Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hmatou Salah Amaidan: champion sahraoui /800m a monaco

البطل الصحراوي حمتو صلاح اميدان في سباق 800 متر بموناكو


Anonymous said...

What wall? What occupation?
It's time to stop Morocco's prevarication over Western Sahara.

The Guardian
13. April 2007
Ian Williams

It's not double standards, it's no standards at all. The world has let
scoff-law Morocco ride roughshod over international law and the UN
Charter. It helps to have friends!

Their territory split by a huge wall built at enormous expense, an
occupied Arab population suffers under police raids and arbitrary
imprisonment while the occupiers try to swamp the territories with
settlers from their own population. In response, the locals are
beginning an intifada, but face a much larger, better-equipped military
force, the beneficiary of substantial overseas aid. Refugees living in
camps are refused the right to return to their homes.

Despite clear decisions of the International Court of Justice and the UN
Security Council, the occupiers hedge whenever it comes down to the
question of a peace settlement that grants independence even when
American emissaries try to nudge them towards serious talks.

Welcome to Western Sahara, the occupation that admittedly has lasted
only three decades compared with Israel's occupation of the West Bank
and Gaza, but which has excited much less media interest.

This week, the issue came back to what passes for the fore in this
forgotten conflict, when the Polisario, on behalf of the Sahwaris and
the Kingdom of Morocco both submitted their plans for the resolution of
the problem.

The Moroccan one is superficially attractive after all these decades,
offering Scottish-style devolution. But their track record on keeping
promises is far from stellar. Over 15 years ago, Morocco accepted a
peace deal that involved the referendum on self-determination. The
cash-strapped UN has spent hundreds of millions on keeping a force there
to monitor the cease-fire and arrange a vote. But as soon as it became
clear that Morocco would lose any vote that involved independence, the
king and his father before him, gave prevarication a bad name. They
tried to stack the voters' rolls, and when that failed, simply refused
to allow a vote that asked the question.

Morocco's human rights record leaves much to be desired, as indeed did
Polisario's in the old days. But the Moroccan reticence about allowing a
vote is eloquent testimony to the government's assessment of the popular

What is the secret of Morocco's success? In essence, it is choosing
friends carefully.

Morocco claims Arab solidarity - and is one of the best friends of
Israel in the Arab World. Immediately after the Moroccans occupied the
territory despite the ICJ ruling that rubbished its territorial claims,
the UN security council passed resolutions 379 and 380, which explicitly
and unconditionally called on Morocco to withdraw. However, the French
and Americans blocked the enforcing of these resolutions. According to
then-US ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "the
Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly
ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. The task was given to me,
and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success."

While the US's anti-communist fervour has died down - with communism -
France has remained an important and unprincipled supporter of the king.
Despite all that Cartesian rhetoric with which it opposed the invasion
of Iraq, over the Sahara it has a novel and disturbing principle: the
security council cannot impose its decisions on parties if they

France has claimed there was a tradition of using consensus on Western
Sahara, which was a bit like the apocryphal prisoner who had killed his
parents and then asked for the court's sympathy because he was an
orphan. Any such "tradition" developed in response to constant French
and American attempts to railroad a pro-Moroccan position past the other
security council members in defiance of all previous decisions.

Britain's attitude seems to be that it does not have a dog in the fight,
so it is prepared to go along with the Americans and the French. But the
standing of international law, the UN charter and principles are surely
a dog worth backing in any foreign policy with - in Robin Cook's words -
"an ethical dimension". In the end, the illegal Indonesia occupation of
East Timor succumbed to the persistent refusal of the world to recognise

Polisario has made a very reasonable offer, which is in complete
accordance with UN resolutions and international law. It could also
offer, instead of a Scottish style solution with the Moroccan army and
secret police still in occupation - a Canadian style solution. We will
put King Mohammed on our coins and welcome an occasional royal visit -
but nothing more.

But in any case, the UK, the EU, and the UN, should stop accommodating
Morocco and France and step up the pressure on Rabat. It's the law.


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