Sahara : Algeria and the Polisario Cornered by PACE

pa-apceThe Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has once again underscored on Wednesday the seriousness and credibility of the Morocco-proposed autonomy initiative as a solution to the Western Sahara conflict.
In a resolution adopted in its plenary session, on the basis of a report by the Swiss Socialist MEP Liliane Maury Pasquier, PACE said it “takes note of the Moroccan proposal and of the serious and credible efforts underlying this proposal to grant broad autonomy to the Sahrawi population, which will have its own legislative, executive and judicial bodies as well as the required financial resources for its development.”
The Parliamentary Assembly also urged the parties to the conflict to show realism and a spirit of compromise in order to push forward the negotiations on the Sahara issue.
PACE on the other hand welcomed the recent reform of military justice in Morocco and the efforts made by the North African country to promote and protect freedoms and human rights.
And for the first time, PACE pointed the finger at Algeria as an involved party to the Sahara conflict and called Algerian rulers and their Polisario cronies to allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to conduct the census, registration and authentication of the Tindouf camps populations to assess their exact number.
The resolution also called on Algeria to allow UN independent Human Rights experts (Special Procedures) to visit all parts of the country, including the Tindouf camps.
Likewise, PACE stressed the need to elucidate the fate of the Moroccans reported missing in these Algeria-based camps and urged Algeria and the Polisario to show “realism and to adopt a constructive attitude in the negotiations.”
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe finally called Algeria and the Polisario to guarantee the camps residents’ rights and freedom of expression, assembly, association and movement so that they can uphold options other than independence and can leave the camps and settle in Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty if they so wish.

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