Saharawis and Palestinians: Victims of the Same Criminals

Pablo Jofre Leal
https://static.timesofisrael.com/www/uploads/2020/12/Untitled-4-3.jpgDestabilizing and hegemonic desires, accompanied by intense indignity and conduct that violates international law and the human rights of the Saharawi and Palestinian people, constitute part of the explanation for the new measure, made known on December 10, by the moribund US administration headed by Donald Trump.

A provision that involves the Moroccan monarchy and the Zionist entity, called by Donald Trump to “normalize” their relations, with several objectives: to increase the cleansing of the image of the Israeli regime, to strengthen the position of an ailing Benjamin Netanyahu and to strengthen the decision that under the new government of Joe Biden that position will not change. In addition, to increase its presence on the African geopolitical scene in the face of the presence of other powers, especially the People’s Republic of China. All of these are goals for which the U.S. president has played his cards during his four years in office.

On this occasion the price to be paid, as elsewhere, is borne by third parties, subjected to 45 years of colonization and occupation of their territory, the Saharawi people of Morrocco, and 72 years of consolidation of historical control of Palestine by Zionism, plus 53 years of colonization and occupation of the West Bank. It is the attack of a criminal triad that needs to be stopped. Saharawis and Palestinians are paying the price for the conspiracy of criminals, corrupt governments, plans oriented to favor their economic, military, and geopolitical interests, and to make invisible those who are subjected to these processes of settlement, colonization, and occupation, together with the plundering of their territories.

“Another historic advance today! Our two great friends, Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco, have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations” were the words of the retiring US President Donald Trump on Twitter December 10. He also announced the recognition of Morocco’s false sovereignty over Western Sahara, for understanding that its proposal for autonomy, “serious, credible and realistic”, is “the only basis” for a “just and lasting” solution that guarantees “peace and prosperity” in the region, where the Maghreb country has carried out a process of colonization and occupation at the expense of the rights of the Saharawi people, today divided between the population west of the Wall of Shame erected by Moroccan troops and the liberated territories and the refugee camps of Tindouf run by the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The regularization of relations in broad fields (political, economic, military) between Zionism and the Alawite monarchy presided over by Mohamed VI has as its “prize” the recognition by the United States, which is contrary to international law, of Morocco’s false sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara, as it has done with the Zionist colonization and occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, thus endorsing not only that illegal occupation, but also moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Al Quds (Jerusalem) against the determination of this city, established in Resolution No. 181 of November 29, 1947. The United States has no power, has not received a mandate from any international institution, and there is no role in the United Nations Charter that grants the power to cede sovereignty and to recognize the sovereignty of a country over territories to which it has no right. No such obsequious power exists. Nor does it exist in relation to recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over the territories of Western Sahara, nor does it exist in relation to recognizing sovereignty over occupied territories such as the West Bank or eliminating the special status enjoyed by Al Quds.

Chaos has no geography

It is clear that the latest actions of the Trump administration aimed at generating anarchy in large regions of the world, now include the area of the African Maghreb where the Sahrawi people have waited many years to realize their process of self-determination, after the shameful departure of Spain from the territory in 1975. A departure that did not fulfill its obligations as the administering power of these former colonial territories and allowed the invasion of both Mauritania and Morocco to seize the country. This led to a war, which soon resulted in the defeat of Mauritania at the hands of the Polisario Front forces and the continuation of the struggle until 1991 against Morocco, when a ceasefire was signed under the auspices of the UN.

This cessation of hostilities, not the end of the war, was made concrete by the decision to establish a referendum on self-determination, which had been established in 1974 when Spain was the colonial power. It was an instrument that would lead to the independence of the created SADR. To this end, the United Nations (UN) created the so-called Mission for the Referendum on Western Sahara (MINURSO) in 1991, which was to be in charge of the implementation, execution, and application of that referendum on self-determination. Twenty-nine years have passed and nothing has come of it, generating the logical Saharawi frustration, which, tired of the outrages by Morocco in the occupied territories and the pillaging of their wealth, decided to protest in El Guerguerat (the southern limit between the occupied territories and Mauritania) which sparked the renewal of the military conflict between the two countries.

The resumption of the hostilities shook the Moroccan monarchy, which was plunged into a severe economic and political crisis, with very high levels of corruption, where, in addition, the particular personal conditions of Mohamed VI have been the cause of strong disputes regarding his moral capacity as head of state and religious guide – a very unusual commander of the faithful (1). After the events of El Guerguerat, Rabat called on Washington and Zionism to help him, just as he did in the war of the 70s and 80s of the 20th century against the Saharawi people. The price to be paid? The aforementioned obligation to normalize relations with Zionism – thereby endorsing the colonization and occupation of Palestine with all the crimes that such an act entails – and at the same time to increase the purchase of arms, which between 2019-2020 alone was 3.5 billion dollars. The current price of this arms sale prior to the departure from Trump: $1.1 billion.

On this occasion, the US military industrial complex managed to sign off on the sale of $1 billion for 4 MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones from the US company General Atomics. Added to this are Hellfire guided missiles, produced by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which have a range of more than 11,000 kilometers, so they can cover wide areas of sea or desert, which explains their interest also in their purchase by the United Arab Emirates, which in order to have access to them had to also comply with the requirement of normalizing relations with Zionism.

