FO students request Norwegian politicians to mobilize for the Sahrawis
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EU is about to enter into a new fishing agreement with Morocco, which is contrary to international law because Western Sahara is not excluded. The Norwegian Union of Social Educators and Social Workers (FO) students' congress this weekend requested Norwegian politicians to talk some sense into the EU parliamentarians.

Published 20 November 2013

The resolution below was this weekend, on the 17 November 2013, passed unanimously by the congress of the student branch of the Norwegian Union of Social Educators and Social Workers (FO). 


FO students ask EU to support the UN peace process in Western Sahara

Western Sahara is treated by the UN as Africa's last colony. Up to now, more than a hundred UN resolutions from the Security Council and the General Assembly have stated that the Sahrawis have the right to determine the status of Western Sahara. In spite of this, Morocco is still occupying parts of the territory. 

The first UN resolutions about the Saharawis' rights came already in 1960 when the UN General Assembly stated that the then Spanish Sahara should be given back to the people in the area. But when Spain left Western Sahara, the country did not become independent. Instead, it was occupied by Morocco. The International Court of Justice in 1975 rejected Morocco's territorial claims on Western Sahara. 

When Morocco invaded Western Sahara, the majority of the people fled to refugee camps in Algeria, where they are still living. The Saharawis who chose to stay in Western Sahara, have since been subject to serious abuses and systematic discrimination. The UN Secretary General earlier this year asked the Security Council to establish a permanent monitoring of the human rights in Western Sahara. In the territory there is a peacekeeping mission, MINURSO, without such a human rights mandate. Every year Morocco's near ally France stops MINURSO - as one of very few operations in the world - from reporting on the human rights violations in the territory. 

The Saharawis' peaceful, political and diplomatic struggle must be recognized and supported. It is important that the international community reacts to Morocco's drawing out of the UN peace process and stops providing Morocco with incentives to continue the occupation. In this light it is very problematic that the EU in the fall of 2013 is on its way to enter into a new agreement with Morocco in order to fish in the waters of Western Sahara. The former UN legal advisor has stated that the EU fishery activities in Western Sahara is a breach of international law and that it undermines the UN peace process. It will not be in Morocco's interest to go into UN peace talks as long as they receive a billion NOK every fourth year from the EU in return for fishing licenses in the occupied Western Sahara. This December, the fisheries agreement is going to be voted on in the EU parliament. 
The EU is unnoble to give billion incomes to Morocco to steal fish that rightfully belongs to the Saharawi people. 

The FO students request the EU Parliament to: 
* Support the UN peace process, and not paying the occupying power to continue its occupation

The FO students request Norwegian political organizations to: 
* Immediately contact allies in the EU to make sure the EU parliament does not support an extension of the 
unlawful EU fishery activities in Western Sahara

The FO students request the Norwegian government to: 
* Work for a permanent UN monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara
* Put pressure on France to defend - and not sabotage - human rights in Western Sahara
* Express a clear expectation towards Morocco that the country should respect the Saharawis' rights to self determination and independence
* Increase the Norwegian aid to the refugees in Algeria
* Continue the good Norwegian attitude from 2002 until today that Norwegian companies should not be involved in activities in Western Sahara until the conflict is solved. 

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