There is no Human Rights abuses in the Sahara region.
CORCAS has vital role in internet to defend Morocco's territorial integrity :
. CORCAS has freezed, with the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) delegation of domain name ‘.eh’ to the Polisario Front.
. CORCAS, in conformance of ICANN rules, got the historical internet domain name of Polisario Front which led to the web site www.rasd-state.ws.
Speech by Mr. Chairman at MAP forum
Ladies and gentlemen
Members of the diplomatic corps in the capital
We receive today in the Map Forum Mr. Khalihenna Ould Errachid, chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, who will speak about a very important subject: governance in the Southern Provinces and new achievements in the field of Human rights
This topic is up to date due to the momentum and movement seen in the field of human rights in Morocco in general including the Kingdom’s southern provinces and just before the UN vote to extend MINURSO mandate in these provinces. It is an opportunity to renew dialogue about the extent of achievements in these provinces and the progress made in all political, economic and social levels. This dialogue is about development model implemented in these provinces taking into account that human rights are comprehensive, and include all life aspects and all developments sectors not political rights alone.
In this context, we should highlight the report made by the Social, Economic and Environmental Council about the new development model in the Southern Provinces one objective of which is to establish participatory and integrated vision and approaches based on responsible governance
Welcome Mr. Khalihenna
We would like first to know your assessment of this proposed development model and the changes you deem necessary to launch a real momentum founded on economic solidarity and cooperation and to strengthen social relationships in the southern provinces..what are the aspects related to current social policies with integrated strategy of human development and the one aiming to end short term strategy and adopt sustainability principles and regulations and to integrate the southern provinces and make advanced regionalization successful.
Before giving the floor to Ould Errachid, I would like to add that this forum is part of a series of forums organized by MAP since last March in order to shed light on steps made by Morocco in the field of human rights. I would like to say that the English and French interpreting is made available.
Mr. Khalihenna the floor is yours.
I would like first of all to thank the Maghreb Arabe Presse Agency for its kind invitation to participate in this forum on governance in the southern provinces and new developments in the field of human rights.
I would like to discuss the types of governance practiced by the Kingdom in these provinces since their recovery in 1975 regarding Saguia El Hamra, and then in 1979 with regard to the province of Oued Ed-Dahab.
Priorities and emergencies have varied over time based on periods that characterized this case. In 1976, priority was first given to security. Then we had to deal with the situation of the recovered area. The Sahara, at the time of recovery, had only, with very few exceptions, none of the components of the economic, social and cultural development.
The main challenge to the State was how to improve the level of those provinces which suffered colonialism for a significant period, so that they can join up with the rest of the nation in all areas and under relatively difficult conditions.
This is why the State began, over a long period, the achievement of basic infrastructure, without which we would not have achieved the level we are talking about today. Long-distance routes, port network, electrical grid, drinking water network, telecommunication network and the construction of all the other compounds of health, education, social system and housing. That is to say, the construction of all development systems.
This period was that of integration and development. Thus, it was necessary for the State to invest in the Sahara to rejoin the level the country showed at this point.
Of course we can estimate that this period was characterized by a titanic effort, not only in relation to economic and social aspects, but also had an impact on human rights. These rights are many and varied and have multiple aspects. In 1976, the priority of human rights was basically to achieve the minimum level required for modern life of citizens.
The fulfillment of human rights in Smara for example meant providing drinking water before anything else; before electricity, transport and housing.
Therefore, priorities change depending on the period and timing. This step witnessed major investment and effort and lasted from 1976 until late 1990s. It is considered an auspicious period in the history of the recovery of the Sahara.
Thanks to the efforts made during this period, we see the new generations managing the affairs of the Sahara at all levels, elected officials at local and national levels, clerks of the state at all levels through businessmen, leaders of associations of civil society ... All are the generation of this period.
80% of the current inhabitants of the Sahara are the generations of 1976, 1980 and early 90s. They represent about 80% of the current inhabitants of these provinces. They are the fruit of this period, politically, economically, socially and culturally.
For example in the field of Education, and when I talk about shortages suffered by the region, I do not want to accuse Spain or decrease its role or exaggerate things ... no! The conditions under which Spain was present on the spot did not allow to develop this area. At first, from 1884, the Spanish presence was almost symbolic and limited to the exploitation of fisheries resources. Then during the Spanish Civil War which lasted almost 50 years, Spain was not interested in this area because it was interested in the reconstruction of the Spanish state.
Spain had an interest in this area with the early 1970s, with the construction of the Phos Boukraa mine, but it did not realize all the other necessary equipment.
This is why the Kingdom of Morocco had as one of its obligations at the time of recovery, and among the fundamental rights of citizens of the Sahara, and one of the fundamental responsibilities of the state to provide all the effort to enable the region to have the conditions of the 20th century.
And it actually took place. That is why when I talk about current generations that we meet, it is generations resulting from this titanic educational work which took place between 1976 and the late 90s.
The national educational system started giving results with the first high school degree in 1987. The first school year began in 1976 and the first class to be awarded is that of 1987.
After that, and especially after the establishment of facilities, compounds and institutions, a new society, which was the result of these changes, started to show up.
A society completely different from that of the colonial period, which knew the old practices. We have witnessed the advent of a modern urban society because most of the people now lived in cities. Hardly any lived in the countryside and everyone was schooled.
Women, also, had access to the education system and began to participate in development.
I say this because the generation to which I belong, which experienced colonialism, knew the Sahara in a situation other than the one facing citizens today.
Those in this generation were educated in colonial times were very few students we were three of us in Madrid for university studies at the University of Madrid. The rest was up to ten students at the University of La Laguna in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. No one else, except us.
The development period opened prospects and hopes for thousands of people.
