Monday, February 23, 2009

Christopher Ross demands self-determination

Beguiling Morocco with his grandfatherly appearance

Delightful news out of Western Sahara, where things have been relatively lately. The new UN envoy on Western Sahara, US diplomat Christopher Ross, isn't taking up last envoy Peter Van Walsum's weak stance on self-determination.

After visiting Morocco, he went to the Polisario-controlled part of Western Sahara to read a speech to Mohammed Abdelaziz and some soldiers. He won't accept any solution that doesn't have self-determination:

Negotiations must tend to "a solution that includes the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination," Ross said in speech he read in Arabic to the Saharawi president-in-exile and an assembly of ministers and chiefs from the nomadic tribes that make up Western Sahara.
Sweet! If he keeps up he'll earn the envoy theme song.

Alternately, this could mean nothing. Some people think self-determination includes autonomy, and he hasn't mentioned a referendum. But at least he isn't endorsing autonomy like Van Walsum.

UPDATE: Reading a comment from blogger Van Kaas makes me think it's a good sign that Ross went to a Polisario-controlled part of Western Sahara instead of the refugee camps in Tindouf.


  1. No I did not!

    But do check the news on this Moroccan news.

  2. You're right. I phrased that awkwardly and changed it.

    Wild article. I like how he spotted drug running spots using Google Earth.

  3. But he did go to Tindouf, not to any part of Western Sahara. Or what am I missing?

  4. Yes he did, just as you say, and he did'nt too.

    And he is missing.

  5. Samrocky10:06 AM

    Autonomy proposal submitted by Morocco is an advanced form of self−determination

  6. Well right, that's their theory.

  7. An autonomy proposal submitted by Morocco is nothing but bluff by a failing dictatorship. Let them propose & invoke democracy to their own people first.

  8. Interesting point Samrocky. But I fail to see how limited autonomy that falls a long way short of full independence is more advanced that complete autonomy in which a people are free to choose their own form of government and be independent as a nation. 'Tis the other way round, surely? But maybe this is a new definition of the word "advanced" that I was not previously aware of.

    Seems a bit like arguing that the right to say anything you like as long as you don't criticise the government or the clergy is a more advanced form of freedom of expression that the right to say what you want period. Or that the right to move within a certain restricted geographical area defined by your government is a more advanced form of freedom of movement that the right to go where you like. Or that limping is an advanced form of walking.... What a crazy, topsy turvey world you guys live in.

    It's entertaining though, so keep it up!

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