A resolution adopted by the Executive Board of the Norwegian Centre Party on January 10th 2008, demands the recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Centre Party is one of 3 parties in the Norwegian Government.
Published 11 January 2008
In May 2007, an other of the 3 governmental parties, the Socialist Left Party, also made the same demands. Resolution adopted by the Executive Board of the Norwegian Centre Party
January 10, 2008.
The Norwegian Centre Party supports the Sahrawi people's right to independence
Western Sahara is treated by the United Nations as the last unsolved colonial question in Africa. So far, more than 100 UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions have confirmed the Sahrawis' right to decide the status of Western Sahara. But the pressure from the UN has not lead to the termination of the Moroccan occupation.
The first UN statements regarding the Sahrawi people's rights came already in the 1960s, when the UN General Assembly established that the former Spanish Sahara was to be returned to the people of the territory. But when Spain left Western Sahara, the country was not granted its independence. Instead, it was occupied by Morocco. In October 1975, the International Court of Justice in The Hague rejected Morocco's territorial claims to Western Sahara.
When Morocco invaded Western Sahara, the majority of the population fled to refugee camps in Algeria, where they still live. The Sahrawis who decided to remain in Western Sahara, have since then been subjected to serious violations and systematic discrimination. The leading Sahrawi human rights organisation, CODESA, was on October 7 2007 refused by the Moroccan authorities to convene its founding congress. A considerable number of Norwegian delegations to Western Sahara have been expelled from the country, and representatives from the Norwegian embassy are denied entry if they are to meet with Sahrawis.
Since the occupation in 1975, Morocco has undermined the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination. Morocco is also refusing to honour agreements for the holding of a referendum for independence, signed with the UN and the liberation movement Polisario in 1991. On April 10 2007, Polisario presented a proposal to the UN Secretary General with an invitation to negotiations on the conditions regarding the referendum, as well as for the cooperation with Morocco after a possible independence. The following day, Morocco presented a long heralded plan, leading to Western Sahara's integration into Morocco with a form for local autonomy, but without the referendum on independence.
The Sahrawi struggle, mainly through political and diplomatic means, must be given recognition and support. Their efforts are led by the exile government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The government is based in the refugee camps in Algeria, whence they control one third of Western Sahara. The republic has been recognised as an independent state by more than 70 countries around the world, and is a fully fledged member of the African Union. In order to guarantee stability and security in the region, it is important that the international community reacts to the Moroccan undermining of the UN peace process.
-The Norwegian Centre Party asks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put increased pressure on Morocco in order to allow that an official Norwegian delegation can travel to occupied Western Sahara, to talk with leading Sahrawi human rights activists.
-The Centre Party asks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look for effective methods to stop Norwegian business cooperation with Morocco inside the occupied territories.
-The Centre Party demands that Norway follows the African Union, and formally recognises the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
- Norway should work for an increased and more stable and predictable humanitarian aid to the Sahrawi refugees.Unofficial translation by The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.
See Norwegian original here.