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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs participated on Thursday, April 10th in Rabat in a forum organized by the Consultative Council for Human Rights, on the occasion of 60 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following are the text of a speech by the Council President read out on behalf of him Mr. Maoulainain Ben Khalihenna, Secretary-General of the Council.

In the name of God the Merciful
Mr. Prime Minister
Mr. Chairman of the Advisory Council for Human Rights
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The celebration by the Kingdom of Morocco the occasion of the sixtieth year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is an indication that our country has achieved significant gains in this field, alike courtiers devoted to human rights.  

Morocco has achieved in this field since its independence, especially since the recovery of the Sahara, enormous gains, we can be proud of and show what our opponents tried to smear concerning it.

It is my honour to attend this meeting, let me read the speech by Mr. Khalihenna Ould Errachid, chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, who was forced to attend personally because of mission abroad.

Since the founding of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God bless him on March 26, 2006, the Council has carried out a conciliatory approach in accordance with the desire of His Majesty the King to eliminate the vestiges of the past with regard to encroachment of human rights in our South Territories be they political, social, economic or administrative rights.

Therefore, the Council worked to resolve a range of legal issues that was considered a Trojan horse for the enemies of our national unity through the creation of types of social unrest and instability broadcasting sedition and lack of trust in the cities of the south.

Thus, the Council's approach to solve these issues was comprehensive reconciliation between all departments and those who were mistreated over the years that followed the recovery of our land.  

For example, after a proposal by the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs to His Majesty, the King gave orders to solve all those problems definitely and gradually with each department separately.

First measure was the royal pardon for all political prisoners in the Sahara. He also gave orders to stop lawsuits for a group of wanted people for a long time, in different cases, and was behind severe protestation in the ranks of young people. These two  initiatives has special impact on these liberated people, members of their families and all families affected by the status of their parents.

With regard to social rights, and improving the status of groups of citizens who had outstanding social problems, especially those who had problems with the Administration of Fous Bokraa, His Majesty’s order following the Council’s request, came to solve this problem, which was considered one of the oldest problems that have been facing our southern regions and brought about demonstrations and protests.

The settlement of this problem was an agreement concluded between the workers and the enterprise’s management under the auspices of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, which made it possible for workers to have compensation as the basis for comprehensive and final solution to this dilemma that had an impact on people for many years. This issue raised foreign interventions from associations and trade unions for thirty year.
  Another issue, not less important than social rights concerned Maroc Telecom workers, as this file concerned the rights of a number of workers and employees from the Sahara not in terms of compensation and employment. This issue has been settled adequately. Some of them left voluntarily after receiving their rights. The others joined work in decent conditions with full reconciliation between workers and the company.  

Other issue knew positive breakthrough after the founding of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, notably; granting Sherifian Dahirs to elders determining identity of the Sahara tribes, who contributed to the defense of national unity with courage and composure, as they have been demanding these Sherifian Dahirs for a long ago, in recognition of their role. His Majesty the King King Mohammed VI, may God bless him, at the request of the Council, gave orders to deliver these dahirs.

In addition, the situation of advisers at the former advisory Council for Saharan Affairs was settled by granting compensation claimed for more than a decade, and the problem was raised at every opportunity.

 Regarding the issue of professors inherited from the colonial period, it was closed in recent days by giving them all the dues that were owed by the Department of Education.

With regard to the process of repairing individual and collective harm made to the Sahara citizens who were subjected to gross violations of human rights, the compensation procedure is on the way in accordance with established practice nationally within the framework of the Consultative Council for Human Rights.

All of these individual and collective files and issues of social nature, affecting the rights of citizens throughout the South were tackled with wisdom and foresight by the Council according to the policy of His Majesty the King and according to the objectives for which the Council was established.

Accordingly, trust and tranquillity reigned across our southern provinces and the fire of anger was extinguished. The opponents of our territorial unity received a hard knock as they continued to use these circumstances and claims to undermine the dignity of the nation, distort facts and show Morocco as a country which does not respect the basic human rights including social rights for a period of thirty years. Today,  They can no longer use these issues to stir up the international community and lay to foreigners.

With regard to improving conditions in all fields in the South, the Council has devoted all of its regular sessions to examine them according to the royal directives. They were all treated with responsibility to turn the page on the past, and look to a bright future, with a view to achieving growth and economic progress.

 The Council treated in its second regular session of 2006 housing problem in the Southern areas in its two aspects; - non-decent housing
- Housing that meets the inhabitants requirements to get equipped property for decent residence.

Since 1991,  al wahda camps have been established in all Saharan cities. Over time, these camps have become a political and social problem making the ground for many protests, which were exploited by the opponents of our unity. The slums within cities was a blot on the conscience of Moroccan architecture.

His Majesty the King assigned the Council to examine the problem. The session devoted to it was successful; the Council suggested final solution which was endorsed by His Majesty the King. More than 65000 equipped parcels is expected to eliminate indecent housing on the one hand and, and, on the other hand, parcels of land were distributed to all inhabitants who did not previously benefit. Therefore, all their demands were satisfied and were satisfied as well those who thought they were marginalized. It was a final solution complete and comprehensive, leaving no non-decent housing, and concluded the grievances of people who have been demanding parcels to build their homes and live in dignity in decent housing.

