(News of The Sahara)
Western Sahara Mission Newsletter. N°5, 10 March 2002
T: 020 89 64 52 11, Mob: 44 (0) 7905723136
The Sahrawis are determined to take as much time as is needed to defend their right to independence and justice
Those who think that after three decades, the struggle of the Sahrawi People is a lost cause must be disillusioned. The UN Secretary General_s proposals, contained in his recent report to the Security Council, testify that it is indeed vain to ignore the national rights of the Sahrawi people in seeking any political solution to the Western Sahara conflict.
First, Mr. Kofi Annan and his Personal Envoy James Baker have maintained the UN-OAU peace plan as the first option and as a valid solution to the Western Sahara decolonisation issue, which is welcomed by the Frente POLISARIO and the Sahrawi Government.
The second proposal, regarding the modification of the draft Framework-Agreement shows that a solution which does not take the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence seriously cannot have any chance of success.
The third proposal deals with the partition of the territory between the Sahrawi Republic and Morocco. Even if it concerns the arbitrary sharing of the territory with the aggressor, the Moroccan occupier -- which is unacceptable - it has nevertheless the merit of recognising the right of the Sahrawi people to independence. However it must be reminded that full and entire sovereignty over Western Sahara belongs to the Sahrawi people alone; Morocco is only the occupying power which must consequently withdraw sooner or later from the Sahrawi territories which it is occupying illegally.
The fourth and last proposal, if chosen, will prove the impotence of the UN faced with the intransigent and arrogant attitude of Morocco. A member state of the UN, acting like a superpower, Morocco is allowed to get away with failing to implement the decisions of the Security Council and those of the General Assembly on the Western Sahara issue, particularly those relating to the 1991 UN Peace Plan.
We call upon the Government and public opinion of UK, and the international community and urge them to continue their support for the UN-OAU Peace Plan, which is the democratic way to bring about the decolonisation of the last remaining colony in Africa. The Sahrawi people should decide their own fate through a free, fair and transparent referendum. It is very important to remember that the settlement of the Western Sahara issue must involve the respect of the Sahrawi people's Right to self-determination, independence and justice. The Sahrawis are resolutely determined to take as much time as is needed to defend this right. (Akhbar Es-Sahra)
The UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara,
James Baker III, has stated that an independent Sahrawi state would
be "viable" and would contribute to the creation of "stability"
in the Maghreb region. Baker generally has been perceived to favour
the Moroccan view to the conflict. Baker had been interviewed by the
UN Security Council after presenting several new proposals for a new
approach to the conflict over the Western Sahara territory in a
report together with the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
The Council's discussions on Western Sahara on Wednesday 27 February ended in the decision to extend for two months the UN mission (MINURSO). Within these two months, the Security Council will decide whether to abandon the territory "due to the lack of progress" after an 11-years engagement or take on wider powers to require "that one or the other or both of the parties do something that they do not wish to voluntarily agree to do" (Annan).
James Baker, earlier defending proposals of Moroccan origin, this week told the Spanish newspaper 'El País' he indeed believed in an independent Sahrawi Republic. He said he had told the Security Council he estimated that a "Sahrawi state within the old Spanish colony would be viable and would contribute to the stability of the Maghreb." (Afrol News 2 Mar. 2002)
>> The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) decided (12.02.2002) to recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as an Independent and Sovereign State, and to raise the diplomatic relation and the co-operation between the two countries to a maximum level. The Old French colony, English since the 17th century, has been independent since 1979. The archipelago of 32 islands which counts approximately 120.000 inhabitants is member of the UNO, the Commonwealth and the Organization of the American States (OAS). (SPS 15/02/02)
>> The 26th anniversary of SADR (27 February 2002) was celebrated in the wilaya of Smara (Sahrawi refugee camps). It was marked by the presence of the President of Algeria, accompanied by a delegation comprising the Minister of the Moudjahidines and two presidential counsellors. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, warmly welcomed by the population, was received by President Mohamed Abdelaziz at the entrance to the wilaya. The two heads of state reviewed a detachment of the Sahrawi Army of Liberation and had one-to-one talks. The Algerian President also met Sahrawi civil and military authorities, and afterwards visited the centre of the Sahrawi Red Crescent, the family of the martyr Abdi Ould Mohamed, before inspecting a specialised centre for rehabilitation of handicapped children. The Algerian head of state then went to the MINURSO office near Tindouf.
