Nordic NGOs: The UN must organize the referendum about the future of Western Sahara
Representatives of 15 different civil society organizations in the Nordic countries call on its governments to urge the UN to end the stalemate. The associations gathered yesterday for a Western Sahara coordination meeting in Stockholm.
Morocco occupies Western Sahara and refuses to take part in the UN-led process to achieve self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, as called for by the UN Security Council. The peace talks are in a deadlock as Morocco no longer wishes to meet the representative of the Saharawis, Polisario, in the UN led talks. More than 100 UN resolutions call on the right to self-determination for the Saharawi people.
Morocco has prevented Ban Ki-moon and his special envoy Christopher Ross from visiting the occupied territory. Last week they visited the parts of Western Sahara under Polisario control:
“What really moved and, even, saddened me was the anger”, Ban stated. “Many people expressed their anger – people who for more than forty years have lived in the harshest conditions and who feel their plight and their cause have been forgotten by the world. Understandably, they are angry”, he said after to press following meeting with the Saharawis.
The UN special envoy to Western Sahara last autumn reported to the Security Council that Morocco was no longer willing to talk. The Nordic associations believe that UN now must find new ways for independence for the Saharawis.
The 15 Nordic NGO’s met in Stockholm on March 9th to discuss the situation in Western Sahara:
Sweden: Afrikagrupperna, Olof Palme International Center, Emmaus Björkå, Praktisk Solidaritet, The Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation, Emmaus Stockholm, The Swedish Western Sahara Committee, The Swedish Western Sahara Action
Norway: The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, SAIH (The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund), The Student Parliament at the University of Oslo, The Student Parliament at the University of Bergen, Norwegian Church Aid
Finland: International Solidarity Work, Emmaus Åland