The lawyer argued that the historical facts surrounding the Western Sahara conflict prove the “Morocanness” of the region despite hostile maneuvers from Polisario and its main supporter, Algeria.
Rabat – A lawyer at the Paris Court of Appeals, Hubert Seillan, has argued the “Moroccanness” of Western Sahara is “irreversible,” joining the many international analysts and observers defending Morocco’s territorial integrity.
Seillan argued for the region’s Moroccanness despite the maneuvers of the Polisario Front, which claims independence over the region, and its supporter and financier Algeria.
During his recent analysis, the lawyer brought into focus the Algerian reaction to the decision of several African countries to open diplomatic missions in Western Sahara, within the cities of Dakhla and Laayoune in the Moroccan southern provinces.
Algeria repeatedly issued press releases regarding the openings, calling the missions a violation to the UN-led political process.
Additional countries vowed to open more consulates in the region, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita announced earlier this year.
Algeria was the only country among the UN’s 193 member states to react to the opening of the consulates.
The legal expert pointed the finger at Algeria, affirming its responsibility in the conflict, “because of the decision not to exercise its sovereignty over part of its territory and to abandon the management of the Tindouf camps to the Polisario.”
“Sahara is Moroccan and cannot be anything else,” he said.
In the video, the lawyer also mentioned the books he authored on the conflict: “Moroccan Sahara” and “Politics Over Law.” Both were published in French but were translated into English.
Human rights violations in Tindouf
Seillan discussed the situation in the Tindouf camps, where thousands of Sahrawis live in allegedly dire conditions due to lack of hygiene, access to drinking water, and sanitation systems.
He also condemned human rights violations in the Tindouf camps, referencing the case of Ahmed El Khalil.
El Khalil went missing 10 years ago under suspicious circumstances.
Algerian intelligence services and Polisario members kidnapped El Khalil in 2009, two months after the Polisario Front had appointed him to monitor human rights in Tindouf camps.
El Khalil’s family held several sit-ins to call on the Polisario Front to reveal what happened to him.
The family also asked Seillan to take up the case in search of the truth behind his disappearance.
He warned of the “gravity of human rights violations in the Tindouf camps,” referencing the latest report of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of October 2019.
In paragraph 71, the UNSG report informed it received a report of arrest, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment by Polisario security forces and harassment of a human rights defender and blogger in the Tindouf camps in June 2019.
In November 2019, Seillan announced his decision to take El Khalil’s case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
He also brought the case to light at the UN 4th Committee in October.
Several Algerian politicians and observers criticized Algeria’s political stance to challenge Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
He said Algeria has been “pouring huge sums [of money] for the so-called Polisario for fifty years.”
Saadani added that the relationship between Algeria and Morocco is greater than “this question.”
Algerian-French academic Idriss Aberkane and former presidential candidate Ghani Mahdi also criticized their country’s support for the Polisario Front.
Mahdi also slammed Algeria, criticizing the government for financing the Polisario Front just to show that the regime is an enemy of Morocco and its territorial integrity.
“The Algerian regime is bored of this situation,” he emphasized, calling on the governments of Morocco and Algeria to discuss the conflict in a rational manner.
A recently released Bill Clinton administration document from 1999 revealed that the US proposed Morocco give up on a referendum in Western Sahara.