On the other hand , economic prospects that were limited to a very small business, importing or traditional exchanges have evolved. We ended up with a generation of modern businessmen, who founded factories with new port infrastructure. They became real businessmen like the other businessmen in the world with modern methods and means.
All economic , social and cultural human capital was the result of this seminal effort that built the foundation for the revival of the Sahara in all economic fields.
Priority at the time was not for the political aspects of the Sahara . As I already pointed out, the priority was given to strengthening security throughout the region, including the last operation took place in 1987 as previously mentioned , and upgrading conditions that were not favorable before.
Then, an in between period began. It is a period when interest in the Sahara was not clear on the political level, because the UN failed in the identification process and prospects for the solution became ambiguous . It was as if things had been frozen during this period and they were clarified with the enthronement of King Mohammed VI in 1999 with the first political operation, especially political prisoners.
This case was very sensitive in the region, especially those in Kalaat Magouna. There was a great relief when these people were compensated and when we recognized the injustice they suffered.
It was the first relaxation that began in the second period of governance. it appeared as a political governance and a shift towards an approach to find a solution and get out of the dark period to a lighter period of the strategy of the Kingdom of Morocco regarding the Sahara issue in general, not only at a local level, but to solve the conflict once and for all.
There was a radical change embodied by the decision by His Majesty the King. This is a historic and courageous decision at a time when all perspectives were closed.
The UN failed in the identification process. All mediations that had occurred to Algeria had failed. All meetings, which were held at different times of history with Polisario, failed.
There was no hope to find a solution to this conflict. The file was frozen in a situation of "no solution" "or absence of solution." It was stuck in a dangerous situation which hardly promised a positive change in the future.
At this time, we were at the end of 2005 and early 2006. This is where the change took place, which is in my opinion, the fundamental change after the first period. It is the decision of His Majesty the King to grant autonomy as a solution to the Sahara to put a definitive end to the conflict.
This is actually the first comprehensive political approach that responds to all the questions.
It is a solution for the Kingdom with precise defined goal. We are talking about governance, which is a modern concept. Before, in the Muslim or Arab culture, there was authority and wisdom. This means that governance means the authority which leads to wise solutions.
This is the first time that the Kingdom of Morocco has an overall vision. First, a vision of what the claims of Morocco. What does Morocco seek through the autonomy proposal? Morocco wants that the Sahara is Moroccan land, that autonomy will be under Moroccan sovereignty and protection.
Then a door opened for rights holders of this case, for both rights holders supporting Morocco and they represent an absolute majority, as well as right holders under the banner of Polisario and those demanding separatism.
Autonomy comes to give a solution to claims that are part of the conflict and the legitimate claims for a given region to manage its political, economic and social affairs, determined with assays and specific criteria, which leaves either party margin of suspicion or interpretation in one way or another.
This is why this initiative was a surprise for Sahrawis first, all Sahrawis wherever they are; those who are in the area and who are faithful in Morocco, who are claiming separatism in Tindouf ...
For everyone, it was a surprise that Morocco clarifies abruptly, its vision, strategy, plan, and showing that it now has a project.
It was also a surprise to the international community which was not so confident about the approach in Morocco over the Sahara. it was suspicious about the ability of Morocco to devise a plan with clear provisions.
More specifically, it was a great surprise for the Polisario Front and Algeria.
There was indeed in the past, since 1983, at the meeting between the late King Hassan II and the late President Chadli Benjdid at the border in Oujda, a discussion of a solution to this or that ... But it was only discussions that never progressed beyond discussions.
Today this is no longer a topic of discussion or even only academic or theoretical idea. It became a political and diplomatic project supported by a member of the United Nations which states clearly that it is founded on clear bases.
When this historic royal proposal, which has changed the equation was made, those who thought that Morocco is a weak state couldn’t make a strategy of this kind, those who thought that autonomy is basically a practice of States developed with great democratic tradition and the African States and the Arab world cannot adopt such a project, all those received the project so variably.
First, Sahrawis in general welcomed the project very positively. Because historically, Sahrawis, including all Polisario Sahrawis... there is no one Sahrawi who expresses doubt about it, or who opposes it ... all Sahrawis have a kinship, tribe link, close relatives with Morocco and they have no connection with the other party with which they are allies now.
All Sahrawis know this it is not a secret. The topic arises at the political issue. How to respond to claims of a group of students from the University of Rabat who grew up under the influence of Moroccan and international factors or factors that are neither in the first nor the second category, with a solution such as this one (autonomy).
Apart from this, all Sahrawis say that autonomy is a satisfactory solution for them and that Morocco is a great country knowing how to catch up with things and repair errors, overtaking the past. It is also able to reconcile with the past. And this is the main claim and the basis of all other political, security and ideological issues.
Outside, the surprise is that the states were divided between those who were anti-Moroccan, part of which recognized the Polisario Front and those which supported Morocco unconditionally but were increasingly hampered by the no solution. It was difficult to convince some of them that Morocco is well intentioned and is able to resolve the Sahara issue and present the necessary solution.
In the aftermath of this project and the surprises it has induced, I must add that in addition to the decision of His Majesty the King to grant autonomy to the Sahara, the Sovereign appointed a Saharawi institution to prepare the content of this autonomy. This is also a first.
The method used to carry out the project of autonomy is reflects the first Security Council resolution on the Sahara (1754) which described this project as serious, realistic and credible.
And this is the first achievement of the Kingdom of Morocco at the Security Council concerning the seriousness and importance of the new policy and approach in the Sahara.
It is very difficult for the Security Council to recognize a project as serious and not a simple operation, it is realistic means that that it studied all possibilities and it is credible as it satisfies all parties having claims.
It first satisfies Morocco because it recognizes its absolute and complete sovereignty and recognizes the territorial integrity of Morocco. Morocco is one and indivisible from Tangier to Lagouira but that there is a region with characteristics and where autonomy will be applied state powers and those within the region autonomous and in this area there is doubt or controversy or risk of future problems ... None of that.
