Here follows the written text and video of the full statement by the President of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairson at the second regular session held in Smara.
The president’s Note:
In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful
Under the command of His Majesty Mohamed VI we open this second regular session of the year 2007 in the city of Smara, the city of resistance, knowledge and militancy, which contributed enormously throughout the Moroccan history to preserve its subsistence and territorial integrity.
This is the second session that is held in the region after the proceeding of the extraordinary session, under the instructions of His Majesty to study the outcomes of the first meeting in Manhasset, in Laayoune on June 29, 2007.
As for the present session, which is held today in the city of Smara, it is consecrated to study two major subjects which are:
Autonomy: the ultimate solution to achieve reconciliation and decent homecoming.
Airlines and road networks in the Southern provinces.
As you know ladies and gentlemen, this series of events related to the autonomy and to finding an ultimate solution for the Sahara started following the eternally remembered visit of His Majesty to Laayoune and notably after His historical speech on March 25, 2006, by virtue of which He founded the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs.
In his initial missions, the council was devoted energetically to make arrangements for the draft project of autonomy during the remaining period of 2006, in which we worked on it, besides carrying out intensive diplomatic and media related activities.
When His Majesty authenticated the final project regarding autonomy in the Sothern Provinces, we took part in an extended national campaign on both local and international levels to delineate this project all over the world.
Effectively, most of the countries in the five continents embraced and appreciated this project, which they considered as a corner stone for the settlement of this dispute.
After the positive reactions displayed by the great majority of the world’s countries, the Moroccan state presented its initiative to the Secretary General of the United Nations on April 11, 2007. Subsequently, the Security Council endorsed his resolution No. 1754, through which the council hailed the sincerity, credibility and importance of the Moroccan initiative. This resolution has installed a new approach to the settlement of dispute about the Sahara. This approach was based upon abandonment of any previous unrealistic approaches and any prior fruitless plans and affirmed the persistence of negotiations based on goodwill as the sole way to reach the eventual settlement of this long lasting dispute.
We truly consider that the resolution 1754 has become a new starting point, able to find a solution as soon as possible to the problematic of the Moroccan Sahara. This cannot happen unless the other parties prove their goodwill.
In this respect, the first negotiation round has been launched on June 18-19, 2007 in Manhasset, United States of America. The same spot witnessed the second round dated on August 10-11, 2007, denoting that the parties have proceeded into a new phase to treat the issue in a civilized manner that can lead to a final solution that matches the desire of all the parties.
We have previously discussed in depth in Laayoune the atmosphere in which the negotiations took place and the outcomes that Morocco achieved in this respect.
It is apparent that these negotiations embarrassed the Front of POLISARIO and those who support it, for they constitute a break with the previous procedures and pave the way to a new process, starting from the resolution 1754 which claims and insists upon the organization of direct negotiations leading to an ultimate political solution which is agreed upon and satisfactory for all.
The Security Council has also affirmed in his latest resolution No 1783 to follow the same novel approach it admitted as an approach to settle the dispute in the Sahara. It has also acknowledged anew the sincerity and credibility of the Moroccan Initiative and added that the negotiation will take place on the basis of the advancement that happened in 2006, incarnating thus the importance of the Moroccan initiative related to the autonomy project, which is in fact considered as the sole development that occurred regarding this file.
To achieve the goals designated by the resolution 1783 and according to the hopes of the international community and as we said before, goodwill shall be proved by all the parties.
In this framework, our country persisted to prove its goodwill by way of establishing the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, which incarnates the immediate contribution of the region’s natives to define the aspects of their future and introduce the autonomy project as a selected means to settle this issue on the basis of the no winner no loser principle. In addition, the consent upon immediate negotiation is regarded as truthful and courageous proof of Morocco’s goodwill to put an end to this long lasting dispute through dialogue, negotiation and reconciliation.
