The Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, has accused the top UN official, António Guterres, of maintaining an “complicit and unjustifiable silence” on Morocco’s alleged abuses, including the breaking of the ceasefire, and warned that there is no room for negotiation if “impunity” is not ended.
Ghali has responded by letter to the latest annual report of the UN Secretary General, where he reviews the context of the last year in the region. For the Polisario leader, Guterres omits criticism of Morocco in an “unforgivable” way, despite the fact that it is Rabat which is responsible for “breaking the cease-fire which has lasted almost 30 years”.
In this regard, he goes back to the incidents of November 2020, to the eviction of a protest at the Guerguerat pass, to warn that since then “the pure truth and the reality of the situation” points to the Moroccan forces as responsible for successive abuses.
“The secretary general has again chosen to remain silent on this fact, despite the fact that the report once again recognizes the ‘resumption of hostilities’, Ghali states in his letter, where he also defends the Polisario’s willingness for the peace mission (MINURSO) to monitor incidents which, in his opinion, would amount to war crimes.
On the other hand, it accuses Morocco of torpedoing the work of the UN and, in particular, of its special envoy to the zone, Staffan de Mistura, who was allegedly “blocked” from visiting the disputed territory. The Polisario maintains that a trip by De Mistura was frustrated because he did not accept the conditions imposed by Rabat, which included not meeting Saharawi activists.
This “obstructionism”, it adds, “proves beyond any doubt that the occupying country has no political will to facilitate the mission of the personal envoy and to engage constructively in the peace process in Western Sahara”.
Ghali affirms that the Polisario Front remains “committed” to achieving “a peaceful, just and lasting solution”, provided that it takes into account that this is a territory pending decolonization and that the Moroccan authorities and forces are singled out for their practices.
“No one should think that there can be a genuine and credible process (…) without ending the impunity of the occupying state”, responsible for “obstructing the pending referendum of self-determination”, violating the cease-fire and leading the region “into another spiral of violence and instability”, according to Ghali.
He also demands that MINURSO incorporate within its mandate the possibility of monitoring the human rights situation and regrets that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has not been able to visit Western Sahara “for the seventh consecutive year”.