Morocco demands permanent access of HCR to Tindouf camps to help held population
Morocco demands permanent access of HCR to Tindouf camps to help held population Website
New York (United Nations),Morocco demanded, here Saturday, that HCR be granted permanent access to the Tindouf camps (southwest of Algeria) so that it can provide help to the population held by the Algerian-backed separatists "Polisario". The request was made by Mr. Lotfi Bouchaara, from the permanent mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, before the third committee of the General Assembly, stressing that effective assistance to the population held in those camps hinges, simply, on implementing the mandate of the HCR and the decisions of its executive commission. The diplomat, who was speaking following a statement of the Algerian delegation which raised the Sahara issue during the discussion of the HCR report, insisted that, contrary what Algeria claims, the humanitarian situation in the camps does not hang on a political solution to the Sahara dispute. He underlined, in this regard, that the activity of the HCR is humanitarian and social, not political. He noted that ever since 1975 Morocco calls for conducting a census of the population in the camps, and that the position of the HCR is unequivocal in this respect. He concluded that “Morocco, the international community and donors have a simple and justified request: Algeria cannot indefinitely prevent the HCR from carrying out its mandate.” He stressed that “the HCR should take the necessary measures that enable the refugees to express their wish with regard to the future, without any pressure or threat. The dispute over Morocco’s Southern Provinces, the Sahara, dates back to 1976 when the Algerian-backed separatists “Polisario” started laying claims to the territory, a former Spanish colony that was ceded a year earlier to Morocco under the Madrid Accords. Since then, the separatists continue holding thousands of Sahrawis against their will in the Tindouf camps. In a bid to solve the dispute, Morocco proposed substantial autonomy to the Sahara region. The initiative was welcomed as “serious” and “credible” by several influential capitals. Morocco and the Polisario held two rounds of negotiations in June and August in implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1754 which called on the parties to enter into negotiations “in good faith and without preconditions,”. The two parties agreed to hold a third round, but no date or venue has been set so far.
Source: maroc post