However, the objectives of the other party are still obscure. They effectively accepted the new resolutions of the Security Council and the renewed procedure based on immediate negotiations. Nonetheless, goodwill is not proved yet, for they are still clinging to the past, knowing that they did not achieve anything concerning the actually sought solution to settle this dispute. For, the attempt to make a referendum based upon identification has demonstrated that it cannot be applied due to the already known objective reasons, notably the fact that Sahraouian people are spread over several countries as a result of colonial partition.
Thus, a referendum that is based on identification and at the same time rightful, righteous, free and democratic is not likely to take place unless the geographic and demographic boundaries of all the concerned countries come to be transmuted. This is, as a matter of fact, a sort of fantasy that is impossible and illogical and it does not conform to the international law which calls for the respect of boundaries and territorial integrity of all the countries.
What incites us to say that goodwill is missing among the real other parties is its persistence on making these impossible claims, knowing perfectly not only that these claims are unfeasible but they threaten their entity as well. Thus, evade the tribulation the ignition of which will break its destiny and beware from the calamity of separation which, if it comes to breakout, will blow everything down. This is what pushes us, from another part, to doubt that their claim on inapplicable referendum is in fact artificial pretext to go on with this dispute for other undeclared reasons.
It is worth noting here that the POLISARIO is not basically a democratic Front and it has never been so. For it was established upon the fundamentals of a despotic, totalitarian system with the aim of a total dominion over citizens and a thorough control over their lives, deeds and even their breathings.
Up to now, this Front did not undergoany of the changes that happened with all similar organizations in the world such as the admittance of openness, pluralism, transparency and democracy in managing its policies and its openness on consensual solutions and national conciliation.
This vice is subordinated to the POLISARIO since its establishment and since its premeditated planning and its prior insistence on establishing camps on the territory of Lahamada, putting thus many of our local citizens into a trap, dated on 1975 and based on wrong demands and pure fallacies on the history of Sahara and its relation with the Kingdom of Morocco and with all the issues that revolve around this dispute, generally speaking.
It is generally known that historically speaking, it had never happened that there existed any separate entity from Morocco in this region and that Sahraouian people remained throughout history a basic and essential part of the Moroccan nation who will never yield to any authority other than the authority of the Moroccan Sultans through the sacred Bai’a.
Without going in depth in old history, and only since 1956, the year of independence, no one can deny that the Sahraouian delegation was the first to pledge their Bai’a and loyalty to his Majesty late Mohamed V in Rabat.
In the aftermath of the historical initiative made by important Sahraouian figures (to which belong the majority of POLISARIO’s leaders), the liberation army scudded to retrieve the Sahraouian regions by the mother land. All the Sahraouian people, man and women, coming from all the regions of Sahara, joined the army and showed through their leadership of the armed units of the liberation army (commander of Lmana and commander of Reha) and through their contribution as members of this army, their courage, bravery and jihady sacrifice in the path of Allah, the homeland and of the king. This was witnessed in the great battles in which they took part such as the battle of Dchira and Rghiwa (situated near Tfariti) and the battle of Arkoub…
if only the colonizer did not plot connivance in the operation known as the Ekoveon , the Sahara would have been liberated by the liberation army in the late fifties of the previous century.
In the period stretching between the end of liberation army’s operation and the retrieval of the Southern Provinces in 1975, Morocco, did not stop claiming the retrieval of Sahara in all international forums, notably the Arab States Organization, African Unity Organization, the Organization of Non-Aligned Countries, and the organization of Islamic States and also to the United Nations. Evidently, The Sahraouian people contributed effectively in claiming the Sahara back to the Motherland.
At that period, no party of any nature other than Morocco was claiming the Sahara, for the dispute was constantly set up between Morocco and Spain not only in what regards the provinces of Sagia Lhamra and Wadi Dahab, but also concerning the liberation of Terfaya and Sidi Ifni as the fruit of negotiations, which ended up with an agreement between Morocco and Spain without any kind of referendums. It would not be surprising if Morocco recuperates the Moroccan Sahara in 1975 in the same way. Except for the occupied spots in the North of Morocco, to which Moroccans recently affirmed their Moroccanity and clung to it, rejecting any abuse of their national feeling until a negotiated solution for the said spots is found in the future.
