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WSC Newsletter November 2021

Security Council Extends MINURSO Mandate | Saharawi people will continue their struggle to defend their right to self-determination | Peace is only possible on basis of respect for international legality | Climate Colonialism and Climate Justice: the Case of Western Sahara | Reflections on Just Transition(s) in North Africa | Songs For Western Sahara
Security Council Extends MINURSO Mandate

On Friday, 29 October, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 October 2022.

Adopting resolution 2602 (2021) in a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Russian Federation, Tunisia), the Council called on parties to resume negotiations without preconditions and in good faith, considering efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just and lasting political solution providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Martin Kimani (Kenya), Council President for October, speaking in his national capacity, noted the resolution gives full support to Mr. de Mistura in reinvigorating the process for self-determination in Western Sahara. Adding that the resolution's language could have been stronger on the referendum's goal, he called on the Council to return to the original wording for the process.
Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico) expressed regret over a lack of discussion on proposals for more frequent information, given the deterioration of the situation on the ground, the breach of the ceasefire and worsening human rights conditions. Likewise, Dinh Quy Dang (Viet Nam) said he voted in favour of the resolution but felt it could have been more balanced in better reflecting the situation on the ground.
Dimitri A. Polyanskiy (Russian Federation) said he abstained on the vote, as his delegation's proposals were not taken on board during discussions. This text will fail to assist the new Envoy in resuming negotiations towards self-determination, he said, lamenting that the resolution's wording replaces internationally agreed parameters with general words on realistic approaches and compromises.

Read: Western Sahara: MINURSO Mandate Renewal : What's In Blue : Security Council Report.

Saharawi people will continue their struggle to defend their right to self-determination
Bir Lehlou (Saharawi Republic) 30 October 2021 (SPS)
In reaction to the UN Security Council’s resolution 2602 the Frente Polisario asserted in a Communique that the Saharawi people will continue and intensify their legitimate armed struggle to defend their sovereignty and right to self-determination and independence.

The Communique expressed Frente Polisario’s rejection of “the inaction and deplorable silence of the Security Council, particularly some influential members, which are manifest in both the letter and spirit of its new resolution that is a major setback that will have serious consequences on peace and stability in the entire region.”
It also considered that by its failure to adopt a balanced and neutral resolution “the Security Council has already doomed to failure the mission of the new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Mr Staffan de Mistura, thus seriously undermining the prospects for reactivating the peace process, perpetuating the prevailing stalemate, and leaving the door wide open for further escalation and tension in the region.”

Peace is only possible on basis of respect for international legality
Algiers, 31 October 2021 (SPS)
The Saharawi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, reaffirmed Saturday that the option of peace, as an alternative to war, is only possible on the basis of respect for international legality, which does not recognise the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara.

Mr. Ould Salek cited two options for resolving conflict: "the two member countries of the African Union (AU), the Saharawi Republic and Morocco must accept a peaceful solution on the basis for decisions of the AU summit." Or "the Security Council sets a date for the organisation of the self-determination referendum, which is MINURSO's only mission". "Agreement on one of the two options has now become the only way to achieve a new ceasefire".

Read the article here.

Climate Colonialism and Climate Justice: the Case of Western Sahara
This session will explore how climate action is used by Morocco to entrench its illegal occupation and bolster its green credentials, and how the Sahrawi people are systematically excluded from international climate finance and governance mechanisms, increasing their vulnerability and inhibiting their ability to adapt. It will examine the Sahrawi vision for climate action, and the centrality of self-determination for tackling climate injustice.

Contributors: Oubi Buchraya Bahir - Polisario representative to the EU and Europe; Sidi Breika - Polisario representative in the UK; Mohamen Cherif - ASESO, France; Nick Brooks; Joanna Allan - Western Sahara Resource Watch

November 8, 11.45 am GMT
Register here.

Read: Climate Colonialism and Climate Justice: the Case of Western Sahara - COP26 Coalition.

Reflections on Just Transition(s) in North Africa

This workshop aims to advance a deeper analysis of where we are now in terms of energetic transition in North Africa. Having a better understanding of the current situation, the actors involved and the would-be winners and losers is crucial for any rallying efforts for a just transition. The workshop will aim to enrich the national/regional and global discussions around the transition. Activists will be sharing some insights and reflections on just transition in their contexts while highlighting some of the tensions around this. They will also advance some perspectives around alternatives, mobilising strategies and ways of building alliances and solidarities.

Contributors: Hamza Hamouchene (Algerian researcher and activist, Transnational Institute); Chafik Ben Rouine (Tunisian researcher and activist, Tunisian Observatory of Economy); Saker El Nour (Egyptian researcher, Freie Universitat Berlin); Joanna Allan (British scholar, Northumbria University); Hamza Lakhal (Saharawi scholar activist, Durham University).
November 7, 4:15 pm UTC+0

Read: Reflections on Just Transitions in North Africa.

Songs For Western Sahara

On the 29th September 2021, the Saharawi people won a major victory in court. The EU General Court declared the free trade and fisheries agreements signed for 40 years by the European Union and Morocco null and void.

On the same day, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to finance the publication of a box set with 3 CDs and 44 songs by musicians who have written or lent a song of their own (rock, blues, country, folk) about the Saharawi conflict, which I have produced myself: "SINGING THROUGH THE WALL. SONGS FOR WESTERN SAHARA. Vol II"

The aim of this musical project is to raise awareness among lovers of good music about the situation of the Saharawi people. It involves some of the most renowned musicians in Americana music.

I encourage you to take part in it, and to spread the word, because for every euro you give, the Basque administration will give to the Project another one, up to a maximum of 4,700€. You can buy as many boxes of records as you want at the price of €21 if you live out of Spain (the record factory advises us not to sell them for less than €25, but the aim is to raise awareness of the situation of the Saharawi people).

This is the link where you can spend all your savings, and where you will find all the information about the records:
Cantando a través del Muro. Canciones para el Sahara Occidental.

Prof Juan Soroeta, Professor of International Public Law at the University of the Basque Country and author of International Law and the Western Sahara Conflict



The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights. Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.



Follow the news about EU's illegal fisheries in Western Sahara

The EU pays Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara.