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13.11.2010 Morocco

Western Sahara Ambassador deplores Morocco's human right abuses

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Accra, Nov. 12, GNA - Mr Oubi Bachir, Western Saharan Ambassador in Nigeria, has condemned the Moroccan attack on the civilian Protest Camp of Gdeim Izik, near El Auin, the capital of the occupied Western Sahara, on November 08.

He said the attack resulted in the death of unspecified number of civilians, injuries and several people unaccounted for as well as the violation of the human rights of the Sahrawi population living under Morocco occupation.

Mr Bachir, who was addressing a press conference on Wednesday, also condemned France, a member on the UN Security Council, for its support for Morocco.

"The price of inaction has been very high, Morocco has constructed a wall, 1,400 miles long, cutting the entire territory of Western Sahara in half."

"France is so unquestioning in its support to Morocco as to block even a reference to Saharawi human rights in a Security Council resolution," he said.

Mr Bachir said over 120,000 refugees who fled the Moroccan invasion were now living in five camps scattered inthe Algerian desert.

He cited the lack of free movement of persons, expression, assembly, discrimination, arbitrary detention and beatings as some of the challenges that had plagued his "country".

Mr Bachir said although a lot of organisations such as the Human Right Watch and the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice had repeatedly decried Morocco human right violations, nothing much had been done about the situation.

He called for the expansion of the UN mission mandate in the area to include the protection and monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara and also urged the Moroccan government to set free all Saharawi political detainees and also the exploitation of its natural resources.

Mr Bachir expressed his appreciation to Ghana for its diplomatic ties with Western Sahara and recognising it as a state.

Morocco occupied Western Sahara in 1976 after Spain had withdrawn from the territory.


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