The Council followed the completion of the project with government authorities and elected bodies, since the beginning to the end. Its implementation period did not exceed one year and half.

The first regular session of 2007 was devoted to studying the problem of fishing in the South Coast. It has been agreed to create more than one thousand small enterprise to employ the youth.

In the same context, the second regular session of 2007 in the city of Smara was devoted to resolve all the problems related to road and air transport; It was agreed to create a national company for internal transport

The first session of the year 2008 treated the problems of health in the southern provinces; it has been agreed to provide all technical equipment and provide human resources in order to meet the aspirations of the region.

The Council, together with the governmental authorities and non-governmental organizations concerned, carried out these actions within the framework of reconciliation and comprehensive final solution to the issues and outstanding problems, in an atmosphere of transparency clarity, openness and responsibility.
These positions gave our country credibility, both internally and externally and showed that democracy in Morocco is in steady pace so as to give everyone his rights, in all fields.

We should objectively inform about what has been accomplished in the Sahara since its retrieval in 1975, which has been confined on the Web, monopolised by the opponents of our unity for a decade.

The Council created a six websites speaking eight languages, to reflect this reality. It revealed to the whole world the realities of economic, architectural, cultural, social and political development to allow those are interested know these achievements.

Through these websites, we carry out every day battles with our opponents over our national unity through blogs, forums  used by Polisario friends to win the world’s affection as victims. Now they are no longer alone in this field.  

Moreover, the most important political work done by the Council, in addition to spreading our national identity, defending it worldwide, and repealing misinformation conducted by the opponents of our territorial unity, I would say the most important task is to participate effectively in the accomplishment of autonomy plan. 

We have devoted, thanks to royal diretives, an extraordinary session at the beginning of the month of May 2006 until the month of December 2006, during which extensive debate was organized among the region’s inhabitants on autonomy and in full freedom transparency and democracy. They presented their views and suggestions about what could be the Sahara within united Moroccan Kingdom.

A project was accomplished guaranteeing the Sahara inhabitants the conduct of their own affairs politically, economically, socially and culturally. The project was the result of extensive, serious and responsible discussions, where Corcas members, representing the Sahara community and all its components, their perceptions and suggestions. They expressed their pride of these political achievements made available by His Majesty the King to them. For the first time, the King put the Sahara issue in the hands of Sahrawis and gave them a historic opportunity to lay the foundations for self-rule according to the Sahrawi specificities, cultural traditions and customs. Therefore, the project was subject of unanimity and blessing by all people.

The Moroccan initiative, described by the international community as serious and credible is a major shift in the equation of the Sahara issue since because the project is  supported by Sahrawis wherever they are as it guarantees all their rights and turn the page of claims. It is indeed a unique way to find a solution without winner or looser.

When Tindouf populations felt that autonomy guarantees their rights, they have made a great effort from inside the camp and declared for the first time in the history of the conflict, through Gjijimat Conference, which imposed itself in front of officials from the Polisario and exposed their claims and lies, they announced that they do not want a substitute for the Moroccan initiative and that they are tired of deprivation, alienation suffering and persecution. They made it clear to the whole and returned as victorious group with Saharans right to live in dignity.

Being firmly committed to this political right, the council took part in the Manhasset negotiations sponsored by the United Nations, which brought about four rounds. These sessions have proved two essential things; 

The first is that autonomy is in conformity with the international law and the concept of self-determination, because self-government is the highest form of self-determination, as is the case in all countries with a long tradition of democracy and the preservation of human rights.

And second, that these negotiations have shown that the Polisario Front is only a single party that controls some of our children unfairly in Lhamada camps. Due to their presence on foreign soil, they does not have even a small margin of freedom of decision.

The Polisario Front, a far cry from the concept of the best interest of citizens as it is the only party in the world that has not changed since its inception because its existence was based on errors and violation of human rights in their basic concepts. It misleads the population of the Tindouf camps and blinds their perceptions with lies and prevents them from individual and collective rights because they believe in one-party dictatorship, single organization and single thought. Thus they prevented the population of documents proving their identity and prevented them from freedom of movement and freedom to settle wherever they want and also prevented them from families, and even confiscated their food and water.

But we remain certain that the people of the region know their interests and historical links with the Throne and the Kingdom of Morocco throughout ages and times. All they want is to stay in their country and enjoy their political, economic and social rights despite the obstacles created by Polisario Front to the negotiations. These negotiations are advantageous to Morocco thanks to its good management,  the strength of its arguments their seriousness and credibility, making the former Personal Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Walsum recognize that Polisario Front is wrong and its demands are unrealistic.

I say, despite obstacles, that would not prevent Morocco from moving forward with the strong support for the project by His Majesty the King of major reforms in the political, economic, social and cultural reforms, carried out in our country and especially in the Sahara. This is why today as we are celebrating the 60 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are proud and appreciate His Majesty the King's speech in November 2008, and the letter sent by the King to the participants in the ceremony yesterday. It an honour  and privilege to listen to it by Adviser of His Majesty the King who has put Morocco on the right track, which guarantees it, inevitably, especially in our southern provinces progress, prosperity, democracy and human rights. We are certain that our country will be a model in the field of progress, freedoms, dignity, security and stability under the good care by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God bless him


Source: Corcas
(News on Western Sahara issue / Corcas)


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