ambassador representing Algeria at the UN pointed to “the inertia in the decolonization of the last colony in Africa”, which would have “increased tensions in the region and caused a” feeling of defeat “in the Sahrawi people.”.

“Intellectual terrorism” and attempts to “bilateralize” the conflict

Mohamed Ennadir Larbaoui insisted on the latter’s “right” to “self-determination” and condemned “the colonial fait accompli imposed on the Sahrawis with the help of certain external parties”. “We are dealing with the annexation of a territory and the hegemony imposed on a people by force,” he added.

The declaration was not to the liking of the ambassador representing Morocco at the UN. In his speech, Omar Hilale reaffirmed that “Algeria is undermining Morocco’s territorial integrity”, adding that Algeria is largely responsible for this conflict. He also recalled the Security Council’s appeal to Algeria to participate in other roundtables and cooperation with the Secretary – General’s envoy, adding that Algiers’ refusal to participate in the roundtable after the first two is a violation of international standards.

As usual, the handover of weapons continued during the exercise of the right of reply. In this sense, the representative of Algeria criticized Omar Hilale for addressing a topic “which goes beyond the topics under consideration, instead of having a responsible debate on the topic of the day”. “The representative of Morocco is behaving as if his solution was the only one and that there could be no one else,” he said, adding that it is a “clear negation of the UN resolutions and the mission of the Special Committee”.

For his part, Omar Hilale accused Algeria of practicing “intellectual terrorism” and “destabilizing” the Maghreb, while claiming that it is not a party and describing Tindouf as “open-air prisons” for the Sahrawis in the camps. To which Mohamed Ennadir Larbaoui responded by accusing the kingdom of carrying out a “strategy” to “bilateralize” the Sahara conflict.

Self-determination vs. autonomy for the Sahara

During the same meeting, the Polisario Front, through its representative in the UN, Sidi Mohamed Omar, highlighted “the serious violations of the rights of the people of Western Sahara”. To support its dissertation, the movement appealed to several representatives of Sahrawi and international NGOs, such as Fatimetu Bachir Jatri Emhamed or Ahmed Mohamed Fall, of the Collective of Sahrawi Defenders of Human Rights in Western Sahara, who confirmed that the “Sahrawi people” would be “victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”.

Morocco, for its part, mobilized its elected representatives in the Sahara. Ghalla Bahiya, spokesman for the Regional Council of Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab in Western Sahara, thus noted the growing awareness in the international community of Morocco’s legitimate autonomy initiative for Western Sahara, while M’Hamed Abba, speaking on behalf of the Regional Council of Laayoune- Sakia El Hamra, returned to the recent election, which had “confirmed the connection of the Sahrawis” to Morocco.

The Touria Hmyene, from the Association for the Freedom of Women Sequestered in the Tindouf camps, pointed to “the suffering of the camp residents” and “the daily forced disappearances, rape, torture and other serious human rights violations” in Tindouf. Violations also mentioned by Mohamed Ayad Saleck from the Khat Achahid organization.

Ambassadors representing countries that recognize and support “SADR”, such as Venezuela and Nicaragua, were also called upon to help, while others who supported Morocco’s territorial integrity, such as Yemen and Jordan, defended the autonomy plan proposed by the kingdom.

Leave a Comment