New York, June 8, 2011 (MAP)
New York, June 8, 2011 (MAP)
“Morocco met its human rights obligations unlike other parties, who continue to resort to equivocation”, Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri said on Tuesday at the end of the 7th round of the UN-sponsored informal talks on the Sahara in Manhasset.
“Morocco met its obligations and was commended for that,” the Moroccan official told reporters, deploring that Algeria and the polisario fell short of fulfilling their obligations, notably in terms of carrying out a head-count of the population held against their will in Tindouf camps (south-western Algeria).
In this regard, Fassi Fihri made it clear that any refugee has the right to be registered and hold an UNHCR identification card, which entitles him or her to an individual interview to guarantee the right to return to the homeland.
“The situation in Tindouf can no longer be tolerated or tolerable,” he underlined, deploring that, at a time when Arab populations are setting themselves free from the yoke of several dictatorships, the population sequestered in the polisario-run camps continue to be subject to ideological indoctrination.
Fassi Fihri stressed the need for the population in the camps to express their views feely and be registered, deploring that these rights were never upheld.
In this respect, the Moroccan official said that the Kingdom welcomed that “for the first time, a Security Council Resolution insistently raised the obligation of Algeria to allow the implementation of registration,” noting that, by the same token, all the parties were called upon to fulfill their human rights obligations.
In this regard, Fassi Fihri recalled that the Security Council welcomed the establishment by the Kingdom of the National Council on Human Rights (CNDH) and its local component as well as the inter-ministerial delegate for human rights.
He called on the international community and NGOs to investigate the human rights situation in the camps of Tindouf and put an end to the denial of the freedom of expression and movement of the sequestered population, notably the youth.
“The international community and competent UN bodies are called upon to investigate the situation in the camps and set up independent mechanism to guarantee day-to-day protection of our brothers”, who, the Minister said, are suffering in an open sky prison for decades.
“The era of indoctrination, alienation and denial of rights is over,” Fassi Fihri added, warning against the terrorist threats in the region.
“The majority of the Security Council members are convinced more than ever that the Maghreb can no longer bear the non-settlement of this conflict, given the capacities of the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, in the region and the terrorist attacks that took place in the Maghreban neighbourhood,” he said
On the other hand, Fassi Fihri said that the seventh round of informal talks was held following the adoption last April of Resolution 1979, which stressed the preeminence of Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara and the need for a spirit of realism and compromise to be shown in negotiations, while taking account of the efforts undertaken by Morocco since the presentation of the autonomy proposal.
The Minister also pointed that the talks tackled the issue of the Sahara’s natural resource and the representativeness of the Saharan population, noting, in this respect, that the polisario cannot continue to claim to be the only representative of these populations.
Excerpted from MAP