All parties find what they claim in this area.
Of course, when the project of autonomy has been set, this has led to multiple policies in the field of human rights.
This is particularly the case of the pardon granted by His Majesty the King to the (46) remaining political prisoners in April 2006.
There was a kind of implicit agreement between all parties whereas freedom of opinion is guaranteed, that the freedom of political action is guaranteed and that freedom of movement is guaranteed for all.
We had meetings and contacts with everyone, with those who support Polisario, who do not support inside and outside.
There is no reason to tension, or the differing and everyone enjoys freedom but there are rules and conditions involved.
Whoever wants to say or write something he does. Whoever wants to travel somewhere does, whoever wants to be declared supporter of A can do that and anyone who wants to declare sympathizer with B does.
But there is a fundamental requirement, no violence and never undermine the Moroccan laws that runs through the region. That means you cannot claim separatism nor claim institutions claiming separatism. Everything else is guaranteed for everyone.
This framework has worked well, people were released, they went to claim here or there ... Human rights are no longer subject to the Sahara. It's over!
We ended up actually in a golden after the announcement of the proposed autonomy ... golden politically and economically. It is as if we had put in place a new system outside the United Nations. The UN through the High Commissioner for Refugees established in late 2005, the system of confidence-building measures, through trusts or trust mechanisms. The most important measure was the exchange of visits between the camps and the Sahara region. But because of budget the number of visits is reduced. They take place in a UN framework defined engaging everyone.
From 2006, another parallel operation began and it is by far the most important. It weighs a lot more. Anyone with a Spanish passport can come to the area without being questioned. He may invest and recover their property. He can visit family without hindrance. Whoever has an Algerian or Mauritanian passport can do this.
It became a measure parallel to the one by United Nations, much larger and wider. This operation continues until today. This has allowed people from all walks including among those who have a responsibility within the Polisario Front to visit their families and to recover their property in Laayoune, Smara, Dakhla and Boujdour and see things differently.
The stage of negotiations came with, Morocco has asking the United Nations to initiate a negotiation process based on the autonomy project.
This process began and it turned out it did not result in a proceeding that could end the problem. This is due to the fact that Algeria and the Polisario do not want to negotiate on the basis of autonomy. But they want to negotiate for two purposes only.
The first is the return to the identification process, or at least return to a project that looks like the Baker proposal or what may be Baker 3 ... something that does not result in the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty completely opposite to the Moroccan goal.
The second objective of the Polisario and Algeria regarding negotiations is elongation to kill the Moroccan project and find another alternative based on new data, a different approach and a different problem.
We are in this situation. And this is where the question about Morocco becomes clearer with three royal speech in 2013, Throne Speech, the speech on August 20 and the speech of the anniversary of the Green March November6.
His Majesty the King held an important message in these three speeches, Morocco will not remain chained over the fact that other parties are fleeing search for a consensual solution. Consensual solution? the political explanation is the fact that Morocco waives the complete assimilation and it is the duty of the other parties to renounce separatism. That is the consensus solution, that is to say, negotiate about the autonomy that is the median solution that satisfies both parties ... it satisfies all parties and also meets the United Nations; solution with no winner or looser.
But the other parties do not want that. They hang around for a better solution or abort the Moroccan project.
About this operation, which means abort the Moroccan project, HM King reiterated that Morocco is not willing to continue to hamper the possibility of unilateral action and it is in this context that His Majesty the King approved the project development model to provide a development, economic, social and political model ultimately to the solution of the Moroccan perspective.
Morocco, after nearly seven years of fruitless negotiation, is entitled to take all steps it considers appropriate to protect its essential interests including unilateral measures that lead other parties to be more serious and willing to reach an agreement in the framework of the United Nations.
Thus we see that Morocco has used successive and different modes of governance, depending on the historical period and depending on the intensity of the problem, at international and local level and based on data that arise and all issues depending on given conditions.
We are now at a crossroads. We tried the armed conflict in which we succeeded. We tried the struggle for economic development and we succeeded. We tried the courage to find a solution and Morocco succeeded on the autonomy proposal and we negotiated with the opponent.
The opponent, and I'm sorry to say this, missed history to find a solution to this matter through negotiation. This does not mean that there is no solution without negotiation. But in a solution without negotiation there will be no winners or losers. In solutions without negotiation there is a winner and a loser. These solutions exist in the world and the United Nations have been involved, including the solution which involved Angola in 1994 and 1995, when the United Nations, in particular the Security Council oversaw the negotiations between the MPLA and Unita which shared power that the security Council ratified between the two parties. But UNITA rejected the sharing of power and the Security Council supported the government in its hunt against Unita which was defeated. Reconciliation has been imposed, it was held by the force of events in Angola and the country is now one of the most important emerging countries in economic, diplomatic and military areas.
In our case too, if we cannot find a diplomatic solution within the framework of the Security Council based on realism, consensus and political and diplomatic experience, it is certain that Morocco will defeat its opponent as it defeated during previous periods that were not less dangerous.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Mr. President your presentation is complete and exciting. My question is what role did the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs play inside and outside of Morocco since your appointment and thank you.
KHE: You mean since 2006? It’s late. I'll have to start from the beginning. Corcas played a fundamental role and continues to play a fundamental role, not later that two days ago in Strasbourg. Corcas is first the Sahrawi institution appointed by His Majesty the King. He made it a royal institution. He is in charge of carrying out the autonomy project (I said earlier) that the Security Council deemed genuine, realistic and credible. But we also provide other functions. Among these functions, there was first major actions Corcas performed in several economic areas. The most significant is to end substandard housing through a huge project that made our cities no longer suffer this problem. There are other actions that have solved dozens of problems pending since 1976 and participated in large part to the political crisis. One example, not to be long, the employees of Phos Bocraa. There have been many cases like this ... (Corcas) helps the State in all matters requiring an advocacy effort to persuade, urge foreign delegations not very receptive, or contribute regularly at Council of human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva. Corcas is a member of the Moroccan delegation and participate three times a year to support the State in our fight for human rights.
