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MEPS SPEAK OUT ON DETERIORATING SITUATION IN WESTERN SAHARA

Date

26 Nov 2010

Sections

Global Europe

MEPs have expressed their growing concerns about the significantly deteriorating situation in Western Sahara and condemned recent violent incidents in protest camps during which a still unknown number of people were killed or injured.

In a resolution voted on in the European Parliament today (Thursday 25 November), MEPs called on all parties to refrain from any further violence and play a constructive role in regional talks. MEPS also asked for a United Nation (UN)-led inquiry into the events to be considered and for an international human rights monitoring mechanism to be put in place.

Condemning the violent crackdown by Moroccan security forces on protestors in the Gdaim Izyk camp, ALDE MEP Ivo Vajgl (Slovenia, Zares) said:

"I hope that this resolution on Western Sahara will be a cornerstone of a new pro-active European position towards a problem that is one of the last reminders of the colonial era in the world."

"The problem of Western Sahara can only be solved if Morocco complies fully with its obligations concerning the right to self-determination of Sahrawi people."

"It is necessary that UN instruments, like the MINURSO mission and other possible forms of involvement, are reinforced ensuring that human rights in Western Sahara are fully respected, that humanitarian assistance is comprehensive and that the security of everyone living in the territory of Western Sahara is secured."

"In order to achieve these goals, it is indispensable that transparency, freedom of the media, and a throughout investigation of the recent incidents are guaranteed."

The European Parliament's condemnation of events in Western Sahara comes after a public hearing last week in Brussels co-organised by the ALDE and Green groups raised questions on an EU fisheries accord with Morocco amid the ongoing violence. The event was attended by Prof. Francesco Bastagli, former Special representative for Western Sahara and Head of the United Nations, and human rights defender and political activist Ms Aminatou Haidar.

Ends

For more information, please contact:
Corlett Neil - Tel: +32 2 284 20 77 Mob: +32 478 78 22 84
Angelika Schneider - Tel: +32 2 2 284 10 19 Mob: +44 7950 184 194
Web: http://www.alde.eu

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