The president Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, addressed the
following message to the members of the national consultative council
and to the civil and military authorities of the Democratic Sahraoui
"Still happy to meet you and appreciating the warm sentiments of fraternity with which you showed to me, I would like to say to you how was my pride so big to share with you the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the proclamation of the Democratic Sahraoui Arab republic. I would also like to express all my pride about its noticeable success to witness a big international acknowledgement and its clairvoyant attitude with the international instances charged of the questions of decolonisation and self-determination of peoples. I also express my satisfaction to see the international instances, that are the most representatives of the international community and the international legality, showing a sense of responsibility displayed by the Sahraoui people leadership and its attachment to co-operation and dialogue as a means and civilisation process of decolonisation of its territories. It is an exemplary behaviour that the POLISARIO front and its leadership showed by adopting the way of peace and by remaining attached to the UN peace plan and to efforts aiming to find a peaceful solution to this fair question which is the Sahraoui issue.
The Algerian people which never accepted the blackmail in its support to fair causes and which had always backed the struggles of colonised peoples would in any case be missing from this duty towards the brotherly Sahraoui people. Algeria remains faithful to its history and to its origins and would not admit the fait accompli whatever its form and its origin would be. And as we were, in the past confident about the results of our war of liberation and of the inevitable triumph of fair causes over the world, we are confident today that the struggle of the brotherly Sahraoui people we led to victory. The Sahraoui cause is not a file we fold once an obstruction appears or by lack of attention, and is not at all a momentary problem where we pass in silence the rights of its owners. It is the cause of a whole people which claims its legitimate right to self-determination, as it is that of any person who backs the international legality and believes in the peaceful solution. Moreover, Algeria, President, government and people, reiterate its support to your fair cause and assures you about its full support for a fair and lasting solution that guarantees the right of the Sahraoui people to self-determination, far of all political, military or administrative constraints.
Whatever it would be, Algeria rejects all solutions that do not satisfy the Sahraoui people to that would be a strengthening of the fait accompli, and condemn all approaches rending to deceive the international public opinion on the real data of the Western Sahara conflict which is and will remain, no more and no less, a cause of decolonisation.
We remain convinced that the settling down of the Sahraoui cause in keeping with the decisions of UN and the security council and notably, the principles of UN charter relating to self-determination of people, will serve the interest of all, and will be in this way a cement that would consolidate the Arab Maghreb Union we are working to build on solid bases. Undoubtedly, it would also contribute to reinforcing security and stability at the service of the Maghreb peoples and at the service of good neighbouring and co-operation. I reiterate the indestructible support of Algeria and wish you more acquisitions on the way of carrying out the objectives of the brotherly Sahraoui people to self-determination within transparency and clarity. [Aps 01/03/02 17:16:54]
President Mohamed Abdelaziz of SADR wrote to President of the UN
Security council :
I am writing to you to express our serious concern and indignation as to the announced visit of Mohamed VI, king of Morocco, to the Territory of Western Sahara. Mohamed VI is acting in disregard to International law by renewing personally with the colonial, warlike and expansionist policy which the kingdom of Morocco has been pursuing since 1975 in Western Sahara, in violation of the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination and independence.
Far from heeding the repeated calls of the International community, this provocative and unwelcome expedition is a new step in the wrong direction, recidivist of the adventurous spirit of defiance and territorial aggrandizement of the bygone Moroccan sultans. At a time when the International Community is redoubling its peace efforts, the visit of the Moroccan king to our Territory constitutes a very serious escalation and a direct defiance to the Security Council which has just called on the parties to "refrain from any unilateral act" that may endanger peace in the region. I therefore urge the Security Council to take all necessary measures to put and end to this dangerous escalation so as to preclude our region from a new conflagration. With my highest considerations. (Bir- Lehlu, March 4, 2002)
>> Sahrawi Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Ould Salek called on France today to play a constructive role and to Contribute towards finding a just and final solution to the conflict in the Western Sahara, thus ensuring the return of stability and peace to the region. The Saharan foreign affairs minister recalled in this context the statement of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman last Friday [1 March] in which he stressed that France supported the efforts of the UN secretary-general and those of his personal envoy in Western Sahara, James Baker, after the UN Security Council had approved the resolution to extend the Minurso [the UN mission for a referendum in the [Western] Sahara] task until 30 April.(4.3.02)
UN Secretary General's Report on Western Sahara (19 February 2002)
: Observations and recommendations
Despite their assertions to the contrary, the parties have not been willing to fully cooperate with the United Nations either to implement the settlement plan or to try to negotiate a political solution that will bring about an early, durable and agreed resolution of their dispute over Western Sahara.