This participation is satisfactorily thanks to God, every year. We also participate in the United Nations Committee of 24 concerning the non-autonomous regions. The Committee is also part of an annual battle with opponents. The last contribution goes back to a day or two with the participation of Corcas in a meeting of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on our national cause. Corcas is a providential support to the State whenever it is needed. In addition to this, there is our daily battle on the internet. We have a group of specialized journalists in different languages. I invite you to visit the website in eight languages which are in daily confrontation with Polisario and the Algerians to defend our national cause. Polisario dominated the Internet before the creation of Corcas. Even Moroccans living in the northern part followed what Polisario published. We endeavored so that Polisario is no longer hegemonic on the Internet. This is a battle we are fighting every day without advertising. And if you want more information go and visit our sites.
Question 2: First, I would like to extend my thanks to the MAP for its contribution to public debate on the Sahara issue translating national unanimity into concrete initiatives. Mr. chairman, I will not discuss the political aspect because the call by His Majesty the King to the Secretary General of the United Nations decided to a large extent the official position of the Kingdom of Morocco concerning future developments before the discussion of the Secretary-General report on April 17. What caught my attention is your definition of governance. I agree with you that this is a new concept. But what most caught my attention is the fact that you described the Moroccan governance since the recovery of the southern provinces as cyclical governance. I think you'll agree that today's problems in the southern provinces are primarily a problem of economic and social management since the recovery of these provinces. More precisely, since the establishment of the Ministry of Development of the Sahrawi Provinces at the time. For now, the Gdim Izik event is not necessarily a political problem, those who exploited, used it ... but that's another debate ... the problem is economic and social and we must say that there are major shortcomings in the management of this case, which have caused "war profiteers", poverty, a number of things impacting negatively on the general atmosphere in Sahrawi provinces. Regarding the Internet battle, I prefer that we win the battle on the ground, in the provinces, in the street ...
Moderator (MAP): .... if I may, do you have a question?
Question 2 (continued): ... here's a question, the same as I asked Madam Minister (Ms. Bouaida intervened at MAP Forum few days before). We are talking about regionalization and advanced regionalization. Mr. chairman, you said that the opponent tries to empty the autonomy project of its substance by extending the period of debate. What prevents the application today of the development and economic aspect in the project prepared by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and the implementation of the part that allows Sahrawis manage their affairs themselves and not necessarily in the manner practiced by the State since the 70s; democratically, with genuine governance and effective participation?
KHE: First, Corcas is not responsible for the current management of the Sahara. We are an Advisory Council to HM the King and we are not responsible for what is happening in the region. What I'm saying is that so far there is no specific statute in the Sahara. The Sahara is one of the provinces of the Kingdom of Morocco. It is managed as other provinces are handled. There are local authorities and there are elected officials as elsewhere. What should occur later is not yet valid.
What is supposed to happen later in the case that we discussed in the project of autonomy or the model of economic development, is not yet realized. Governance that I mentioned, we cannot judge today on the basis of prior conditions. What was previously depended on certain circumstances, causality, conditions and means determined, both politically and all other plans. Governance to be held is not only administrative or economic. Governance includes another very important aspect. Governance, and I have talked about wise government should be the management of resources and resources efficiently in order to achieve the stated objectives, political, economic and social objectives giving a result for concerned residents . Any policy which aims to give a satisfactory result should be for people. In the case of rights, human rights, people should say that it they are satisfactory. If it's economy, people concerned, and those who have economic problems, have to say they are satisfied. Of course, human beings generally cannot produce something 100% satisfactory. But it should go in this direction. We're not there yet ... The autonomy has not yet been implemented, nor extended regionalization or model of economic development ... Talking about problems that exist (in the Sahara) is like talking to those existing elsewhere in Khemissat, Oujda and other regions. The situation has not changed. The other question I often read, profiteers, “war beneficiaries”. There is no war profiteers in the Sahara, there are those who have enriched themselves by smuggling. This is a smuggling problem, this is what gave birth to rich profiteers and this is what corrupted the region. This is what make people think Sahrawis have privileges. Sahrawis have no special privileges. Privileges are granted to the region, those who are born, who live there, they are Moroccans, Africans, Mauritanians and Spanish. All those who live in the region have privileges granted to the region. It is not written on the bags of flour: these bags are intended to Sahrawis, or gasoline, it is for Sahrawis. It is for everyone.
But this is the situation that gave rise to smuggling, corruption, war profiteers, and it is not even war profiteers, as they produce a war and have goals. These are just smuggling profiteers. Governance to which we aspire, to which everyone aspires, is the one that ensures social equity, good government and brings prosperity and progress. It was not possible before. Previously our problem was to supply drinking water, electricity, elementary school and middle school and high school, roads, ports ... If the ports were not made, we would not have today a class of entrepreneurs who have set up factories and exporters currently bringing the currency for Morocco . We cannot reduce time at a given time. Time is a continuity, a sequence of steps and we cannot move from the first to the fifth step directly. We are forced to move from one stage to the next. Morocco has done this and we have experience in the region, the solutions offered by the country.
Question 3 (Ahmed Al Arkam Al Khabar): I have two questions, Mr. Chairman. The first question, Polisario lost on the ground militarily and politically and today plays the card of human rights. We experienced the stage of equity and reconciliation and we have progressed to a certain extent in comparison with the environment. Why Corcas and those who refused theses of Spanish colonialism and Algerian military intelligence service, Polisario founders who returned to Morocco and all the activists returned to the motherland, had no participatory action with international organizations such as Robert Kennedy, and others in New York? Why this negligence? second question, Morocco has a diverse geography mountains plains and the Sahara, Algeria and Libya there is Sahara in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and even America and Australia. Why is it only in Morocco we talk about the Saharawi people, while in Algeria, Libya and the Sahel and in the Gulf region in America other parts of the world are not talking about it? Why there was no discussion of ideas on this issue?
