Thursday, June 21, 2007

Next round of Polisario - Morocco negotiations scheduled for August

It looks like Sahrawi and Moroccan diplomats will be able to see the musicals they missed this week after all. The next batch of negotiations over Western Sahara's fate have been scheduled for the second week of August.

According to the article and a speech from the head of the Polisario delegation, not much happened. As always, at least they're talking, but when tens of thousands of Sahrawis are baking in Tindouf and hundreds more are get whaled on by Moroccan security forces, it's cold comfort.

I was particularly intrigued by the "secluded private estate in Manhasset" talk in the Reuters article. Just what is this private estate, and were its owners tired of tea ceremonies by Tuesday afternoon?

Judging from the Secretary General's personal envoy's communique, the negotiations were held at Greentree, home of 1920's rich man Payne Whitney. Whitney was a member of Skull and Bones and married to the daughter of a former Secretary of State, so the Illuminati have their gold-stained fingerprints all over these negotiations.

Wikipedia says Greentree is home to a tennis court where people can play "real tennis," which is like tennis with pantaloons. Unfortunately, the court is defunct. Was Khalihenna ould Rachid mad about not being able to play real tennis? I think so, because he seems to have forgotten about a certain International Court of Justice ruling:
"Morocco has given up total integration (of Sahara) and we expect the other party to give up full independence," another official, Khalihenna Ould Errachid, head of Morocco's Royal Consultative Council for Saharan Affairs, told reporters.
It's hard for Polisario to give up independence when it has no reason to, Kelly.

Via Sahara-Views, who's glad that we're not back to livefire exercises.


  1. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Hi Will

    I think that UN should not hold this negotiations in “private estate “ when reach people can play tennis for moral reasons…..

    The only results we heard that the parties agreed to meet in August and . second that they eat dinner together !!
    I am not sure if the UN alone can solve this issue.
    Also no reason to believe that Morocco will not behave like in the previous agreements they signed ( Houston) …

    My view NO Morroco, NO Polisario , NO UN , NO Algeria will decide on the name of Saharawis. Only people of WS can decide on their main issue.
    If not we may have to wait for “ another guest “ to bring this issue from all these parties and return it to REAL Sahrawis
    Wait and see


  2. Well, I feel better about the Greentree location now that I've learned it's common for negotiations to be held there.

    Today, I found out that some more minor international issue was settled there recently (I can't remember where I read it).

    I agree with you that Sahrawis will be the deciding group, Desertman. Still, we can't ignore the other players. For example, a change in US policy towards Morocco could make Morocco more willing to hold a referendum.

  3. Laroussi7:23 AM

    Desterman: I am not sure I understand you.

    Off course the Saharawis are the only ones to decide about their own future.

    However, negotiations are underway since Morocco refuses to allow a referendum on self-determination and since no country (Algeria included) is putting any real pressure on Morocco to change its position.

    How do you think the Saharawi people ever will get their rightful right to self-determination if not through negotiations between Polisario and Morocco?

    And who are the "REAL Sahrawis"?

  4. Laroussi7:37 PM

    ps. AP has fresh story from Western Sahara.

  5. Laroussi, I think it's possible for Sahrawis to get self-determination without negotiations between Polisario and Morocco. Negotiations would be much easier, though, than an intifada inside the territory or some other form of resolution that excluded Polisario.

    I think the solution right, since the two parties are so intractable, is for their supporters to pressure them. Right now, it seems like Morocco is willing to accept the losses it incurs for occupying Western Sahara (troop expenses, lack of investment, international embarassment).

  6. Laroussi7:08 AM

    Will and Desertman: would you mind elaborating a bit on your ideas of how excluding Polisario could lead to self-determination?

    Even if the public uprising in the occupied territories would increase drastically in strength, which there are no signs of today, the intifada would have to lead to a point where Morocco says "ok, we will allow a referendum about independence". This point is very far away today with Moroccos massive military and security presence, lack of international media, together with the pacifist form of protests that are taking place.

    If the protests were to increase and in the end lead to an agreement of a referendum, who would then negotiate this referendum with the Moroccans? Either it would be Polisario, or a new rebel group from the occupied territories. This latter would however only represent the minority of the Saharawis who are living under Moroccan rule. Do you think the Saharawis in the camps would abandon Polisario, their own liberation movement? Not likely.

    However, I believe the above scenario is unlikely. None of the activist groups in the occupied territory has taken a stand against Polisario. On the contrary, they are all working in more or less close co-operation with the liberation movement. So, even a stronger intifada is not likely to take place without Polisario.

    There has been increased focus on Western Sahara lately and more talks from the international community to find a solution, but in no way has anyone talked about getting there without the Saharawi liberation movement.

    I am not saying that Polisario has to be "the" independence movemenf for the Saharawi, but so far it is and no real alternative exists.

    So, how do you think the Saharawi would gain their right to self-determination without Polisario?