El Aaiun (Saharawi Republic) — Saharawi Organ against the Moroccan Occupation (ISACOM- in its Spanish abbreviation), affirmed attachment to the right of the people of Western Sahara to freedom and independence, in its Founding Communiqué issued Sunday 20 September 2020.
The Organ, which elected Saharawi imminent human rights defender, Ms. Aminatou Haidar, as President, besides the election of an Executive Bureau of 6, and a General Assembly of 33 members, also confirmed that it is "committed to the principles and values of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro aimed at liberating the homeland from occupation and establishing a fully sovereign Saharawi state with free society governed by the rule of law and strong institutions."
It further affirmed commitment to "defending the Saharawi people's rights to freedom, independence and dignity through legitimate non-violent means as stipulated in international frameworks and the African Charter for Human and People's Rights based on the protection of all civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights."
Following is a translation in English to the communiqué originally in Arabic:
Founding Communiqué of the Saharawi Organ against the Moroccan Occupation
The Saharawi activists, assembled during this Founding Conference, some of whom having had experienced forced disappearance in Moroccan secret detentions camps such as PC CMI, Agdz, Magouna and other prisons; who are recognised for their sacrifices, and experience as human rights defenders, and who pioneered during the last two decades the human rights activism in Western Sahara, including some of the laureates of international prizes for their contribution to raise awareness on the culture of human rights.
Having examined and reviewed extensively the current situation surrounding the Saharawi people's fate, marked by Moroccan occupying state's policy of abuse, dispersion, assimilation and repression, committed with the support of well-known international allies, who are pushing towards an uncertain future in Western Sahara aimed at depriving the Saharawi people of imposing their legitimate choice to freedom and independence;
Convinced by the just cause of the Saharawi people and their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence based on the legal status of Western Sahara considered by the United Nations as a territory awaiting decolonization, parts of which are still under illegal military occupation; Committed to the principles and values of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro aimed at liberating the homeland from occupation and establishing a fully sovereign Saharawi state with free society governed by the rule of law and strong institutions, an aim that Saharawis have aspired for and sacrificed thousands of martyrs to achieve; Cognisant of the challenges that obstructed the implementation of the OAU-UN's Settlement Plan for Western Sahara over the last three decades due to Morocco's defiance, supported by some UN Security Council members especially France; having repetitively attempted to derail the MINURSO from organising the referendum and reducing its role to protecting the occupation and maintaining the status quo;
Alarmed by the deteriorating human rights situation of all Saharawis in occupied cities of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, southern Morocco and various universities, becoming a matter of national and humanitarian consciousness, further compounded by the illegal plans of Moroccan occupying authorities for settlements in Western Sahara, as well as preventing journalists, international organizations and other entities from visiting the territory; Further alarmed by the collective punishment of Saharawis by the Moroccan occupying authorities, the systematic and illegal exploitation of their resources, and Morocco's complacency in maintaining the status quo as an attempt to replace the OAU-UN's Settlement Plan with occupation, as well as falsifying the will of the Saharawi people by silencing the voices calling for independence, and other attempts by Morocco to foil demands by Saharawis for freedom and independence;
We, Saharawi activists gathered, having reviewed the conditions establishing this organ, delegated a technical committee to prepare a guiding framework, statute and a code of conduct and henceforth:
- Declare the establishment of a Saharawi entity called: "the Saharawi Organ Against Moroccan Occupation;"
- Commit to defending the Saharawi people's rights to freedom, independence and dignity through legitimate non-violent means as stipulated in international frameworks and the African Charter for Human and People's Rights based on the protection of all civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights;
- Reject all dubious proposals by Morocco and other local and international parties, which do not ensure and guarantee the exercise by the Saharawi people of their inalienable, imprescriptible and ineluctable right to self-determination;
- Condemn the current continued stalemate given that the MINURSO is a United Nation's mission with the mandate to finalize the decolonization of Western Sahara as Africa's last colony, and should not turn into a protection platform for the occupation;
- Pledge the Saharawi people's right to exercise sovereignty over all their homeland as enshrined in international and continental treaties and norms, in particular the relevant United Nations and African Union's resolutions and the 1975 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Western Sahara;
- Call upon all organizations, international and democratic bodies, and people with conscience across the globe to stand by and support our call to liberate all Saharawi political prisoners currently in Moroccan jails, and to put an end to the continued violations of our rights by the occupying state;
- Demand the United Nations and the African Union to immediately intervene to halt the systematic and illegal exploitation of natural resources in Western Sahara by the occupying authorities, as well as multinational companies, countries and other entities responsible for the plunder with the Moroccan regime;
- Demand the international system to put pressure on the Moroccan occupying state to dismantle the military wall of shame and remove all landmines, as well as urge Morocco to sign and ratify the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of mines;
- Appeal to the United Nations, the African and European Union, and other international and continental bodies, to maintain humanitarian aid to Saharawi refugees who have been suffering displacement and exile from their land since 1975 due to the crimes committed by the Moroccan occupation, as well as the United Nations' failure to fulfil its promise and commitment to decolonize their occupied country;
- CALL ON the United Nations, through its General Assembly and Security Council to mandate the MINURSO to immediately conduct the mission it was established to fulfil, which is that of finalizing the decolonization of Western Sahara and organizing a referendum on self-determination, as well as the urgent need to empower the MINURSO, in accordance with international standards given to similar UN peacekeeping missions, to observe and report on the situation of human rights and the exploitation of resources in Western Sahara; which have disastrous consequences for the future generations and grave violation of international law.
- ALSO CALL ON the African Union, all its organs and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government to demand the Kingdom of Morocco, as new member of the African Union, to comply with the principles of the Constitutive Act, in particular the principles of "respect of borders existing on achievement of independence," and "prohibition of the use of force or threat to use force among Member States of the Union."
- REQUEST the African Union to also respect its own principle of "the right of the Union to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity," which are all crimes committed and continue to be systematically committed by the Moroccan authorities in the occupied territories of the Saharawi Republic, the founding member of the African Union.
- APPEAL to all national organizations and groups in the occupied territories to be steadfast and strengthen the frontlines of the struggle to overcome the challenges in the collective struggle against the plans and policies of the Moroccan regime. ALSO CALL ON the Saharawis to assume the national responsibility entrusted on them and to fulfil their national duty by amplifying the means and ways of calling for an end to the occupation and liberating the territory and the Saharawi people and protect all their rights.
Done in El Aaiún,
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic
20 September 2020." (SPS)