KHE: I agree with you. There is no problem of human rights in the Sahara. The rights referred to here are not what we recognize i.e. the citizen's right to freedom of opinion. Free opinion is guaranteed freedom of movement is guaranteed freedom of belonging to legal organizations and recognized by Moroccan constitution is guaranteed. The rights referred to by the United Nations and foreigners are the right to separatism, human rights to separatism. The United Nations require us that we allow people to brandish Polisario flags in Laayoune, Dakhla, Smara and Boujdour before the Laayoune Willaya and they can claim the separation of the Sahara in Morocco. These are rights that are involved there. For other Saharawi citizens claiming (rights) because they have been wronged, there are the institutions involved.
And when there is actually a citizen suffering from injustice, persecution, there is obligation for the state and national institutions to consider his situation. And if he needs to be compensated, indemnified and whether to do him justice let it be. But the issue we are discussing is that of separatism.
Concerning proactive policy, it does not exist. There is currently no proactive policy. This is exists when the game and its objectives are clear, when we agree on the rules of the game it is not the case, each plays own game and has own objective. Kerry and other organizations that publish reports ... these organizations have already preconceived positions. They all want the Sahara to be an independent state of Morocco. This is why you cannot convince them if you talk with them today or tomorrow for 20 hours or 50 hours. These are organizations that have taken position. We should not, as Moroccans give them more importance. We must not put them above everything and feel compelled to convince them. We need to stick to what we have and be convinced of what we have. Kerry will not give us the Sahara even if it becomes favorable to us, the other organizations too. It depends to us to recover the Sahara. This is why we should be proud of ourselves without being in stasis. We should be proud of ourselves with an innovative policy with constant mobility, with treatment that is a real problem and not a placebo treatment to ignore the problems. This is why we should not put the blame on Corcas, which is an advisory institution like the other advisory institutions; an institution that advises if asked and acts under the framework set to it. Corcas was founded for this, explain autonomy and promote it. Do not ask people who returned more than they can. Their return is a success for Morocco. We cannot impose more than that. we welcome them (and that is a success for Morocco) and tell them to convince those who were with them to be our side. It is not possible! The world is based on facts. We make it through politics, work, experience, creativity, and creativity can only be effective when the problem is difficult. When things are easy, anyone can solve them. Creativity makes sense when there is no way to the dilemma while you have fewer weapons, less money? Inventiveness is always present. We shouldn’t underestimate our powers.
Question 4 (Younes Meskine Akhbar Alyoum Maghribia): Mr. chairman, I have two (direct) questions. The first is the idea that you developed at the conclusion of your presentation. The solution can practice Morocco without negotiation. I wonder about the relevance and need that may have to apply autonomy if it does not solve the problem with the other party? The official discourse and years indicates that the problem is with the other party and if we do not solve the problem with the other party what good since Morocco is in its Sahara and the majority is convinced it is Moroccan? My second question concerns the Council. What is the Corcas situation today? Its term expired years ago. Consultation requires the presence of the members. How does the Council work now? Are you a chairman without Council? Several royal speeches mentioned its renewal without following what is your current situation?
KHE: First this forum is not about Corcas. I do not answer questions about Corcas. Matters concerning it you know where to ask them and also you can do. Moreover, MAP asked me to talk about a specific subject and if it had invited me to speak about Corcas, I would have said yes ... In any case the Council exists since I'm here.
You say we do not need autonomy as the other party should agree. So if the other does not accept what would we do? Do you have to wait for the agreement of the other. The other party does not want autonomy. He says " I do not want your autonomy." "Your autonomy should be included in questions to Sahrawis through a referendum." I think I was clear. First, I did not say that Morocco must apply unilateral autonomy. I said that Morocco has unilateral solutions. The goal of these solutions is to achieve success and not the continuation of the current situation. If you consider it necessary to wait until Polisario agrees to autonomy, then wait! But do not think it'll wait quietly for you. They will make you suffer. You will receive monthly, quarterly, half yearly and annual tests. Things can be overturned because the constancy of things is impossible. Only God is immutable. That is why we must act; we must be creative for the immutability does not turn into a disaster. And if one has a strategy to succeed then they must go ahead. And I said that Morocco can succeed unilaterally if the other party does not want to submit to negotiation. In fact, the other party accepted negotiation, but negotiations did not bring any results.
Question 5 (Menina Bousoula, associative actor): How can we estimate that Morocco needs effective mechanisms of human rights in the southern provinces, especially in the dimension of sustainable development based on the UN criteria, especially honesty and transparency and the relationship between accountability and efficiency. For effective governance, can we underestimate what Morocco has undertaken in the southern provinces in the treatment of human rights issues from the perspective of transitional justice, among other security governance based on the reform of the security machinery in the service of the southern provinces inhabitants
KHE: I think that Morocco has put in place all the necessary mechanisms to protect the human rights. The National Council of Human Rights and related associations, Ombudsman, courts, political parties, trade unions, civil society ... This means that people can complain when it comes freedom of opinion. Economic and social rights also apply to what we have said before. The Sahara is experiencing a normal situation as the other provinces. There is no exception. If the situation changes, it is necessary that efforts go in the direction of achieving what you said: economic and social rights and interests to give to these rights so things are oriented, as I said, in the direction of the prosperity of the people. This is the ultimate governance. The political and economic governance is one that affects people's lives and if this is not the case, it is not good governance. This is also why the administrative governance alone is not sufficient. It must take place within the framework of political governance to be positive. If the result is positive for citizens, no one can deny it because it will show up. What is economic and political has influences on security. We hope this will happen with the application of the development model.
