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Malainin Lakhal: Ban Kimoon’s report is a blatant disregard of the dangerous human rights situation in Western Sahara




In reaction to the UN Secretary General’s latest report on Western Sahara, the Secretary General of the Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union, Malainin Lakhal, estimated that the report was “a blatant disregard of the dangerous human rights situation in Western Sahara, and a complete ignorance of the core issues of decolonisation”.

Mr. Lakhal added in a statement to UPES website on Saturday that “despite the shy attempt to address the question of human rights by expressing concerns, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon failed to meet the deep concerns expressed by all international human rights organisations, which were clear in denouncing the Moroccan flagrant human rights violations. He even failed to approach the subject in a way that could serve the staled peaceful process in Western Sahara, and didn’t have the courage to recognise the responsibility of his organisation in the failure of the decolonisation of Western Sahara”.

“Worse, the Saharawi journalist adds, reading the report one may think that the two parties to the conflict are equally responsible in these violations! And this should be openly condemned, because it is unacceptable that the UN Secretary General tries to put the criminal and the victim in the same basket, while the reason and facts should have made him focus on the party that is hindering the implementation of the international legality, occupying a country by the use of force and more is perpetrating flagrant human rights abuses every single day under the sight of the inert UN Mission on the ground”.

Malainin Lakhal asserted that the report has “faithfully satisfied” the claims of Morocco, estimating that the Secretary General has “apparently succumbed to the Moroccan and French pressures”.

The Saharawi journalist wondered “what’s the use of such report? What’s the benefit the Saharawis would get from respecting their international engagement and from positively cooperating with the UN if all what they will get are empty reports and unimplemented resolutions? Worse, it seems that UN documents are taking us each time faraway from the core of the problem, which remains decolonisation, self-determination and referendum to minimize the subject to humanitarian issues and real politic”.

He further estimated that Saharawis and their supporters assume a great part of the responsibility in this situation and have to “understand that the ball is in their field now, and that the UN and the so-called international community only understand the language of pressures, balance of power and interests, and this means that Saharawis have got to look inward, and see if they are playing the cards in their hands the way they should.”

Asked about the relevance of resuming armed struggle at this stage, the SG of UPES estimated that the “option of resuming war should remain a possible one since it is a legitimate way to defend and recover rights in accordance with the international law, but I think we can recover our rights and compel the Moroccans and their allies to respect and implement the international legality if we succeeded to use all the cards we have in hands, such as human rights, natural resources, popular diplomacy, and improving and strengthening our internal front, and imposing the Saharawi Republic as a definitive reality”.

“Morocco is a colonial regime, a feudal undemocratic one that is successfully putting masks to hide its hideous face, but did we succeed to isolate it internationally? We should work to isolate it as the South African networks succeeded to isolate the Apartheid regime in the eighties, but to succeed this we have seriously to reconsider our strategy, to reorganise our priorities and to rebuild the international network of solidarity, which is badly dismantled and disorganised. And we should have the courage to do that”.