As indicated in my report of June 2001 (S/2001/613, para. 52), my Personal Envoy is of the view, on the basis of the assessment of the United Nations work over the past 10 years in trying to implement the settlement plan, including the almost five years during which he has been involved, that it is highly unlikely that the settlement plan can be implemented in its present form in a way that it will achieve an early, durable and agreed resolution of the dispute over Western Sahara.
My Personal Envoy is of the view that, notwithstanding indications from Morocco of a willingness to negotiate, it is pointless to pursue at this time, except as provided in paragraph 49 below, any more discussion on the draft framework agreement, as neither the Government of Algeria nor the Frente POLISARIO is willing to engage in discussing it.
My Personal Envoy is also of the view that, notwithstanding indications from Algeria and the Frente POLISARIO of a willingness to negotiate a possible division of the Territory, it is pointless to pursue at this time any such discussions, except in the manner provided in paragraph 50 below, as the Government of Morocco is unwilling to discuss such an approach, even though it reached a similar agreement with the Government of Mauritania in 1976. I concur with the views of my Personal Envoy as expressed in paragraphs 44, 45 and the present paragraph.
We are currently faced with a rather bleak situation with regard to the future of the peace process in Western Sahara. My Personal Envoy and I believe there are four options for consideration by the Security Council in the light of the above pessimistic but realistic assessment.
As a first option, the United Nations could, once again, resume trying to implement the settlement plan, but without requiring the concurrence of both parties before action could be taken. This effort would begin with the appeals process but, even under this nonconsensual approach, the United Nations would in the years ahead face most of the problems and obstacles that it has faced during the past 10 years. Morocco has expressed unwillingness to go forward with the settlement plan; the United Nations might not be able to hold a free and fair referendum whose results would be accepted by both sides; and there would still be no mechanism to enforce the results of the referendum. Under this option, the Identification Commission of MINURSO would be reinforced and indeed the overall size of the operation would be increased.
As a second option, my Personal Envoy could undertake to revise the draft framework agreement, taking into account the concerns expressed by the parties and others with experience in such documents. However, in this event, my Personal Envoy would not seek the concurrence of the parties as has been done in the past with respect to the settlement plan and the draft framework agreement. The revised framework agreement would be submitted to the Security Council, and the Council would then present it to the parties on a non-negotiable basis. Should the Security Council agree to this option, MINURSO could be downsized further.
As a third option, the Security Council could ask my Personal Envoy to explore with the parties one final time whether or not they would now be willing to discuss, under his auspices, directly or through proximity talks, a possible division of the Territory, with the understanding that nothing would be decided until everything was decided. Were the Security Council to choose this option, in the event that the parties would be unwilling or unable to agree upon a division of the Territory by 1 November 2002, my Personal Envoy would also be asked to thereafter show to the parties a proposal for division of the Territory that would also be presented to the Security Council. The Council would present this proposal to the parties on a non-negotiable basis. This approach to a political solution would give each party some, but not all, of what it wants and would follow the precedent, but not necessarily the same territorial arrangements, of the division agreed to in 1976 between Morocco and Mauritania. Were the Security Council to choose this option, MINURSO could be maintained at its present size, or it could be reduced even more.
As a fourth option, the Security Council could decide to terminate MINURSO, thereby recognizing and acknowledging that after more than 11 years and the expenditure of sums of money nearing half a billion dollars, the United Nations is not going to solve the problem of Western Sahara without requiring that one or the other or both of the parties do something that they do not wish to voluntarily agree to do.
I am aware that none of the above-mentioned options will appear ideal to all the parties and interested countries. In order to give the Security Council time to decide, I recommend that the mandate of MINURSO be extended for two months, until 30 April 2002.