Question 6 (Rachid Mamouni, MAP): We published the contents of the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the Sahara to be presented to the Security Council. What is your reading of the contents of this report? My second question is, what is Corcas role if Morocco decides to implement the contents of the project of autonomy in the region?
KHE: I don’t have a mandate to answer the last question. It is His Majesty the King who answers these questions. But I can give you an opinion on the first question on the report of the Secretary-General. The United Nations is an international organization that contains 193 countries; the latest country that joined the UN is South Sudan. It will not be with us or against us. This is an organization will not give us our rights or remove them. It will make a statement to us and will do the same to the opponents.
Whoever expects that the UN will do him justice, is deluding him. De Gaulle, the wise French President called the United Nations "that thing" when questioned on the subject. At the United Nations, if you make a success, we congratulate you, and if you fail, you express regret congratulating your successful opponent. we Moroccans should not expected the UN to give us something. Nobody else will give us anything. It is up to us. The same is true when we were able to recover the Sahara ourselves, with our own strength, with the legitimacy of our law, with those who are with us in the Sahara. We have a historical right, yes, our ancestors descended from Morocco, they died for Morocco against colonialism, for unity ... But this needs to be reminded all the time and should be treated with modern means. It should be subject to management.
The Secretary General report said that human rights are a priority in the Sahara and we must put in place a control in the Sahara. Talking about human rights today in the world has become a boondoggle. When we see what is happening in Syria, it is happening in southern Sudan, Central African Republic. Who can believe today that human rights are a priority in the Sahara and the Security Council must monitor human rights in the Sahara. ! Is there dozens, hundreds and thousands of people dead in the Sahara? Is there hundreds of arrests? Violations of human rights? It is for you to understand that this is a political matter. On the other hand, MINURSO is the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, as well as the observation of the cease-fire. The issue of identification failed. It would have allowed monitoring human rights only during the referendum campaign. It would have had the burden of monitoring for the referendum campaign. The referendum will not happen, not today, not tomorrow, not in the year 2500. Referendum is over! The UN and especially the MINURSO, has no role in human rights. On the other hand, Morocco has the right, like any other state, to reject anything that affects its rights or its supreme interests, whatever the subject, human rights, diplomacy, or anything else. We saw last week the reaction of Spain.
The Spanish parliament voted against the referendum in Catalonia. It said to them you do not have the right to hold a referendum for independence. It said loudly and the European Union supported it. So it is also our right to say no to the referendum, the monitoring of human rights, the United Nations control of anything in the Sahara outside cease-fire. And we must not be afraid of anything or anyone in this regard. In the community of countries, if you are weak you are crushed, if you are strong we are afraid of you, or at least we respect you.
In the report of the Secretary-General, there was also the question of resources. I say in all honesty, the Sahara has resources. But these resources are either fisheries or phosphates resources. People are currently benefiting from this wealth. Morocco has not waited for these resources. Morocco has invested since 1976 without knowing if there are resources or not. It invested in roads, ports, airports, electricity, homes, schools, in education, in social aid. It has invested in upgrading the region because the goal is not resources. This does not preclude that yes, indeed, there are resources. Will the region will benefit from this wealth under what is planned in the future? Yes. In the autonomy project, we talked about it. We said that if local resources are not sufficient to finance the autonomy project the Moroccan state will cover the rest. The subject is rather political. It is said that there is an ongoing exploration for oil. If found, it will be shared. With whom? ... The people who live in the region.
What also caught my attention is comparing Morocco with Polisario on human rights. And this, the least we can say, and I think the Polisario thinks that too is unacceptable comparison. It is inconceivable to compare what is happening in the camps with what happens in a sovereign state such as Morocco. You should know that Polisario people regularly come to Laayoune. They come from the Gargarat region with Mauritanian and Algerian passports. Among those, there are military leaders. I know because families tell us.
They come not through the United Nations. They come as individuals and they come and they are happy. Comparison with Polisario is political and not related to human rights. There is no law in the camps and the first of them is the right to remain in camps or not to stay there. is this law applied? No. Do people have the right to leave the camps with their children? No. To exit (camps), you need the Algerian passport and you must pay 250,000 dinars, ie 25000MAD. Camp residents do not have 25000 MAD. It is not an easy task to obtain the Mauritanian passport. They must be registered in the Mauritanian census. this is why most Polisario people registered in the Mauritanian census: 12000 camps people registered during the operation that took place a few months ago. Why? This is not because they want to become Mauritanian, no! They want to guarantee a ticket to freedom, whatever it is, a passport from Angola, Mauritania, Mali ... Any passport, as long as we can have the means to move where you want. So the first freedom is the freedom of movement is nonexistent. The United Nations have not fulfilled their duty to identify the people in the camps. Why Algeria and Polisario refuse census? Census has consequences. The first is to reveal the number of camp residents. How are they? Polisario has included in its requests for international assistance 165,000 individuals. If census shows that there are not that many, aid will decrease. On the other hand, at the time of census, the United Nations must ask the question: do people want to stay here or go, and where? And the UN must guarantee them the means to go to their families. This is the most important point. If aid by international organizations reduces Algeria compensates what is missing.
