A Nigerian group has condemned alleged rights violations of Western Saharan indigenes by the Moroccan government.
Morocco claims Western Sahara as part of its territory despite the independence efforts of the indigenes of the semi-autonomous region.
The Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara in a statement on Tuesday condemned what it called the “bestial attacks on Saharawi civilians on 19th July 2019.”
The statement was signed by a don and former president of Nigerian university teachers, Dipo Fashina.
Read the full statement by Mr Fashina below.
THE NIGERIAN MOVEMENT FOR THE LIBERATION OF WESTERN SAHARA (NMLWS) CONDEMNS THE LATEST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES OF WESTERN SAHARA BY MOROCCAN FORCES
Abuja, Nigeria (Tuesday 23 July, 2019)
1. The Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara (NMLWS) condemns the bestial attacks on Saharawi civilians on 19th July 2019, in El Aiun –Western Sahara by Moroccan occupying forces, the Saharawi people became victims of assault on humanity by Moroccan security forces comprising uniformed policemen, gendarmes, paramilitary and auxiliary forces.
2. The NMLWS condemns the bestiality of all kinds unleashed on the Saharawi people by Morocco’s forces, occupiers of Saharawi territories.
3. This Moroccan bestiality, taking place in a situation where the United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was present, is, and ought to be a matter of grave concern for all peoples in the world who cherish human freedom and dignity. The bestiality demonstrated by Moroccan forces is a challenge to the United Nations to defend the universal rights of all human beings to life, dignity, respect and the rights of all nations to self-rule. A special challenge goes to the African Union, which has the obligation to accomplish the mission of completing the decolonization of Africa. The African Union must show a more vigorous commitment to the realization of Saharawi independence. The persistence of colonial rule in Western Sahara, the plunder of Western Sahara’s resources by Morocco and its international allies, the repression of the right of the Saharawi people to live free in their own land, are historical injustices. The right of the people of Western Sahara to ownership and control of their natural resources, and to use them for the well-being of the Saharawi people, is inalienable. Africa should force Morocco to respect humanity, human rights and dignity in Western Sahara. The continued unfreedom of Western Sahara is a challenge to all African people. Until all Africa is free we all are not free.
4. As a result of Algeria’s victory over Senegal in the AFCON Final, there was widespread celebration by thousands of fans all over the World including in Algiers, Paris, and Occupied territories of Western Sahara. In their characteristic manner the Moroccan forces of Occupation descended heavily on a procession of civilian Saharawi women, children and young men with batons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and many Saharawi were tortured and arrested. In the ensuing commotion, a 23 year old Saharawi student, Ms Sabah Osman Hamida, was delibrately run over by a Moroccan auxiliary vehicle driving at high speed through the crowds. Sadly, she died of her injuries. The NMLWS condemns the murder of Ms Sabah Osman Hamida. The responsibility for this murder must be shouldered by Morocco.
5. Report reaching us from Equipe Media and Western Sahara Human Rights Watch is that the occupied city of El-Aiun is besieged by Moroccan forces with water cannons, guns, tear gas and batons being used on Saharawis. As more police reinforcements arrive, a state of terror prevails in the occupied city El Aiun. We, condemn these acts of terror by the Moroccan forces. We are calling on the UN and the AU to intervene immediately by calling on the King of Morocco to withdraw his troops now.
6. The NMLWS condemns the media blockade on the atrocities happening in Western Sahara. We are calling on all freedom loving media houses in the world to expose these conspiracies and evil being perpetrated by Morocco and its backers in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
7. We in Nigeria are convinced that the continued Moroccan inhuman and unjust treatment of the Saharawi people is futile, historically retrogressive, and cannot halt the struggle for the complete decolonization of Africa.
8. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all Saharawis victims of Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.
9. We call on all peoples of the world to support the Saharawi people in their Just Struggle for Independence.
10. The NMLWS also condemns the prevailing torture and violence unleashed on Saharawi women by Morocco in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
11. The European Union (EU) should stop treating human beings in Western Sahara as mere tools for acquisition of economic goods- phosphates, fish,sand etc. The EU should live to the universally valid principle of respect for nationality rights, ie the rights of all peoples to self- determination: to sovereignty.
12. For the African Union, Saharawi independence should be deemed non-negotiable. All African peoples and their governments must insist on the completion of the decolonization process in Africa.
The NMLWS agrees in the truth of Mr. Malainin Lakhal’s position in Saharawinet 22 July 2019 that “It is big time for free citizens all over the world to stand up against these atrocities (on the people of Western Sahara), and send a clear message to their own governments, political parties, organizations and parliaments that they cannot simply turn blind eyes to the crimes of war that Morocco is committing against peaceful and helpless citizens in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. Morocco cannot enjoy impunity forever; it is a military force of occupation abusing the rights and resources of another country and should be stopped. Morocco should only withdraw to its international borders, respect the international law, and respect the will of the people, who reject the Moroccan presence in their country, reject the Moroccan fait accompli, and who can never be Moroccans! Because they are not!”
Dr. Dipo Fashina
For and on behalf of The Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara (NMLWS) 23 July, 2019.