3 November 2012

Western Sahara: Ross Meets Saharawi Officials and Representatives of Civil Society

Chahid Al Hafed — The UN Secretary General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr. Christopher Ross, held Saturday evening several meetings with Saharawi political military leaders, as well as representatives of the civil society in the Saharawi refugee camps.

The UN Personal Envoy started the programme of his visit by a meeting with the Saharawi Coordinator with the MINURSO Mr. Mhamed Khaddad at the Guest House in Chahid Al hafed (Saharawi refugee camps). The discussion focused on the UN path of settlement in Western Sahara and the ways to reach a solution ensuring the Saharawi people's right to self-determination.

Mr. Ross was also received by the Secretary of State for Documentation and Security Mr. Brahim Mohamed Mahmud.

"Every stalemate will only make the Saharawis more adherent to their cause, and determined to seize it by all means available, including that of peaceful uprising and armed struggle," Mr. Brahim Mohamed Mahmud told SPS following his meeting with Christopher Ross.

The UN Envoy, visiting the Saharawi refugee camps as a part of a tour to North Africa and Europe, held a dialogue session with representatives of the Saharawi Youth and Students Unions, in which the young Saharawis insisted on the need for the United Nations Organization to assume full responsibility in finding a peaceful solution, which would guarantee the exercise by the Saharawi people to their right of self-determination and independence.

The Saharawi youth and students held the UN, through its Envoy for Western Sahara, responsible of what might happen in the region, if aspirations of the Saharawi people to exercise self-determination, which is guaranteed by international charters and laws, are not responded.

All the interventions by the young Saharawis during the session focused on the catastrophic humanitarian situation faced by the Saharawi people in the asylum, as well as the gross and systematic human rights violations committed by Moroccan occupying authorities against the defenseless Saharawi citizens in the occupied part of Western Sahara, recalling to Gdeim Izik events on November 2010 and the repression of peaceful demonstrations took place in occupied El Aaiun two days ago, during Ross visit to the city.

The UN Envoy had also a discussion session with the Presidents of the Constitutional Council and Supreme Judiciary Council, which focused on the urgent need to extend the powers of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, to include the monitoring of human rights in the Territory and report about it.

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