Algeria annually gives $ 10 million to the World Food Program (WFP) to continue help. And when it gives money to the WFP, it is done directly through the Algerian Red Crescent. So there is nothing in the camps which means there is minimum recognition of people humanity. It is not appropriate to speak of a mechanism for human rights. It is not appropriate to create a mechanism to evaluate the prison because it legitimates the maintenance of camps. Especially now that the camps suffer from the fact that Algeria has decided, because of the French intervention in northern Mali and the fact that it wants to satisfy Polisario to control camps even more, to besiege and prohibit travel, especially trips beneficial to people such as trade. This will hurt Algeria and the Polisario Front as the camps are now in a throttled situation. The camps have become empty because the majority of people went to north of Mauritania, Spain, or returned to Tindouf in the southern region of Morocco. Camps now include children and the elderly, women and those who do not have the financial means or Spanish and Mauritanian paperwork allowing them to move outside the camps ... So this report contains many questionable points this is the case the question of decolonization. Although the Sahara is still registered with the 4th Committee, the question of decolonization took place at the time of signature between Morocco and Spain. Spain is the state that colonized the Sahara. its inclusion in the 4th Committee took place because of the Spanish presence and not due to Moroccan presence. I'm talking about the original inscription in 1963 when it was enrolled in the 4th commission. For political reasons and because of the conflict with Algeria, the Sahara has not been removed from this list. It is Algeria’s intervention since 1976 that that prevented the Sahara to be removed from the 4th commission not because it is still colonized. Colonization ended when Spain left the region.
That is why I say that the United Nations must convince Algeria and Polisario to move towards realistic and political consensual solution : autonomy. There is no other solution. Why do we talk about autonomy? This is not because we want to impose autonomy but because there is no other solution. Polisario has the right to negotiate on the basis of autonomy. Any other orientation by UN other than asking the other party to negotiate on the basis of autonomy will fail.
Moreover, we must not have a lot of apprehension, it is only a report. Morocco can say no, do you want to control human rights? No, We refuse! Do you want ... resources? No, we refuse! Everything you may require, I am entitled to refuse. What could happen? That said ... in the region we must be strong, that is what is required of us Saharawis should be placid. Generally, Sahrawis are satisfied with little they are wise, understanding and above all won’t let Morocco down. If Morocco gives them the least they will accept.
To be clear, Sahrawis are serious people and love Morocco, including those in the camps. I take out 800 persons from Polisario. And if we go into the details of this list of 800 people, I can even remove some people from the list. There are 800 people in the system of the Polisario Front, diplomatic system, military ... who run the camps. Apart from this exception, other Sahrawis say that if Morocco does something we will return. These people have nothing to do with Algeria; the evidence is that relations are strained between the camps and the Algerian military. to the UN we should say no, no, no! And to Sahrawis, we should say yes, yes and yes! The problem will be resolved.
Question 7 (Maelainin Fatim-ezzahra, OMDH National Bureau): I want to digress a bit of political issues already mentioned. What did Corcas do to protect economic rights and fight against cash economy in the Sahara? What did Corcas do for cultural rights and end folkloric vision of cultural rights in the Sahara? What about the right to a holy environment? What about the right to health and education? We know that the situation is catastrophic throughout Morocco, but the situation is particularly serious from Goulemim to the south. We know that education and health are very bad. What did the Corcas do interacting with civil society?
<M. Khalihenna preferred to answer both questions 7 and 8>
Question 8 (Ahmed Salem Amr Haddad, researcher and specialist in international relations in the analysis of political conflicts): I have a question about the surprise factor. Mr chairman gave several ideas about the negotiation process and autonomy. I believe that the autonomy project undergoes a surprising reaction from the overall ambiance in the Sahara region and the Arab world in general with what is called the Arab Spring. The nature of the surprise comes from the fact that we neglect the real negotiator who is certainly not official but is authentic and should have a say, Saharawi youth. The express themselves through articles, facebook, youtube, twitter ... The Saharawi youth are highly educated: doctors, engineers, analysts, experts in many fields. They say their word through their reading of the international situation. They are probably not 100% interested in the negotiating process. My question Mr. chairman, do you believe that autonomy project needs an urgent update that includes practical procedures for young Sahrawi? On the other hand, is it possible to create a communication channel at the Corcas because young people have confidence in the royal institution and in Khalihenna Ould Errachid as last chance to solve their problems? These young people who recently raised a banner in Laayoune saying "our wealth can provide jobs to us."
KHE: I understand that people give Corcas a mandate beyond its powers. Corcas is not there to take the place of established institutions. It is a council with HM the King. Within our mandate, we organized special sessions on topics including culture. We asked the Institute of Hassan Studies to be promoted. I agree with you and I'm against all that is folkloric. But I think this will happen when the necessary mechanisms will be put in place. We are also interested in other areas, and what triggered programs the state is currently implementing in the region. These programs were designed in different Corcas sessions.
In the field of housing, large housing programs have reduced slums. Institutions of higher Laayoune, Dakhla and Goulimim were created. A great program with the Ministry of Health, which was a little late for reasons beyond our control and probably with the will of the State are being finalized. There are various other areas where we have worked. But all this was done from afar. I think the situation has been studied significantly when the economic, social and environmental Council prepared the model of development that also examined with us. All will depend on who will apply things and how. But I am convinced that the future and people's wishes will be realized soon. It's the same thing for young people. I said earlier that all generations are young. All this policy is geared towards young people.
Youth are the first beneficiary of the political, social, economic and cultural change. Youth are solid strength and spine in Morocco in general and the Sahara in a special. I do not like to isolate the young society. Society is composed of all. All have claims, issues, I think it's time to figure all this out to open space for hope. The hope is near. The Sahara has a decent future, especially as HM King wants it to be the communication bridge with Africa in terms of development and the economy. We are certain that the Sahara is capable of becoming a developing region not only for its inhabitants, but for Morocco in general, a region of wealth, a region of great economic takeoff.
Moderator (MAP): Mr. Khalihenna last word before concluding this meeting.
Closing word by KHE: I would like to again thank MAP for allowing this opportunity and thank all those who came to participate and those who have asked questions and I ask them to forgive me if I have not answered the way they wanted me to answer. I would say that I am an optimistic man. Optimism is important in diplomacy and politics and it is important in battles whether personal or public.