In this military variant of the agreement between Washington-Rabat and Tel Aviv, with respect to the normalization of Israel and the purchase of arms, the condemnation of Algeria arose immediately, a historic ally of the Saharawi people and enemy of the expansionist efforts of Rabat on the basis of the so-called myth of the construction of Greater Morocco. Algeria criticized the normalization of ties between Israel and Morocco, denouncing that the regime in Tel Aviv now threatens its borders. “There are foreign maneuvers that want to destabilize Algeria. The Zionist regime is getting closer to our borders,” warned the Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad. He also took advantage of the opportunity to call for national unity, which would allow the complex political problems to be overcome in Algeria, which now must face this challenge with a neighbor considered its main rival.

Algeria, in official statements delivered by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, December 12, indicated that “the conflict in Western Sahara is a question of decolonization that can only be resolved through the application of international law by allowing the Saharawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The declaration of December 4, announced on the 10th of the same month, has no legal effect, because it contradicts all the resolutions of the United Nations, especially the decrees of the Security Council on the subject of Western Sahara, the last of which is Resolution No. 2548 issued on October 30, 2020, drafted and defended by the United States. Algeria, whose position is based on international legitimacy in the face of the logic of force and suspicious agreements, renews its firm support for the just cause of the Saharawi people” (2).

Senior international officials connected to the issue of self-determination for the Saharawi people and the unsuccessful referendum have denounced the remarks of Donald Trump in support of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, which do not conform to international law. The former special envoy of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), Francesco Bastagali, demanded that Trump’s decision on Western Sahara be rejected, and invited the new administration of Joe Biden to “reconsider this decision in accordance with international law as a framework for resolving the Saharawi question. The Security Council must take a position against this unilateral measure because it could undermine international peace and security”.

Bastogali’s recommendations also go a long way towards filling the vacant post of Special Envoy to Western Sahara, which has gone almost a year and a half without a name to lead the international community’s voice on the issue of Western Sahara. It requires that the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, make “a courageous decision – as Mr. Bastagali says – on the Saharawi cause and act in favor of a definitive solution to this issue”. It is clear that the future of the Saharawi people is unfailingly linked to their self-determination, which is the only way, practical, legal and moral, to put an end to the conflict.

The Polisario Front and the SADR, recognized by 85 states, asked the UN to declare that the pronouncements of Trump and the determinations expressed with respect to referring to Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, are in violation of international law. “It is not up to Trump to make this decision and they are surprised that he has made this decision coinciding with World Human Rights Day, in an apparent provocation. It constitutes a flagrant violation of one of the most sacred rights: the right of peoples to self-determination. The Saharawi government and the Polisario Front ask the United Nations and the African Union to condemn this reckless decision and to put pressure on the Kingdom of Morocco to end its illegal occupation of Western Sahara. The Saharawi people will continue their legitimate struggle and assume the sacrifices that this requires”.

Washington has indicated that it will not support an option for Western Sahara, other than under the political criteria established by Morocco. “The United States believes that an independent Saharawi state is not a realistic option for resolving the conflict and that genuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty is the only feasible solution, and therefore proposes that the parties sit down to negotiate “as soon as possible” with the Rabat plan as the “only framework” on the table”, encouraging relations with Morocco for the exploitation of phosphate, the resources of the Atlantic fishing grounds, the energy resources under the ground: gas and oil, and the control of an area of Africa where the Chinese presence has an enormous influence. With this objective, Washington will open a new Consulate in the town of Dakhla “to promote economic and business opportunities for the region”. Morocco thus becomes one more piece of the conspiracy formed by imperialism and Zionism.

Washington spares no effort to destabilize the world, to support governments and ideologies considered the most criminal in the world, and at the same time to favor its pressure groups, in this case the military industrial complex, the Saudi lobby and the energy lobby, to provide sustenance to criminals, violators of international law and the rights of millions of human beings. All this with the obsequious and complacent silence of international organizations, which having the legal tools in their hands, are incapable and sterile, lacking political will, to force compliance with international laws, which in the case of the Saharawi and Palestinian people would imply the achievement of their processes of self-determination.

Notes:

1. “Mémoires d’un Soldat Marocain” (“Memoirs of a Moroccan Soldier”), published in France by Edilivre. The volume represents a frontal attack on the corruption of the Moroccan military leadership by Abdelilá Issou, a former army officer trained at the Royal Military Academy of Meknes who ended up in exile in Spain in 2000, where he collaborates with the CNI. Beyond the dirty dealings of the powerful General Bernani, Issou’s accusing finger reaches higher and points to King Mohammed VI and his sexual preferences. In fact, he claims to be the author of a report on the tendencies of the Alaouite monarch. “For my part, I presented J.M. with a report on the sexual orientation of the Crown Prince, the current King Mohammed VI, and his friendship with Abderrahmane Alaoui, Bihmane to his intimates, who was my classmate at the Royal Military Academy”. An intimate part of the Moroccan monarch’s life, it is often the source of investigation files at the hands of secret services, including those of the United States and Israel. https://www.elmundo.es/loc/2014/10/25/544a9fe0e2704ee4018b4574.html

2. https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/es/content/resolutions-adopted-security-council-2020. A resolution, which among other points, again extends the mandate of MINURSO until October 31, 2021. Let us recall that this mission was created to carry out the referendum on self-determination for Western Sahara, postponed 29 years ago, either because of the brakes put on it by Morocco or because of the support for this work by France, Spain and the United States, which have become guarantors of the Moroccan monarchy.