Monday, March 12, 2007

Tell the Secretary General to defend self-determination

Do online petitions do anything? Maybe not. If any online petition related to the Western Sahara ever helps the Sahrawi people, though, it'll be this one, an appeal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to defend self-determination in face of the autonomy plan presentation in April.

The petition has been getting a lot of publicity online, running at the top of ARSO's front page and on several blogs. The petition calls for an immediate referendum on self-determination, as well as protection for Sahrawis in the occupied territory.

There is also a more detailed argument against autonomy. The petition points out that autonomy is expressly against all the previous agreements that supported a referendum.

This petition has already received a lot of signatures. The usual countries are well-represented (Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, and Algeria), as are Norway, the United States, and France. Still, the petition has been signed by people as diverse as Angolans and Singaporeans.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:39 AM

    The consultant to James, Mr. Hurst Hannum, who helped the American Secretary of State during the elaboration of the "Baker Plan" considered that "Morocco has no authority to impose a solution unilaterally in Western Sahara", in an opinion he published in the "International Herald tribune", in reaction to another opinion published in the 3 March by the ex-American Ambassador, Frederick Vreeland, in "The New York Yimes".

    He further underlined that the question of the Western Sahara is a problem of decolonisation, recalling that the International Court of Justice of The Hague has clearly "reaffirmed the Saharans' right to decolonization and self-determination".

    Here is the complete text of the opinion:

    International Herald tribune

    Morocco and Western Sahara

    As a consultant to James Baker in drafting what became known as the "Baker Plan" for Western Sahara, I must disagree with Ambassador Frederick Vreeland's pro-Moroccan argument for an autonomous Western Sahara in "A young king's wise proposal," (Views. March 3).

    Nowhere is it mentioned that Morocco's claim to sovereignty over Western Sahara was specifically rejected by the International Court of Justice in a 1975 advisory opinion, which reaffirmed the Saharans' right to decolonization and self-determination. The 1975 Moroccan march to "reclaim" Western Sahara cited by Vreeland was government-instigated and widely condemned.

    Every resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council in recent years has reaffirmed the right of the people of Western Sahara to determine their own future, but Morocco has consistently rejected any proposal that would allow the fate of Western Sahara to be determined through a free referendum in the territory.

    King Mohammed VI's proposal for autonomy may well be the most sensible solution for Western Sahara, and it should be considered seriously by the Sahwari government-in-exile and people. However, Morocco has no authority to impose a solution unilaterally, and the UN Security Council should not issue a diktat against the wishes of the people of Western Sahara.

    Mr. Hurst Hannum, Hong Kong". (SPS)