Morocco has recently seen unprecedented diplomatic momentum in Western Sahara with the opening of 16 consulates in the region and in terms of its standing within the UN political process.
Rabat – Morocco is set to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Green March on Friday, November 6, in the context of growing continental and international support for its territorial integrity in Western Sahara.
On November 6, 1975, more than 350,000 Moroccans marched into the Sahara Desert to peacefully protest the Spanish occupation of the territory, heeding the call of the late King Hassan II.
King Hassan II delivered an unprecedented call to action to the Moroccan public on October 16, 1975, officially launching the Green March.
“We have to do one thing dear people and that is to undertake a peaceful march from the north, the east, the west to the south,” he said on national television. “It behooves us to act as one man in order to join the Sahara.”
Remembering the Green March
Moroccans must “brilliantly” celebrate and remember the “dear and precious national event,” said Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani on Thursday.
The Western Sahara dispute is the first national cause for which the Moroccan people have made sacrifices since Morocco obtained its independence, El Othmani said, according to Morocco’s state media.
King Mohammed V, King Hassan II, and King Mohammed VI have all rallied Moroccans under the cause to reunite Morocco with the Sahara and complete the territorial integrity of the kingdom.
King Mohammed VI epitomized the spirit of the Green March with a famous line in his November 2014 speech on the 39th anniversary of the event: “Morocco will remain in its Sahara, and the Sahara will remain in its Morocco until the end of time.”
Growing support for Morocco’s cause
El Othmani said the Moroccan people’s mobilization behind Morocco’s approach to Western Sahara “demonstrates the constant supreme national principles.”
Because of the country’s unity, Morocco has seen unprecedented diplomatic momentum in Western Sahara, not only with the opening of 16 consulates in the region but also in terms of the UN political process.
The UN Security Council and scores of international observers acknowledge Morocco’s Autonomy Plan as a realistic, pragmatic solution to the territorial dispute.
Morocco submitted its autonomy initiative to the UN in 2007. The plan suggests making Western Sahara a semi-autonomous region that remains under Morocco’s sovereignty.
The plan would allow the region’s inhabitants to autonomously manage their social, economic, and political development. Morocco’s government, meanwhile, would oversee Western Sahara’s defense and diplomacy.
The UN Security Council passed its latest resolution on Western Sahara on October 30. In line with previous resolutions of recent years, Resolution 2548 positions the Moroccan autonomy initiative as a solid basis for negotiations with a view to reaching a final solution to the conflict.
Morocco’s demands for a census of the Tindouf camps in western Algeria also have support among the UN Security Council, El Othmani added. Resolution 2548 called on Algeria to register and identify “the refugees in the Tindouf camps,” as it has for several years.
The head of government underlined that a census and registration operation, which Morocco is advocating for the population of the Tindouf camps, “constitutes the basis on which the international community deals with refugees around the world.”
Morocco’s refusal to give up its demands for Algeria to fully accept its role as a party to the conflict, so the region can move towards a political solution, demonstrates the country’s “constant in preserving its achievements and defending its rights.”
“The government will spare no effort in joining this great national project and supporting national unity and territorial integrity,” El Othmani concluded.