Western Sahara: Self-Determination, 'Only Option' to Resolve the Sahrawi Issue

Castries (Saint Lucia) — The Polisario Front representative to the United Nations, Sidi Mohamed Omar, stressed that the exercise by the Sahrawi people of its right to self-determination will remain "the only option" to resolve the conflict in Western Sahara, warning against the Moroccan project to "change the demographic nature of the territory.

Speaking at the seminar of the UN Committee of 24 in charge of decolonization issues, held from May 11 to 13 in Castries, capital of St. Lucia, Sidi Mohamed Omar said that Morocco was "changing the demographic nature of the Sahrawi territory through intensive settlement policies and incentives in addition to the destruction of cultural heritage and the plundering of natural resources belonging to the Sahrawi people.

For the Sahrawi diplomat, it is imperative to "defend the principles of international legality and complete the process of decolonization of Western Sahara through the free, genuine and democratic expression of the sovereign will of the Sahrawi people in the exercise of its inalienable and non-negotiable right to self-determination and independence.

The representative of the Polisario Front to the UN, noted that the issue of Western Sahara, the last territory under occupation in Africa, was on the agenda of the Committee of 24 since December 1963, stressing that the main reason for its inclusion on the list of territories subject to decolonization was very clear: The continued illegal military occupation of Morocco since 1975.

He also alerted the committee on the deterioration of the human rights situation in the occupied territories due to the pandemic of coronavirus (Covid-19) at a time when the occupying state continues to intensify its repressive and colonial practices and policies, denouncing "the ongoing repression against Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists in the occupied Sahrawi cities.

The 2022 edition of the Committee of 24 seminar, was held within the framework of the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2021-2030) under the theme of the 2022 Seminar is "Advancement of the Non-Self-Governing Territories through the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond".

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