By Rachid Khouya
By Rachid Khouya
Morocco World News
Smara, Morocco, Oct 30, 2012
Human rights activists, representatives of civil society in Layoune, in particular, and all Sahrawis and Moroccans, in general, are waiting anxiously for the expected visit of Christopher Ross to the region tomorrow. This is the main topic everybody talks about and discuses at homes, in cafés and around tables of food and tea.
MWN has been on the ground to interview many people on the streets of Layaoune about what they think of this first visit of its kind by a personal envoy of the U.N to their city.
Generally speaking, there seems to be consensus of views among most of the interviewees about the importance of this visit. “This visit is very important as it will be a real opportunity for Mr. Ross to meet the local inhabitants of the region, listen to their ideas, suggestions, thoughts, and expectations,” said a civil society activist who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity. “This will be an occasion to reopen the doors of peace negotiations between all the parities that are involved either directly or indirectly in this conflict that has lasted more than it should,” he added.
Some human right activists told MWN, “It is high time Algeria took into account the human suffering of the families that have been separated for more than three decades. Our brothers in Algeria should bear their historical responsibility and participate actively and courageously to solve this issue and put an end to the suffering of Moroccans and all the people of the Maghreb region.”
On the other hand, MWN has heard from sources that Ban Ki-moon’s Personal Envoy to the Sahara, Christopher Ross, will meet some activists that are supported by the Polsiario, and work for its agenda inside the Sahara. There are rumors that these parties that support the Polisario may exploit this occasion to push children and teenagers to cause violent incidents in different neighborhoods of the city. This is a concern based on the Polisario’s history of seeking to take advantage of such events to depict Morocco as not respecting human rights in the territory.