Moroccans protest over U.N. ban's West Sahara position
Mar 16, 2016 The U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon recently called for a re-launch of talks to end one of Africa’s longest-running territorial disputes in Western Sahara.
Still in his stride to resolve the matter, Ban met with Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, where he commended him for his strong support to the UN mediation efforts on Western Sahara.
The Polisario Front, which says the territory belongs to ethnic Sahrawis, waged a guerrilla war after Morocco took over the area from colonial Spain in 1975 until a U.N.-brokered ceasefire in 1991.
“I want to bring my contribution to negotiations launched in order to resolve these long-standing differences and to start the talks so that the refugees Sahrawi can return home to Western Sahara with dignity,”
Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Morocco to kick against Ban Ki-moon’s perceived lack of neutrality regarding the country’s presence in the Western Sahara.
Speaking during the demonstration, Abdallah Bakkali, General Secretary of the Moroccan Union of Journalists, said:
“It’s massive participation from all regions of Morocco by men, women and young people. The first message is that these people are not ready to let down their territorial unity with or without Ban Ki-moon. The Moroccan people are ready to face all challenges.”
Another demonstrator said:
“We condemn Ban Ki-moon’s stand regarding our territorial integrity and we say to the U.N. that the Sahara is Moroccan and that our people will not relinquish one square centimetre of it.”