Western Sahara occupied, Africa re-colonised

Published on Pambazuka News, by Malainin Lakhal, Feb 27, 2013.

In introducing this second special issue on the occupied Western Sahara in Pambazuka News, Malainin Lakhal argues that it is a subject that should concern all Africans, and all actors who know that Africa can never rise up as a Union or as a future power unless it jointly struggles for its freedom from poverty, ignorance, re-colonisation, foreign exploitation, internal rivalry, and lack of communication between all its peoples and elite … //

… THE LAST COLONY OF AFRICA MUST BE FREE:

The objective of this second special issue on the conflict of Western Sahara is not the result of a simple opportunity to cover one of the hottest conflicts on the modern political arena. It is rather a well thought-out and carefully discussed step towards communicating to readers some of the international legal facts, political theory debates, and on-the-ground realities relating to the last colony in Africa. It is thus a subject that should concern all Africans, and all actors who know that Africa can never rise up as a Union or as a future power unless it jointly struggles for its freedom from poverty, ignorance, re-colonisation, foreign exploitation, internal rivalry, and lack of communication between all its peoples and elite. Africa needs to build its model for the future on the basis of a conscious awareness about the huge potential it has, and above all its human resources.

This second special issue presents some new aspects and discussions of the conflict in Western Sahara. It cannot of course cover everything, but it offers a lot of interesting questions, ideas and facts to those who would like to know better what is at stake in the region. What is at stake is that the international legal order seems to be so easily violated and purposely manipulated by certain international actors, especially Morocco. Morocco could not continue its illegal occupation of Western Sahara and defy more than 100 United Nations resolutions unless it had a mysterious green light from Uncle Paris, and an even more mysterious complicity from other countries such as the US. But above all a criminal and immoral support from multinationals and international trade that does not care about the violation of the Saharawi people’s right over their own natural resources. Readers can read this history of the Western Sahara conflict in the article submitted by Aluat Hamudi, a Saharawi Master’s student.

EXAMINING COMPLEX ISSUES: … //

… VIOLATING THE RIGHTS OF A PEOPLE:

The phenomenon of the massive and systematic violations of human rights in Western Sahara is another major aspect treated in this issue. It is a phenomenon because it is strikingly obvious that the Moroccan authorities of occupation are blatantly violating all internationally recognized rights, freedoms and liberties in this colony, while the international community seems to be wilfully turning a blind eye on this fact. All international human rights organizations, without a single exception, including the UN High Office of Human rights in addition to governments, parliaments, political parties, trade unions and civil society actors, have been denouncing the many human rights violations committed against Saharawi civilians in the occupied zones of Western Sahara. Konstantina Isidoros has provided a summary about the 17 February 2013 news of the Moroccan military tribunal of 25 Saharawi human rights activists and provides readers with links to the world-wide campaign groups who have spoken against the military sentencing of civilians.

Yet in the 40 years since Morocco’s illegal invasion of Western Sahara, the UN Security Council seems to be unable to adopt a simple resolution to mandate the UN peacekeeping mission (MINURSO) in the territory to monitor and protect Saharawi civilians from the Moroccan oppression and humiliation. MINURSO is in fact the only UN peacekeeping mission in the world without a Human Rights component and this is ‘thanks’ to the French refusal in the UN Security Council to allow such a decision to be taken. Both the UK based Western Sahara Campaign and Vivian Solana (also a PhD researcher) share their updates with us on this imminent renewal of the MINURSO mandate, and Salah Mohammed provides an insight of what happened when Christopher Ross, the UN special envoy, came for the first time to El Aaiun in Western Sahara in early November 2012.

THE CULTURAL DIMENSION TO STRUGGLE: … //

… (full text).

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