EGP Resolution adopted at the 32nd EGP Council, 2-6 December 2020
For an EU that acts in support of peace and the right to self-determination in Western Sahara
The military operation by Morocco on the 13th Nov in the village of Al Guerguerat in Western Sahara, and the subsequent end to the ceasefire that had been in force since 1991 by Frente Polisario has brought the military mobilisation of hundreds of men from the Sahrawi refugee camps located in Algeria.
The confrontations between Morocco and Polisario have also escalated; there have been several clashes, though no civilian casualties have been reported. The pressure on local human rights activists and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination has increased, Amnesty International reported.
In May 2015 “On Freedom for Western Sahara” resolution was adopted by the European Green Party during its 22nd Council. Five years after the approval of this resolution, we not only have to regret that the vast majority of their demands have not yet been realized, but we can admit the collapse of the ceasefire in the area.
The Sahrawi people have been carrying a tragedy since 1975, year in which the Kingdom of Morocco occupied its territories. Multiple UN resolutions recognize the right of the Sahrawi people to decide their future freely and to seek a peaceful solution that involves its free exercise to culminate the unfinished process of decolonization by the Spanish authorities. In recent years, the EU Court of Justice has recalled that neither the EU nor any of the EU Member States has recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara and that the latter must be considered as a separate and distinct territory for which any deal must secure the prior consent of the Sahrawi people. Regrettably, the EU institutions and the Member States appear to have blatantly failed to comply with these rulings.
Since the time of the occupation, regular illegal detentions by the authorities of Morocco to Sahrawi activists and human rights defenders are a common practice. In this context, at the beginning of last November, the Moroccan army violently repressed a peaceful demonstration of Saharawi activists who were blocking the illegal passage of Guerguerat, to later enter the territory controlled by the Polisario Front.
Thus, with this interference by the Moroccan army, the UN-brokered ceasefire established in 1991 has been broken. Fact which must be considered a flagrant breach of the agreement between Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco, and constitutes a direct attack against the Sahrawi people.
For these reasons, the European Green Party calls urgently to the European Union and its member countries to:
1. Reaffirm the solidarity and support of the European Green Party with the Sahrawi people, in their just struggle for their legitimate rights, and to firmly condemn all human rights violations A fair referendum on the self-determination of Western Sahara needs to be conducted without delay;
2. Reiterate that the problem of Western Sahara is an unfinished process of Spanish decolonization that must be resolved in accordance with international law;
3. Adopt an ambitious strategy for enhanced EU action in support of the UN efforts to reach a just and sustainable solution to the conflict and to appoint an EU Special Representative for Western Sahara;
4. Adopt a strict policy of non-recognition of Morocco’s annexation of Western Sahara, across its sectorial cooperation and technical assistance with Morocco, in line with EU policy positions and international law”;
5. Through its High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, firmly condemn the act of aggression and the human rights violations by Morocco in the territory of Western Sahara; call on both conflicting parties to immediately cease their military escalation and to return to a cease-fire; urge both parties to resume political dialogue under the UN aegis, with the support of regional actors including Mauritania and Algeria, in order to reach a long-term settlement of the conflict 6 Call upon the Moroccan authorities to release all political prisoners and guarantee free access of the occupied territories of international observers and the media;
7. Support Saharawi civil society organizations and human rights defenders in the occupied territories and in the refugee camps;
8.Renew the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
(MINURSO) to ensure that the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara is granted a mandate to monitor and ensure the respect for human rights in the occupied territories and that a new UN Special Envoy is appointed as a matter of urgency;
9. Suspend bilateral fisheries and trade deals with the Kingdom of Morocco which encompass the territory, products, services and resources of Western Sahara; secure the consent of the Sahrawi people in future agreements with the territory; remind companies of their obligation to comply with international law.