Morocco’s UN Representative debunks the seven founding lies of Algeria’s separatist agenda
Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Omar Hilale, laid bare, Wednesday before the members of the 4th Committee of the UN General Assembly, the seven founding lies of Algeria’s separatist agenda about Morocco’s Sahara.
“60 years ago, almost to the day and in this same building, Morocco requested, in 1963, the inclusion of the question of what was called, at the time, the Spanish Sahara, on the agenda of the Special Committee on Decolonization, to definitively recover its Saharan provinces”, Hilale recalled.
He noted that this demand was reinforced by the first resolution of the C24 in October 1964, followed by that of the General Assembly, adopted in December 1965, asking Spain to take immediate measures for the decolonization of the “Spanish Sahara ” and the adjoining enclave of Ifni, through negotiations with Morocco.
“Thanks to the negotiation recommended by these resolutions, Ifni reintegrated the Motherland in 1969 while the decolonization of the Sahara was completed in 1975, with the memorable return of this territory to the Motherland, Morocco, and this, thanks to the historic Green March of November 6, 1975 and the Madrid Agreement of November 14 of the same year,” said the ambassador, noting that this agreement was deposited with the Secretary General, then ratified by the General Assembly in its resolution 3458B of December 10, 1975.
Hilale observed that “the UN History of the Moroccan Sahara could have ended there. But this was without the adversity of Algeria which created, hosted, armed and financed the armed separatist group +polisario+”, affirming that in its international promotion of its proxy, this neighboring country excelled in what the Greek philosopher Socrates described, 25 centuries earlier, the founding myth of posture.
The ambassador subsequently addressed the seven founding lies of Algeria’s separatist agenda, as well as the avalanche of History falsifications and the overflow of distortions of international law repeated by the representative of Algeria in his speech before the Commission.
On the first lie which says that Algeria “defends” the right to self-determination, the diplomat stressed that this principle is only a sham this country uses to achieve its hegemonic aims.
“Algeria uses this principle exclusively for the Moroccan Sahara. This is the only question that it has raised for years, without daring to say a single word about the other questions examined by this Commission,” he observed.
He recalled that Algeria ignored this principle by submitting, through its former president the late Abdelaziz Bouteflika, on November 2, 2001, in Houston, to the Personal Envoy of the then SG, James Baker, a proposed partition of the territory of the Sahara, as recorded in the report of the Secretary-General S/2002/178 of February 19, 2002, paragraph 2.
Moreover, the former Algerian ambassador Abdellah Baali sent, on July 22, 2002, a more explicit letter to the president of the Security Council in which he said that Algeria remains willing to examine the proposal concerning a possible partition of the territory of “Western Sahara”, recalled Hilale, adding that Morocco had immediately and categorically rejected this position.
He also noted that “Algeria has put the principle of self-determination under wraps with the proclamation, in Algiers, of a puppet republic. This is contrary to the very principle of self-determination.”
“Algeria denies this principle to a people who claimed it well before the creation of the Algerian state in 1962. These are the valiant Kabyle people,” said the ambassador.
Referring to the second lie according to which Algeria demands respect for international legality, the Moroccan diplomat noted that this country “constantly violates international legality and flouts the Charter of the United Nations when it comes to the principles of respect for territorial integrity, non-recourse to violence and the primacy of peaceful settlement of disputes”.
“Algeria was interested in Security Council resolutions only until 2001, when the Secretary-General declared the inapplicability of the settlement plan and consequently, the obsolescence of the referendum,” he said, recalling that since 2002, Algeria has ignored Security Council resolutions for the sole reason that they recommend a political, lasting and mutually acceptable solution for the settlement of this dispute.
“The paradox is that some of these resolutions were adopted with the approval and contribution of Algeria, while it sat on the Council between 2004 and 2005,” he explained, noting that Algeria will even officially reject certain Security Council resolutions, as was the case in 2021 and 2022 with resolutions 2602 and 2654.
Hilale further considered that Algeria’s refusal to return to the round tables is a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions, international law and UN legality, adding that Algeria is violating international law by delegating its sovereignty over part of its territory, namely the Tindouf camps, to an armed separatist group, the “Polisario”.
“This has been denounced by the Human Rights Committee and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions,” he said.
