Friday, March 02, 2007

The Saharawi President Speech at the 31th Anniversary of SADR in TIFARITI

Keynote Speech of Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the proclamation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the International Conference of Solidarity with the Saharawi People
The liberated town of Tifariti, 27 February 2007

Combatants of the Saharawi People’s Army,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Brothers and Friends, Honourable Guests,

As we gather today in Tifariti, in the liberated territories, to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the proclamation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, the embodiment of the will of all the Saharawi people, allow me to pay homage to the memory of the Martyr El-Wali Mustapha Sayed, the founder of the revolution, who proclaimed the Saharawi State not far from this place on 27 February 1976, and to the memory of all martyrs of our national cause.

Whilst paying tribute to the memory of the two martyrs of the Intifada for independence, Lembarki Hamdi and Lekhlifi Abba Cheick, we also bow to the memory of a group of heroes who have devoted their lives for the cause of freedom and dignity and the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.

We pay tribute to Brahim Sabar, Yhdith Tarouzi, Hedi Mahmoud Keinan, Ahemd Sebai, Moulay Omar Ben-El-Yazid, Hafed Tawbali, Bechri Ben-Taleb, Ghali Zegheim, Moulay Cheick Ben-Alal, Mohamed Salem Bahaba, Mohamed Mouloud Hadjaj, Abdsalam Deida, Ahmed Salem Hmeidat, Mohamed Habib Gasmi, Abd Salam Lumadi, Shubeida Arousi, Benka Cheick, Wali Amidan, Lumadi Siad, Abdallah Ali Salem Hassan, Brahim Ali Lehssen Kdjut, Salama Mouloud Brahim Lhmam, Dris Mulay, Faradji Mansuri, Mohamed Sueilem Mohamed Abd Tamek, Agdi Hussein, Hamdi Ahmed Mbarek Beid, Bachir Yehdih, Abdallah Nadji , Cheibata Ould Zdef Mudafa, Kawara Taquiallah, Omar Ould Hamudi Ould Mokhtar, Salek Assri, Amidan Saleh, Mahmoud Mbarek Cheick Abu Kasem, Buannan Mohamed, Abdeldjalil Mudjahid, Lutfi Mouloud.

They represent a group of heroes of the Intifada that the Saharawi people are carrying out in the occupied territories and Southern Morocco against the arrogance and oppression of the Moroccan occupation. They have chosen to go on an open hunger strike, which has so far lasted for a few weeks, at the Black Prison in the occupied Saharawi capital, El Aiún, and in Anzigan, Tiznit, Ait Meloul in Morocco. Despite all forms of terror, torture and degrading treatment to which they have been subjected, and although their healthy situation is deteriorating every day, they remain steadfast in their courageous resistance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The holding of the International Conference of Solidarity with the Saharawi People in Tifariti, in the liberated zones, is an event with great importance and implications.

This year will also be marked by the holding of the conference of the councils and towns twinned with Saharawi councils in which the participants will discuss the possibilities of cooperation not only with the Saharawi refugees but also with the liberated towns of the Saharawi Republic.

The organisation of the different stages of the Sahara Marathon, which will involve the liberated territories, is also a qualitative step in the direction of deepening and diversifying solidarity with and support for the struggle of the Saharawi people.

The Saharawi Republic intends to destroy the remaining part of its stockpiles of landmines, which will be done soon in Tifariti, in line with the commitments it has undertaken in this regard and as a gesture of its sincere will to achieve a just peace on the basis of the respect for international legality. However, the Moroccan Government continues to reject the implementation of these resolutions, whilst reneging on its commitments and violating human rights.

Not far from this place, a crime against humanity is still taking place represented by the Wall of Shame, the wall of terror and separation that was erected by Morocco to divide Western Sahara and its people by the presence of many thousands of soldiers, huge military arsenal and millions of landmines, which have killed dozens of innocents. It represents the brutal face of a deplorable and abhorrent colonial reality that the world should move to put to an end.

The international solidarity, which had begun in the first years of the tragedy resulting from the Moroccan occupation of our country, faces serious dangers at the moment in terms of the human rights situation in the Saharawi occupied territories and the food situation in the refugee camps as well. It is shameful to see some quarters officially seeking to suppress the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Western Sahara, or trying hard to reduce the humanitarian aid destined for the Saharawi refugees as a means of political pressure in order to force them to give up their right to live in their homeland in freedom and dignity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thirty one years have elapsed during which the Saharawi State has been consolidated and has become an irreversible legal and institutional reality as well as a national, regional and international reality and a factor of stability in the region. The struggle of the Saharawi people and their heroic determination has not and will never be in vain. Today, the Saharawi people are more determined than ever; the liberation march continues and new generations are embracing and carrying on the struggle, which has taken the Moroccan colonial authorities by surprise when demonstrations began to challenge the occupation audaciously and resolutely even in places on which the colonial power has been tightening its iron grip for more than thirty years.

The Saharawi people are today more cohesive and united behind the vanguard of their struggle, the Frente POLISARIO; wherever they are they remain very attached to their national aspirations, be they in the occupied territories, in the liberated zones and the refugee camps, in Southern Morocco and the Moroccan universities, where Saharawi students study, or in the diapsora.

This fact is the expression of their national unity that is continuously becoming stronger and more inclusive whereby all Saharawis are united behind the Saharawi Republic. It is also an indication of their unwavering determination to remain steadfastly attached to their sacred rights knowing that international legality is on their side and counting on a long history of admirable struggle and on a massive international solidarity which is reflected today by the overwhelming presence of representatives of countries and governments, solidarity groups and networks worldwide.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There will be no solution to the conflict in Western Sahara outside the framework of international legality, and there will be no respect for international legality without enabling the Saharawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The Moroccan presence in Western Sahara represents an illegal occupation of a non-self-governing territory pending decolonisation. International conventions clearly stipulate that this process should be concluded by means of respecting the right of colonial peoples to self-determination, and not by entrenching a new colonial reality and imposing the views of the Moroccan occupying power, simply because it does not have sovereignty over the territory.

Form this land that has been liberated thanks to the sacrifices of the martyrs and the suffering of our people, we would like to tell the world that the Saharawi people, under the leadership of their sole and legitimate representative, the Frente POLISARIO, will never accept any baseless approach such as the so-called “autonomy” proposal that aims to legitimise Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara and entrench the colonial fait accompli in the territory.

This misconceived and dishonest proposal, which is utterly inconsistent with the minimum international norms, is a blatant violation of international law, and could only lead to more tension and instability. It is a new form of the Moroccan illegal military invasion of Western Sahara, which took place on 31 October 1975. It could therefore lead only to the same disastrous consequences of that invasion for both the Saharawi and Moroccan peoples and the peoples of the region as a whole.

It is high time to implement the democratic and civilised solution that is consistent with international law and UN resolutions as well as the agreements between the two parties to the conflict, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO, with regard to giving the Saharawi people their legitimate chance to express their sovereign wishes through a free, fair and just referendum.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The repression carried out by the Moroccan colonial authorities in the occupied territories of Western Sahara has reached unprecedented propositions. Civilians are constantly subjected to persecution for no reason rather than their engagement in peaceful demonstrations to demand the respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms in Western Sahara and the world at large.

The international community should not remain idle in the face of the gross violations of human rights that are being perpetrated in a territory under the supervision and responsibility of the United Nations. What does the world await after the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recognised that the absence of the fundamental right, the right to self-determination, is the root cause of all those violations?

It is inconceivable that the world will remain as a passive spectator regarding the situation of innocent victims who live under a tight security siege and a total information blackout that have nothing to do with the sprit of the 21st century.

We would like to call on this honourable gathering of solidarity, and through it on all peoples and governments of the world, to act urgently to save the lives of dozens of political prisoners who have gone on a hunger strike to defend some universal ideals and values. We also call on them to act to put an end to the brutal oppression against innocent civilians, assassination, and torture, which has even targeted women, children and elderly, abduction, detention, forced deportation, and the voracious plundering of the Saharawi resources.

We also call on the United Nations to put in place all necessary mechanisms to protect our citizens in the occupied territories that are under its supervision, by enlarging the mandate of MINURSO to include the protection of human rights. We also call on the United Nations to act to ensure the release of all Saharawi political prisoners and to account for more than 500 civilian disappeared and 151 prisoners of war.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Like other Saharawi zones, this land, in which we have our celebrations today, has witnessed remarkable episodes of our national struggle that were made by the combatants of the Saharawi People’s Army who remain resolutely prepared to defend the homeland and achieve justice and peace. To all of them, we would like to express our deepest gratitude and most sincere thanks for the warm reception that they have extended to all of us in this part of the liberated territories.

We would also like to express our many thanks to the sisterly Algeria, the Government, the people and the civil society, under the leadership of His Excellency President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The land of one million and a half martyrs, Algeria, which is represented today by a very distinguished delegation, has constantly remained attached to its principled position in favour of just causes and the implementation of the dictates of international legality relating to decolonisation and self-determination.

Likewise, we would like to welcome our brothers and sisters from our dear continent Africa. The Saharawi Republic, a founding member of the African Union, is proud and highly appreciative of the positions taken by African countries and peoples that have embraced the Saharawi cause, and have translated into practice their conviction that their freedom would always be incomplete without the decolonisation of the last colony in Africa.

The great gathering of activists representing the Spanish solidarity movement is an opportunity for us to express the deepest gratitude of the Saharawi people to all Spanish peoples for their noble positions that are consistent with the distinguished ties binding us, which we intend to strengthen in order to remove that big stain on the Spanish modern history, namely the singing of the tripartite Madrid Accords.

We together, Saharawis and Spaniards, are expecting the Spanish State to fully assume its historical, legal and moral responsibility towards the Saharawi people by rectifying this error and completing the decolonisation of Western Sahara.

Obviously, some actions of the current Spanish Government, such as its abstention from voting on a UN resolution regarding the self-determination referendum for the Saharawi people and providing the Moroccan occupying power with arms, indicate that it has no willingness at all to assume that responsibility.

I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express, on behalf of all Saharawis wherever they are, our many thanks and profound gratitude to all members of the international movement of solidarity with the Saharawi people in Europe, Latin America, Australia and the United States.

I would also like to express special thanks to the Moroccan party, Nahdj Dimukarati (the Democratic Path) and to all organisations, personalities, intellectuals and all free voices in Morocco that have called for the respect for international legality and enabling the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination in order to be able to join their Moroccan and Maghrebian brothers and sisters in building a great Maghreb on the basis of democracy, fraternity, neighbourly relations and mutual respect.

Long live the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic!

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