When the bells of liberation toll, the local inhabitants of the region played an important role in this phase to complement the unity by way of contributing in the Green March that was organized by his Majesty late Hassan II, to whom the local inhabitants renewed their sacred Bai’a previously pledged by their fathers to his Majesty late Mohamed V.
Thus, it is not allowed for any person, whoever can be, to counterfeit history or make up a new case history other than what our ancestors revealed.
For, people of Sahraouian tribes are from Moroccan origins.
They contributed to the making of the Moroccan far and near history;
They took part as tribes and individuals in all the phases which the Kingdom of Morocco underwent either in pre-colonization period, in the colonization period, in the liberation period or at the time of independence.
Thus, it is deemed ridiculous to try to constitute separation as from 1973, for nobody can claim that there is a history separating Morocco from its Sahara under any shape. This is due to: a religious engagement reinforced by the Bai’a, a human engagement by way of family bonds and a Jihadi commitment through resistance and participation in important national issues and of course an economic, commercial and human commitment.
For such reasons, the dispute on Sahara is considered to be based on fake motives. In sum, it is essentially based on the residue of the Cold War and on other undeclared claims, which does not regard Sahrawis from any perspective and which regrettably has affected the whole region.
In view of the deepness of the bonds that related, relate and will always relate Sahraouian people with the king of Morocco, a deep rooted relation that is unbreakable no one can, in any manner and whatever time it takes, overcome this unity and this bond of Bai’a, which is in the hearts of all Sahraouian people. The allegiance was reaffirmed to his Majesty Mohamed VI on his succession to the throne by all the Sahraouian people.
Building on what is said; we address the POLISARIO leaders iterating that catch-phrases are useless and irrational stubbornness lead to no avail. In fact, the near history of this dispute is able to give us some lessons to draw.
It is quite necessary for this group to think seriously about changing the strategy which is betting on fantasies and claiming things that are inexistent.
It is high time the front changes its attitude and reconsider its arguments and let them know, as an organization and as individuals that an invalid referendum based on fake identification and that separation of Sahara from Morocco will never take place and that the prolongation of this dispute is to no avail.
It is also high time to make POLISARIO know that the settlement of camps in Tindouf is deemed as a human, ethical and social disaster.
Thus, we cannot admit the aforeplanned excuses on the basis of which many people were detained in Tindouf, Algeria because they are not duly justified. We cannot also agree upon the use of camps as a way to gain political sympathy by begging the compassion of foreigners. Moreover, we do not accept it to be used as an economic instrument that anyone can take advantage of.
The POLISARIO, through their plans, caused camps inhabitants to live in miserable conditions; they detained those people for more than three decades, which is an evident breach of Human Rights. So, if families are scattered, it is due to POLISARIO who sought their dispersion and separation and if no one possess identity documents, it is due to POLISARIO who prevented people from being repatriated.
In fact, the front of POLISARIO and its leaders who sought dominance at the expense of the sufferings of a category of detained inhabitants, a mix of mercenaries and victims of the coastal region disasters, has made a big mistake by exploiting the inhabitants of camps such as Lahmada and Tindouf using them as a useless political argument, having terrible effects on the inhabitants.
Thus, PLISARIO has committed the gravest breach of Human Rights: a breach of Collective Rights by preventing people from regaining their homes for a long time and a breach of individual right, incarnated in the fact of losing their possessions and even their lives.
Now, Morocco has come up with a new approach to solve this issue, this daring and audacious approach based on reconciliation and responsibility and on forgetting the residue of the past and starting a new page of conciliation, fraternity and embrace by approving autonomy. Thus, it has become a duty for POLISARIO leaders to seize this opportunity, which allows them to find a way out from this quagmire by approving the autonomy project in next to no time, and by giving up their double attitudes and catastrophic dreams if they really seek the interest of Sahrawis and if they really respect the interest of the area, this cannot happen unless they could really draw lessons from their past plights.