That is why I am convinced that Morocco, with the strength and the will of the king and with kindness and creativity of its people and with the tenacity of Sahara inhabitants and the history of Morocco, Morocco is triumphant today will be tomorrow in this issue. This conflict will end in favor of Morocco 100%. When will this happen? The day we will not wait that victory comes to us from the outside and as we believe it is in our hands, and that the other party, despite all, is in a fragile situation, very weak. The proof is when you see Algeria on the first line it shows the weakness of Polisario, its decline and the weakness of its thesis.
Today, the Sahara is in the hands of three countries: Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa. It loses the support of the continents on which it was based. In Asia, there is no longer any state which recognizes Polisario. Only Venezuela remains in Latin America but concerned with itself. Even Cuba no longer supports Polisario as it was because this country has changed. it looks towards openness and democracy and admits the fact of not imposing things as the Communist Party did.
The African continent is a continent emerging economically. Growth in Africa is currently between 6 and 8% in most states including the lowest. The average growth rate is over 6% in almost all African countries. Attempts in recent years to cause the partition of certain states, particularly the experience of South Sudan are a failure. South Sudan is a disaster for the international community, including the United States which supported the partition of Sudan, including the United Nations which was the sponsor.
South Sudan has shown that states cannot be based on tribalism, or things that apparently are positive but not analyzed deeply. South Sudan is a disaster for the partition of states and I think it will be the last attempt. There are even attempts to reunify the Sudan. Central Africa is also an example where people lived in peace for centuries. It finds himself in chaos. Separatism can never lead to development and prosperity. That is why we believe that the Sahara is strongest within Morocco, more useful within Morocco, and that is what is closest to the people and trends. even if Polisario, for internal reasons in Algeria continues to have intransigent positions, it will be abandoned by the people one day or the other. residents want to return to their region, nothing sentimental link them to the camps, nothing political, nothing material, nothing economic or even environmental.
Unfortunately it is beyond their control. We hope it will be close and that 2014 is the year when we finally turn the page of this conflict with the absolute victory of the Kingdom of Morocco on its entire territory and that everyone is happy, the Moroccan people in general and Sahrawis in particular. This means that Sahrawis must be satisfied by the solution that will take place, they do not look to the side of the other party, which led to problems they face and negative accumulations. I again thank MAP for its work.
I avail myself of this opportunity to thank you for all the help you have given to Corcas during this period, especially during the period of implementation, during which MAP helped us a lot and I thank participants.
Moderator (MAP): thank you Mr. Khalihenna Ould Errachid chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs.
===End of Speech===
During this forum, which took place at the headquarter of The MAP in Rabat, Kahlihenna Ould Errachid underlined the role of CORCAS in the internet in order to counter the propaganda of both Algeria and Polisario Front and their allies all over the world in eight languages: Arabic, French, English, German, Russian, Italian and Portuguese.
Mr Ould Erachid has mentioned that the six sites of CORCAS are consulted by the inhabitants of Tindouf camps in Algeria such as www.corcas.com, www.sahara-online.net, www.sahara-culture.com, www.sahara-villes.com, www.sahara-developpement.com and www.sahara.com
CORCAS, as the representative of the sahraoui internet community , has halted the granting of the domain name ‘.eh’ to a Catalan firm on behalf of the Polisario front . This battle waged for several months with the ICANN , being the body responsible for managing internet domain names and the IP addressing system.
CORCAS has been very successful, according to the defined rules of ICANN, to win the historical domain name of the Polisario front “ rasd-state.ws”.
For several years, Algeria , Polisario front and their relays throughout the globe have spread out the official site of the ghostly republic RASD, WWW.rasd- state.ws , making the neophyte internet users believe that the extension “.ws” matches “ Western Sahara” ; but that was “Western Samoa”.
CORCAS animates on daily basis, in eight languages, the main social networking sites on the internet ( Facebook, twitter and Google+) . It equally animates the main picture networking sites (licker, Pinterest, Picassa).
CORCAS does animate daily hundreds of blogs, fora ,and internet media to counter every single allegation fabricated by Algeria, Polisaro front and their allies.
CORCAS has developed several mobile applications in eight languages for the broadcasting of articles in Corcas.com as well as TV , national and regional radio .These applications are downloadable from Google Play and soon on apple Store.
CORCAS also animates Wikipedia pages, in order to counter published calumnies related to the Sahara question.
In addition to the mentioned above sites , CORCAS carries out , among Others, strategic monitoring works, and the following operations on the internet:
- achievement of www.corcas.tv : it is CORCAS’ Web TV. It comprises several videos, where the majority is translated into English, in relation with CORCAS activities. This Web TV is updated by means of new videos which re-affirms the right of Morocco over its Sahara .
-Achievement of www.radio-sahara.com and www.tv-sahara.com:
These sites are dedicated to live broadcasting on internet of radio and TV of the region of the Sahara ( radio dakhla/ laayoune and TV laayoune) . It is worth mentioning that CORCAS is the first Moroccan institution to have put in line, on the internet a commitment of availability of 99, 5%.
Dozens of thousands of Moroccans citizens of sahraoui origin, follow the evening news of Laayoune TV in our web sites . It is worth reminding that 80 % of monthly visitors of CORCAS’ web sites are new ones. . It is equally worth noting that the web sites in question are attacked on daily basis by unknown internet users all over the globe.
CORCAS has equally placed on line the content of “Corcas.com” with the domain names of several countries, particularly France (Corcas.fr) Norway (Corcas.no) ….
CORCAS has placed on line in the testing phase , its sites in an internationalized domain name (IDNs) in a provision of the opening of the internet announced by the ANRT for September 2014. That is how the following sites have been successfully placed on line during the test period:
To conclude, CORCAS brings into conformity its sites with unannounced changes of algorithms of referencement and the ranking of Google search engine, panda and Pingouin.
- News and events on Western Sahara issue / Corcas -