Rabat - Prominent Western Sahara figures exposed what they called the “fallacies” of the Polisario Front while speaking in the Fourth Committee in New York last week.
Rabat – Prominent Western Sahara figures exposed what they called the “fallacies” of the Polisario Front while speaking in the Fourth Committee in New York last week.
Sidi Ahmed Hormatallah, president of the NGO the Saharan Association for Sustainable Development, refuted the claims propagated by the Polisario and its allies that Morocco is plundering the resources of Western Sahara, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
The Sahrawi activist and citizen of Dakhla stated that he had come to testify about the “lies that are spread” by the separatist front. Hormatallah said that phosphate extracted from Western Sahara, which Polisario maintains is being economically exploited, represents only 2 percent of the total Moroccan production.
He also pointed out that the kingdom has 80 percent of the world’s phosphate reserves, and that even before Morocco regained Western Sahara, it was the world’s third largest producer and exporter of phosphate.
Hormatallah insisted that Morocco has been investing massively in the region, giving as an example the MAD 77 billion projects launched by King Mohammed VI in November 2015.
The projects, as the local civil society activist pointed, aim to create 120,00 jobs.
Chaibata Mrabih Rabou, deputy chief executive of Crystal Mountain Sel Sahara, a Laayoune-based company specialized in producing salt for use in the deicing, agriculture, and fish-packing industries, said that for the last forty years Western Sahara benefited from development projects and plans meeting the expectations of the local residents and their representatives.
As a result, he explained, the poverty rate in the region decreased in 30 years in comparison than the national average of 6.5 percent.
“As a Sahrawi who lives in the Saharan provinces and benefits from its natural resources I would like to tell you that these resources are at the disposal of the local population,” he said.“ We bear witness today that the local population is fully included in producing, managing and distributing the revenues of those resources.”
During the meeting of the Fourth Commission, the former MINURSO chief Erik Jensen called for a resumption of talks between Morocco and Polisario to achieve a resolution to the four-decades long conflict.
Jensen said that compromise between the countries and actors involved in the conflict is “unavoidable.”