Security Council resolution 1349 (2002) adopted on 27 February
The Security Council,
- Reaffirming its previous resolutions on the question of Western Sahara and its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution,
- Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General of 19 February 2002 (S/2002/178),
1. Decides, as recommended by the Secretary-General in his report of 19 February 2002, to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 30 April 2002 and to consider actively the options described in his report, addressing this issue in its programme of work;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the situation before the end of the present mandate;
3. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
>> Sahrawi reaction to the UN Secretary General report to the UN Security Council : President Mohamed Abdelaziz of SADR welcomed the UN report on the Western Sahara and declared to the Spanish ABC : "Of the four possible solutions the UN has presented in its latest report, which considers the calling of a referendum [on self-determination] the priority option, we continue to insist that the Sahrawi people need to be consulted about their future. The referendum is our first priority as far as options go. The government of the SADR has a positive attitude towards this latest report, not only because the referendum is the best option for finding a peaceful solution to the conflict, but also because, for the first time in 11 years, it [the report] has acknowledged the difficulty in reaching any agreement at all because of the Moroccan stance. (ABC, 1. Mar. 2002)
As part of a Europe wide day of action on Wednesday 27th February,
the UK Western Sahara Campaign handed over a letter to the
Spanish Embassy in London requesting urgent meeting. Spain currently
holds the Presidency of the European Union and the WSC UK wants to
discuss with the Spanish Ambassador ways in which Spain could move
the UN peace process forward in Western Sahara. Spain as the former
colonial power has a special interest in resolving this long running
destabilising conflict on the borders of Europe.
Recent legal rulings confirm that the UN and International Court of Justice do not recognise Morocco's annexation of the territory in 1975 (amid political confusion in Spain after the death of Franco), and this leaves Spain, as the former colonial power, legally responsible for the territory. The UN Bureau of Legal Affairs has recently ruled that any exploitation of these oil resources without the consent of the Sahrawi people would be illegal. "This reminds us that Morocco's claim has no standing in international law. Spain is still technically the administering power", said Mark Luetchford, Chair of the Western Sahara Campaign. "As current president of the EU it has a historic opportunity to lead Europe towards a speedy solution of this conflict which has gone on far too long. Clear and positive leadership in the EU from the former colonial power could be the very thing that is needed to end the stalemate in the process leading to a referendum of self-determination for the Sahrawi people." (Arso, 27.02.02)
Twenty-three Republicans and Democrats Members of Congress of the
United States sent on 15 February 2002, the following letter to
President George W. Bush:
"Dear Mr . President
We are writing today out of increasing concern over the continued delay in holding referendum over Western Sahara . A resolution to the 26 &endash; year &endash;old conflict continues to be stalled due to apparent lack of political will on the part of the United Nations to follow through on implementing the United Nations settlement Plan and the Houston Accords . We are deeply concerned that the authority of the UN to up hold international human rights norms and implement agreements will be undermined to an even greater extent by further delay . We urge you and other Administration officials to lead the way in ensuring that the right to self- determination for the people of Western Sahara is no longer violated .
As you know , the international court of justice ruled in 1975 n support of the people of Western Sahara to self &endash; determination and against claims of the Kingdom of Morocco over the territory . The United Nations Settlement Plan between the parties of Morocco and Western Sahara calls a for free , fair ,and transparent referendum in which the people of the territory of Western Sahara will choose between independence or integration into the Kingdom of Morocco . Unfortunately , the fact that United Nations has not implemented the settlement Plan and Houston Accords , and that Morocco has changed its position and created various obstacles to the referendum means that the people of Western Sahara continue to suffer in refugee camps or in areas under Moroccan control in which they are oppressed by the Moroccan police and security officials .
In addition , we are very disturbed by reports of the Moroccan Government signing contracts with foreign companies for exploration of resources in the territory of Western Sahara . It is important to note that the United Nations legal opinion on these economic actions in Western Sahara , an opinion sent by the UN legal Department to the UN Security Council , states that Morocco does not have sovereignty over Western Sahara nor rights of legal administration . Further , the Opinion underlines that any exploration of the Western Sahara without the consent of the people of Western Sahara is in violation of international law .
