Morocco has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the member states of the UN Security Council to debunk the false allegations against Morocco that Algeria and the Polisario Front promote.
With its several photo and video attachments, Morocco’s letter exposed the lies of Algeria and the Polisario Front about an alleged war against Morocco, as well as false accusations about human rights violations in the Moroccan southern provinces.
Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN in New York, Omar Hilale, submitted the letter on Wednesday, February 24.
“Since its breach of the ceasefire and the Military Agreements, the separatist group ‘Polisario’ has been leading, together with Algeria, a hysterical campaign aimed at misleading the international community about an alleged ‘armed conflict’ and alleged violations of human rights in the Moroccan Sahara,” Hilale wrote.
He highlighted that the Polisario Front “openly calls for acts of violence against people” in Western Sahara.
The Moroccan diplomat provided the UN with proof that the situation in Morocco’s southern provinces is calm and stable and that there is no armed conflict in the region.
Since November 2020, the Polisario Front and Algeria’s state media have been publishing daily reports about the alleged armed conflict in Western Sahara. Morocco has long ignored this unfounded propaganda, but yesterday’s letter suggests Rabat will more assertively engage Algeria’s relentless campaign against Moroccan interests.
“The fictitious war of the ‘Polisario,’ which maintains proven and documented connections with terrorist groups and traffickers of all kinds in the Sahelo-Saharan region, is contradicted by the stability on the ground, as documented by international press agencies and television channels,” the letter said.
“There is supporting evidence that the information and images published by ‘Polisario’ are fake and concern other conflicts,” it added.
Hilale also exposed the false allegations of human rights violations by Morocco in Western Sahara. The Polisario Front and Algeria have been for several months promoting the false narrative that Morocco is oppressing “Sahrawi activists” and preventing them from travel.
“The allegations of restriction on freedom of movement in the Moroccan Sahara are completely unfounded,” the Moroccan diplomat wrote.
He explained that separatists mischaracterize the mobilization of Moroccan public authorities against the COVID-19 pandemic as a mobilization to suppress “Sahrawi activism.”
“The population of the Moroccan Sahara enjoys total freedom of movement as guaranteed by law, both inside and outside of Morocco,” Hilale affirmed.
“It is the full enjoyment of this right that allows the few so-called separatist activists to travel freely to Algeria and to the Tindouf camps, where they undergo ideological indoctrination and military training,” he said.
The Moroccan diplomat added that Morocco’s “full respect” for freedom of movement is also what allows these separatists to travel abroad and participate in public demonstrations that challenge Morocco’s territorial integrity.
“This freedom is exploited by separatist elements in their campaign of denigration and lies, as well as in their incitement to violence against people and property,” Hilale deplored.
The letter addressed three specific accusations against Morocco. The first accusation was from the self-proclaimed human rights activist Sultana Khaya who claimed that Moroccan authorities are looking to “assassinate” her.
Hilale said that Khaya’s claims are part of Polisario’s tactics “to use human rights for political ends” and to divert the international community’s attention from the situation in the Tindouf refugee camps.
The Moroccan ambassador also exposed Khaya who promotes herself as “a peaceful human rights activist.”
“She is a supporter of violence […] She participated in military courses and exercises of the separatists from January 1-12, 2019, and she called for armed violence against civilians in the Moroccan Sahara,” Hilale warned.
One of the letter’s attachments was a photo of Khaya wearing a military uniform and carrying a Kalashnikov rifle.
The second case that Morocco addressed in its letter was the death of Mohamed Salem Fahim in a road accident earlier this month. The Polisario Front and Algeria accused Moroccan authorities of assassinating the young man.
“The deceased was the victim of a fatal road accident, which is subject to ongoing legal proceedings, in accordance with the law in force in such circumstances,” Hilale assured.
Finally, regarding the accusations that Morocco is mistreating prisoners sentenced after the Gdeim Izik events in 2010, Hilale stressed that there is no discrimination in Moroccan prisons.
The convicts were sentenced to prison after participating in riots near Laayoune, in southern Morocco, that resulted in the death of 11 Moroccan security officers and the injury of 159 others.
The mistreatment allegations “are devoid of any foundation,” Hilale wrote. “These detainees benefit from the same rights provided for by law, without discrimination.”
The diplomat also declared that none of these prisoners have recently launched hunger strikes, contrary to what Polisario and Algeria have claimed.
Hilale concluded the letter by stressing the need to end the well-documented human rights violations in the Tindouf camps, which Polisario attempts to hide by making false accusations against Morocco.