In a letter to Norwegian civil society today, the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs expressed that self-determination for the people of Western Sahara must constitute the basis for the solution to the conflict.
Photo: Asgeir Spange Brekke, FD/UD
In a letter to 53 Norwegian civil society organisations today, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, wrote that “Norway is concerned about the latest development in Western Sahara”.
“Norway has been clear that a political solution to the Western Sahara conflict has to be based on decisions made in the UN Security Council, where a long line of resolutions (latest resolution 2458 (2020)) underline that the basis has to be the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara", the minister of foreign affairs wrote, underlining that it is highly important that a new personal envoy to Western Sahara is appointed by the UN Secretary General.
The letter came as a reponse to a correspondence of 1 December from 53 Norwegian civil society associations within human rights, politics, human rights, as well as within the church, trade union and student movements. All nine political youth parties of Norway signed the initial letter to the government.
Søreide wrote that “the mandate of the UN operation in Western Sahara should include surveillance and reporting on the human rights situation” in the terrtory.
She also stressed that the Norwegian government has “been careful to avoid acts that can be seen as a legitimisation of the situation in Western Sahara. The Norwegian government, has therefore, taken a precautinoary approach in the shape of a general recommendation to not carry out trade, resources exploitation or other sorts of trade in the territory”.
Two well-known Saharawi student activists were this week arrested in Agadir. A trial is expected to start today.
Since 1 April, two Saharawi political prisoners have been on hunger strike, in protest of the deplorable conditions they are living under.
So far, Yahya Mohamed Elhafed Iaazza has spent 14 years in Moroccan jails.