Rabat - April 19, 2013 (MAP)
Rabat – April 19, 2013 (MAP)
Latest developments in the Moroccan Sahara issue triggered by attempts to change the mandate of the UN Sahara mission (MINURSO) continue to be the major theme commented by editorials this Friday April 19, 2013.
In an editorial titled “a proposal with serious consequences”, L’Opinion notes that US secretary of state, John “Kerry, should be concerned about the fate of Sahrawi populations sequestered in the Tindouf camps” and endeavor that the UNHCR conducts a population census in Tindouf where human rights are systematically breached.
These populations are living in cruel conditions and “are forced to join the terrorists ranks”, writes the editorialist who considers that assigning human rights monitoring to MINURSO will create conditions for combatants to infiltrate the camps, widening, therefore, the scope of Al Qaeda actions.
Washington knows that the combatants who fight in Mali and seek to destabilize the whole region return to the Tindouf camp to plot new terrorist actions, the editorialist writes, noting that the US proposal contradicts the will expressed by the world body and by influential countries to find an urgent settlement to the Sahara conflict and runs counter to the US strategic interests in this region.
We hope that Mr. Kerry, after the general outcry stirred by his proposal and the national unanimous refusal of this proposal, will renounce this project that harms the friendship and cooperation ties with Morocco”, the paper says.
On its part, Annahar Al Maghribia labels the US proposal “dangerous” and “detrimental to Morocco’s sovereignty”.
The daily considers that human rights should be monitored by credible bodies and clear mechanisms, provided that the concerned country accepts the mission.
Morocco has accepted negotiations on the Sahara, but has not given up its sovereignty over its southern provinces, the editorialist writes, noting that Morocco has, thus, given evidence to its will to involve all Sahrawis in the process to perfect its territorial integrity and uphold its national cause, stability and social cohesion.
Bayane Al Yaoum which argues that any modification in the MINURSO mandate requires at least to consult with Morocco and to take into account its national sovereignty, points out that Washington, which has repeatedly welcomed the Moroccan autonomy plan as the single serious proposal, should rather push the other party to be more serious and to refrain from its adamant refusal of any proposal to resolve the issue.
The editorialist wonders whether the attempt to alter the MINURSO mandate is not meant to totally stop the political process meant to reach a solution to this protracted conflict, recalling that Morocco’s human rights record has been acclaimed repeatedly by international organizations.
Morocco is not worried about its human rights record but is refusing the political exploitation of human rights principles and values, the daily concludes.