Mr . President , as Americans , we are proud of our forefathers historic struggle for freedom and self- determination . It is vital that our government uphold and support this standard for all people , not just for the people of United States . Otherwise , our very foundation as a nation will be undermined .
We urge you , Mr . President , to press the UN Security Council to ensure that the UN Settlement Plan for the Western Sahara and the Houston Accords , signed under the auspices of secretary James Baker , be respected and implemented without delay and the right of the indigenous people of Western Sahara to self &endash; determination no longer be violated .
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter , We look forward to hearing from you and to continuing to work with you as we fight to protect freedom and fundamental human rights around the world ".
Oil contracts - In an article entitled "The European Union, concerned
by dubious manoeuvres of the United States and France in the
Sahara", the Spanish weekly Tiempo de Hoy reveals that the EU
suspects the USA of having agreed with Morocco in 1996 an investment
plan in Western Sahara, and denounces the alliance between the USA,
France and Morocco on the exploitation of oil resources in the
Taking account of the close links of James Baker with the oil sector, the journalist raises questions on the integrity of the personal representative of Kofi Annan and on the role of the United States in the search for a solution to the conflict. In this context, the Baker plan, supported by France and the USA, proposing a pseudo-autonomy of the Sahara within Morocco, would give the green light to American-French multinationals to exploit the natural resources of the region. The journalist also leaves us to understand that the Spanish position in favour of the referendum and against the autonomy plan left the oil company Repsol, which is also interested in Saharan oil, with no share of the resources. According to the Canary Islands daily, La Provincia, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, asked the Moroccan authorities to respect the UN legal opinion concerning oil prospecting in Western Sahara and to suspend permits given to TotalFinaElf and Kerr McGee.(Arso, 14.02.02)
>> Second Sahara Marathon The start at the wilaya of Smara (Refugee camps) was given by the Prime Minister accompanied by the Minister of Culture and Sport and regional authorities. Over 500 athletes of 12 nationalities started the race. "We want through sport to uphold the legitimate rights of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence and ensure the complete success of this race which will happen every year", declared the German, Fingernagel, international coordinator of the Marathon. The main race was won by the Italian Vicenzo Castellano, 42 in 3 hours and 13 minutes, while his wife, Rosa Maria Manari, came first among the women. A student from the University of St Jacques de Compostella, Miguel Abel Sauto, 32 won the half-marathon in 1 hour 30 minutes. His compatriot from the same University, Angeles Dopazo Martinez won the women's half-marathon in 1 hour 48 minutes. The winners of the 10 km were an Algerian student, Tergui Mohamed and the Italian Anna Maria Coreggiari. (SPS, 25.02.02).
>> United Kingdom, Parliament: Several MPs put questions to the minister responsible for the issue of Western Sahara, Ben Bradshaw who reaffirmed the British position of support for James Baker in order to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict. (25.02.02)
The Moroccan Foreign minister Mr. Mohamed Benaïssa paid a
visit to UK the 21st and 22nd of February 2002. This visit took
place some days before the first meeting of the Moroccan-British
Business Council held on 28 February in London. On this occasion, the
POLISARIO Front and the Sahrawi Government have recalled the illegal
presence of Morocco in Western Sahara since 1975, date of the
Moroccan military invasion - in violation of international law - of
the former Spanish Sahara, now the last remaining colony in
They urge Her Majesty's Government to remind Morocco of the necessity to respect the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination through a free, fair and transparent referendum, according to the 1991 UN-OAU Settlement Plan, the 1997 Houston agreements, the verdict of the International Court of Justice of 16 October 1975 and the conclusions of the UN Legal Opinion of 29 January 2002.
The Sahrawis also recalled that any trade with Morocco concerning arms will be certainly used to strengthen the position of the Moroccan army in Western Sahara and will encourage Morocco to continue its illegal occupation of Western Sahara and its refusal to implement the UN-OAU Peace Plan. The desire of some British circles to increase trade with Morocco should not make UK act in contradiction with its role as a Permanent member of the UN Security Council, responsible for peace and stability in the world.
