“W e yearn for peace, but we are forced into war. The words of this Polisario Front fighter, collected by our special envoy to Western Sahara, resonate well beyond the desert. They must call on the international community. Play a role of electroshock on the unacceptable fate of the Saharawi people, whose lands have been eaten away and illegally occupied by the Moroccan monarchy for forty-six years. And on the powder keg that could become this zone when the historic ceasefire of 1991 was shattered.
This interminable conflict of decolonization – the last in Africa – owes a lot to the inertia of the United Nations and to the duping games of the great powers. Inscribed on the list of non-self-governing territories by the UN, Western Sahara has seen its right to self-determination recognized since the departure of the Spanish colonist in 1975. But the referendum never saw the light of day. Decades of renouncement and futile UN missions. This October 27, the UN Security Council must once again renew the mandate of the blue helmets. But with what intention? So far, Morocco has been able to extend its hold without constraint. Today, the Cherifian kingdom controls and administers 80% of this vast coastal region, rich in natural resources. It continues to establish infrastructure and housing there, to overarm its “sand wall”. An Israeli-style strategy, never sanctioned, which relegates the indigenous population to camps and poisons relations with the Algerian neighbor, support of the Sahrawis. Ineligible.
Faced with this situation, many countries – and France in the lead – have made their choice: to privilege diplomatic and economic relations with the Moroccan authorities rather than respect for the legitimate rights of an indigenous people to choose their destiny. The European Union itself has just been pinned down by its own Court of Justice, which had to annul two trade partnership agreements with Morocco because they concerned Western Sahara… A judicial halt to the cynicism of States. And to the indifference to colonialism which suffocates the Sahrawis.