As for the third lie rehashed by Algerian diplomacy and which describes Algeria as a “mere observer” on the Sahara issue, the ambassador pointed out that despite its denials, Algeria is the main party to this regional dispute since its inception.
“It had claimed this status in the official letter from its former ambassador to the UN, to the SG of the UN, on November 19, 1975”, when he said: “In addition to Spain as administering power, the +concerned and interested parties+ in the Western Sahara question are: Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania”.
Noting that Algeria presents itself even before Morocco, Hilale noted that this official document makes no reference to the “polisario” even though Algeria was already hosting it on its territory.
“Algeria has accustomed the United Nations to reacting to all the proposals of the SG and his Personal Envoys. Algeria thus refused the Framework Agreement proposed by former Personal Envoy James Baker by press release from Algeria’s Council of Ministers, dated February 25, 2002,” he recalled.
Morocco’s ambassador to the UN also underlined that Algeria is taking economic retaliatory measures against any country supporting the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative and is protesting in the capitals of all member states that support Morocco in the 4th Committee.
“Resolution 2654, which definitively established the round tables as an exclusive framework for conducting the UN political process, recognizes Algeria as one of the four stakeholders to take part in the same format of the first two round tables of Geneva,” continued the diplomat.
Regarding the fourth founding lie of Algeria’s separatist agenda which presents the Sahara as an “occupied territory”, Hilale pointed out that Algeria ignores international law and Security Council resolutions.
“The concept of occupation applies, according to the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the IVth Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, to the territory of a State already existing during an international armed conflict,” he recalled, noting that the Sahara has never been a state – and it never will be -.
“It has always been an integral part of Morocco for centuries, by virtue of the legal ties of allegiance of the populations to the Moroccan Sultan, as recognized by the International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion of October 16, 1975,” argued the ambassador, adding that no report from the UN Secretary General, nor resolution of the Security Council qualifies Morocco as an “occupying power”.
Addressing the fifth Algerian lie according to which the referendum is the “solution” to this regional dispute, the diplomat recalled that this so-called referendum is dead and buried, despite Algeria’s vain attempts. “We do not resurrect the dead,” he stressed to the members of the 4th Commission of the UN General Assembly.
“The UN Secretary General, in his report of February 23, 2000 (paragraph 32), concluded that the settlement plan was inapplicable and therefore the referendum obsolescent,” he said, noting that the Security Council does not mention the referendum at any time in any of its 36 resolutions adopted over 22 years.
Likewise, the General Assembly has not referred to it for almost 20 years, said the ambassador, specifying that the Algerian resolution which will be adopted by the Commission at the end of the debate, like all those which have preceded it for almost two decades, makes no mention of the referendum.
On the sixth lie of the founding myth of the Algerian posture concerning the Moroccan Sahara which describes Algeria as host country of the camps of “Sahrawi refugees” in Tindouf, Hilale affirmed that “Algeria is not the country host of the Tindouf refugee camps, but rather the jailer of the populations sequestered there”.
“Indeed, these camps are a lawless zone and the scene of grave and widespread violations of international law, perpetrated by the separatist armed group +polisario+, which has proven links with the terrorist group in the Sahel,” he denounced, stressing that Algeria politically exploits these camps which it presents as the symbol of the existence of a so-called problem called “Western Sahara”.
In these camps, children are enlisted, recruited and forced to join the “polisario” militias as soldiers, the ambassador protested, denouncing a “war crime” according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Regarding the seventh lie which says that Algeria “bears” the humanitarian burden of the Tindouf camps, Hilale noted that the humanitarian aid that this country grants to the Tindouf camps is infinitely minimal.
“It is the international community which provides the bulk of the humanitarian and financial aid to these camps,” he insisted, noting that Algeria devotes several billion dollars to arm the separatist group “Polisario ” and ensure diplomatic support to it throughout the world, particularly through lobbying firms.
“Algeria turns a blind eye to the misappropriation of international humanitarian aid by the Algerian Red Crescent and the armed separatist group +Polisario+ leaders,” the ambassador pointed out.He concluded that these systematic and large-scale diversions have been confirmed by the European Anti-Fraud Office, the UNHCR and very recently the WFP, in its January 2023 report, entitled “Evaluation of Algeria WFP interim country strategic Plan 2019-2022”.