Polisario Front becomes party to Geneva Conventions, launches solemn appeal to companies operating in Western Sahara

Berne, June 27, 2015 (SPS) -  The Polisario Front, through an approach with the Swiss Federal Council, as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, declared that it is "committed to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I in the conflict between it and the Kingdom of Morocco," according to a statement by Saharawi coordinator with MINURSO Mhamed Khaddad.

In 1975, the Polisario Front unilaterally declared that it would respect the right of the Geneva Conventions, and it has always remained so. The declaration on June 23, 2015 has a different scope since it was accepted by the Swiss Federal Council, and thus establishes the Polisario Front as a subject of international law and only "authority representing the people of Western Sahara fighting for its right to self-determination" (Article 96.3 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 1949).

 This declaration was immediately transmitted to all signatory States, and it has immediate effect. Morocco is itself a signatory, the conflict between the Polisario Front and Morocco is thus entirely governed by the provisions of international humanitarian law, which equally binds the parties to the conflict (Article 96.3, c).

A military occupation

In 1975, the International Court of Justice said that Morocco could not claim any sovereignty over Western Sahara. Also, by invading the territory, Morocco has become an occupying power under the Geneva Conventions. Western Sahara remains on the list established by the United Nations of non-autonomous territories to be decolonized (UNGA, Resolution 34/37 of 21 November 1979).

The Polisario Front is determined to use all facets of international law to achieve its goal, the self-determination referendum, and to do this it will take all legal actions it deems necessary..

A solemn appeal to companies

Numerous companies believed they could carry out their activities in Western Sahara with Moroccan authorizations under the pretext that Morocco would be the "de facto administrator". However, no text of international law gives content to the notion of "de facto administrator ", moreover, in flagrant violation of international law, Morocco proclaims it has "sovereignty" over the territory.

After this strong act which is the signature of the Geneva Conventions, the Polisario Front solemnly appeal to all companies operating in Western Sahara. The Polisario Front offers all its representations worldwide to explain why they, too, are required to respect international humanitarian law, which prohibits the exploitation of natural resources without the agreement of the Polisario Front, the only representative of the Saharawi people.

The Polisario Front will launch an information campaign towards these companies, to urge them to take their illegal and civil responsibilities and to remind them that they should deal only with the Polisario Front and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The right of the Geneva Conventions has somehow become a civil constitution of the Saharawi people, applicable throughout the territory of Western Sahara. The Polisario Front, determined to build its future by judicial implementation of international law, reserves the right to undertake all the procedures that it deems relevant. (SPS)

SADR grants exploration rights to mining companies

Birlehlu (Liberated Zones), 27 June 2015 (SPS) - The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is currently in talks with three mining companies- Russian, Polish and Spanish – on granting them exploration rights on the liberated Sahrawi zones, according to Africa Intelligence.

The talks are being conducted on the Sahrawi side by the Petroleum and Mining Authorities (PMA) following SADR’s decision a few months ago to manage mining resources in the liberated zones.

Last October, the Sahrawi government awarded seven exploration licenses to Australia’s Hanno Resources.

The soul is thought to contain huge amounts of gold, silver, iron ore and other base metals as well as uranium, diamonds and even rare earths, added the source. (SPS)

US Department of State: Moroccan security forces engaged in torture, beatings, and other mistreatment of Sahrawi detainees

Washington, 27 June 2015 (SPS) – The US Department of State confirmed in its report on human rights for 2014 that credible reports indicated that the Moroccan security forces engaged in torture, beatings, and other mistreatment of Sahrawi detainees in both political cases and ordinary criminal cases.

The US Department of State evoked in its report that “the August 4 report of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted the working group received numerous complaints that authorities in El Aaiun used torture and mistreatment to extract.

“In his February 2013 report on a 2012 visit to the territory, Juan Mendez, UN special rapporteur on torture, stated that authorities used torture and mistreatment to extract confessions, including at the time of arrest, in police stations, and at the El Aaiun Prison.”

“The report noted credible testimonies relating to rape, severe beating, and isolation for weeks, particularly of inmates accused of participating in proindependence activities.”

“Both international and local NGOs continued to report abuses, especially of Sahrawi independence advocates. Activists who were detained and subsequently released, as well as family members of many of those still in custody, made similar accusations.”

“The August 4 report of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that among other abuses, the working group received numerous complaints of arbitrary detention.”

“According to the August 4 report by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, allegations indicated that police regularly raided the private homes of alleged or known supporters of independence for Western Sahara, beating and mistreating residents.”

The Moroccan government enforced strict procedures governing NGO representatives and political activists meeting with journalists, the US Department of State’s report further confirmed. (SPS)

UN Human Rights Council : The Saharawi delegation organize a workshop on human rights

Geneva, 06/26/2015 (SPS) .- The delegation attending the works of the 29th session of the United Nations Council for Human Rights organized a workshop on human rights in Western Sahara where the mother Sahrawi Takbar Haddi briefed on the circumstances of the assassination of his son Mohamed Lamine Haidala.
Ms. Haddi asked to pressure Morocco to get him to respond to her legitimate claims to know the truth surrounding the murder of his son and punishment of the culprits.

Another presentation was dedicated to the Saharawi woman where Laala Yahdih, on behalf of the National Union of Saharawi Women expounded harsh conditions suffered by Saharawi women in the struggle for national liberation as well as those experienced by women in the occupied territories where they are constantly exposed to acts of rape and abuses of all kinds.

In the workshop dedicated to self-determination, the Saharawi cause was present in strength. The speakers emphasized the need to respect the right of peoples to choose their destiny, especially the Saharawi people, and the need to find ways to transmit the voice of the peoples to the different international institutions. SPS