Letter from the Frente POLISARIO to the President of the UN Security Council
Prior to the Security Council informal consultations on the legal opinion remitted on January 29, 2002 by His Excellency Hans Corell, the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, on the legality of contracts between the Kingdom of Morocco and the two companies, Kerr McGee and TotalFinaElf, for oil exploration in the territorial seas of Western Sahara, I would like to call your attention to the following:
1. The POLISARIO Front notes and welcomes the clear and proper recognition in paragraphs 6 and 7 of the legal opinion that the Kingdom of Morocco does not have the legal status of an administering Power in Western Sahara. Paragraph 6 recalls that the 1975 Madrid Agreement between Spain, Morocco and Mauritania "did not transfer sovereignty over the territory, nor did it confer upon any of the signatories the status of an administering Power"; nor did it "affect the international status of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory." Paragraph 7 reaffirms that the Kingdom of Morocco "is not listed as the administering Power of the territory in the United Nations list of Non Self-Governing Territories, and has, therefore, not transmitted information on the territory in accordance with Article 73(e) of the United Nations Charter."
2. The POLISARIO Front takes note of the recognition by Mr. Corell in paragraph14 that the preeminent issue in the present case is the principle of "permanent sovereignty" of the people of Western Sahara over natural resources in the Territory. The legal question framed by Mr. Corell in paragraphs 14 and 21 is "whether the principle of permanent sovereignty' prohibits any activities related to natural resources undertaken by an administering power in a Non-Self-Governing Territory, or only those which are undertaken in disregard of the needs, interests and benefits of the people of that territory." Mr. Corell concludes that international legal principles and State practice "supports the latter conclusion."
3. However, Mr. Corell_s conclusion in paragraph 25 - that the contracts for exploration in the present case "are not in themselves illegal" - seems to assume that Morocco is the legal Administering power, an assumption that contradicts what is stated in paragraphs 6 and 7. Mr. Corell reached his conclusion by distinguishing between the legality of contracts for oil exploration and contracts for oil exploitation. Clearly, that distinction is not relevant to the present case because the analysis supporting the distinction is based on legal principles and State practice that apply solely to administering Powers.
4. Morocco, as stated in paragraph 6, is not the Administering power. Therefore, it has no legal authority to enter into contracts to determine the fate of mineral resources in Western Sahara and, as a result, the contracts signed with Kerr McGee and TotalFinaElf for oil exploration should be rendered null and void.
5. Furthermore, at this very crucial stage in the peace process, the involvement of foreign economic interests will make it more difficult for the United Nations to successfully overcome the obstacles that are currently hindering the peace process. Morocco should not be permitted to benefit from obstructing the peace process, nor should it be allowed to take unilateral actions, which are a clear violation of international legality.
6. Any action by the Security Council to legitimise or sanction the contracts would set a precedent that not only is inconsistent with international law, but also would send an alarming message: that it is allegedly permissible to conspire or contract to commit illegal activities, until those activities have been consummated. In other words, it could be used to justify the unacceptable notion that a stranger may enter a home, in concert with another stranger, to search for valuables for sale, so long as the intruder does not physically remove any property. The danger in such a scenario is reflected in the basic legal principles that a contract for illegal purposes is void as a violation of public policy, and that a conspiracy to commit an unlawful act is itself unlawful.
7. Mr. Corell's conclusion that exploration contracts are not themselves illegal is based on a fictional distinction between the exploration and exploitation stages of mineral resource development, and is inconsistent with the spirit of recent actions by the Security Council to terminate the illegal control over and trade in natural resources of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.
8. The lawful exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in Western Sahara by third parties can only be initiated on the basis of negotiations with the legitimate authorities of the territory; such negotiations may only proceed after full and fair implementation of the referendum plan for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, under the organization and supervision of the United Nations.
9. Against this background, the POLISARIO Front considers that it is not only timely and relevant but also essential for the Security Council to take all necessary measures to ensure that the parties to the oil exploration contracts in Western Sahara do not proceed to execute said contracts, and instead await the outcome of the political process and referendum for self-determination. This is the only path to a just and lasting peace, one that respects the inalienable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and sovereignty over natural resources in Western Sahara. I would appreciate if you could bring the content of this letter to the attention of the Members of the Council I avail myself of this opportunity to express to you my highest consideration. (Ahmed Boukhari, Representative of the Frente POLISARIO to the United Nations New York, February 18, 2000
need your support
to free Western Sahara,
the last remaining colony in Africa
from Moroccan occupation !