This can never take place unless the POLISARIO gives up the totalitarian dictatorship as a doctrine of rule, follows the path of democracy, respects the Human Rights, acknowledges even the dissenting opinions, stops using the camps for political bargains and discontinues enriching themselves at the expense of detainees’ misery.
This is cannot be achieved unless they have freedom of decision and we have the right to doubt it. For how can an organization set on a foreign territory and financed through foreign funding have the freedom of taking decisions? Is the POLISARIO actually enjoying freedom of choice? If so, why don’t they work in favor of Sahrawis interests and approve the autonomy, which is already approved and desired by most of the area’s inhabitants.
If the POLISARIO really enjoys freedom of choice as claimed, why not to agree upon the sole applicable and at the same time honoring solution, namely autonomy under the Moroccan sovereignty?
We have the right to doubt that the POLISARIO enjoys the freedom of choice.
Thus, we are confident that the great majority of Sahraouian people, wherever they are and notably those detained in the camps consent on autonomy as the appropriate solution; however, they unfortunately do not participate in the decision-making since they are detained under bad conditions.
All indices definitely indicate that a break up is currently taking place between the inhabitants of the camps and the enforced, isolated and obsolete command of POLISARIO.
Inhabitants seek recourse to their homes in a decent and respectable manner to contribute to the economic, social, political and cultural development process in the area and enjoy a regular life like everyone.
The POLISARIO command is hiding under an undeclared agenda and escapes from taking the conclusive decision because it is the first time that it is exposed to assume its responsibility, if it is truly a Sahrawi Commanding authority. Thus, they have either to choose the decent solution or the no-solution option:
The decent solution is evidently clear, and guarantees all the political, economic, cultural and social rights for the Saharawi inhabitants. It gives them the right to manage their affairs independently, feeling safe and reassured. Also, it is matches the desire of all the parties:
It gratifies the international community who supported the solution of conciliation, based on autonomy and which is internationally called: a political solution.
It also gratifies the Maghreb countries by removing the motive of this fruitless conflict which has delayed the construction of the Arab Maghreb Union more than necessary.
As for the no-solution option, it is a maneuver of the POLISARIO’s command: this option implies the sustainability of the conflict, for claiming what is impossible underscores an evident desire to sustain the conflict; therefore this sustainability implies the submission to an undeclared agenda: that is to say claiming a right to achieve an wrongful aim.
This lined agenda is the ‘original sin’ upon which the POLISARIO was constituted and which prevents any command from enjoying freedom of decision.
However, the world has changed, Thanks Be to God, and the media allows any citizen, wherever he lives to know the truth. Similarly, it has become impossible to keep on lying, maneuvering and adopting double attitudes.
Hence, on the eve of the third session of negotiations which shall start in the first week of January, 2008
in Manhasset, we shall, today, discuss the issue of autonomy: as an ultimate solution to achieve reconciliation and decent recourse. In the hope that the coming session will be an opportunity for the other party to prove some good will, based on credibility, and respect of the Sahrawis’ desire to live in their mother country; the Kingdom of Morocco autonomously under the Moroccan sovereignty and under the righteous command of His Majesty Mohamed VI in a way to put an end decisively to the nightmare which the inhabitants of Tindouf Camps are living and to start a new page of happiness, development and welfare for all the inhabitants of this area.
In this respect and in accordance with the well established royal approach of conjugating unity with progress and democracy, his Majesty Mohamed VI was keen on giving His instructions to include in this session’s agenda a developmental point related to the study of the problematic of air transportation and the road networks in the Southern Provinces, in view of their effect on the openness of these provinces and their advancement, on the promotion of investment and exchange and on the freedom of mobility of people and capitals, and through the creation of projects in which we are seriously taking part in the capacity of a suggestive authority and also as Council for the inhabitants affairs, taking into account that the solution based on development and progress of the Sahara united with the motherland will be achieved through our will and on the land of unity.