Sahara: European Parliament deals stinging blow to the Polisario

The Polisario, its Algerian sponsors and their European supporters were dealt a stinging blow on Wednesday.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg rejected a draft resolution tabled by Green MEPs urging the European Union to support at the United Nations the idea to ??expand the MINURSO mandate in the Moroccan Sahara to human rights monitoring.

The draft was rejected by 316 votes. Only 189 MEPs voted for the text while 162 abstained.

The European People’s Party MEPs voted against the draft text. Abstentions came mainly from the Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, which adopted a realistic stance and opposed the adoption of the amendment, said Abderrahim Atmoun, chairman of the Morocco-EU Joint Committee.

The draft resolution called on the European Parliament to implement the ruling of the European Court of Justice on Western Sahara and support the United Nations efforts to achieve a fair and lasting settlement of the Sahara conflict, on the basis of the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination. The text also called for expanding the MINURSO mandate to human rights monitoring, as is the case for all other UN peacekeeping missions.

To the great displeasure of the Polisario and its Algerian sponsors and European sympathizers, the European Parliament, by rejecting the draft resolution, merely aligned itself with the position of the UN and the Security Council, which had rejected the idea to change the MINURSO mandate.

Morocco’s new diplomatic victory at the EP adds to the sense of unease and disarray of the Polisario and its mentors, all the more so as it comes in the aftermath of another victory that Moroccan diplomacy scored at the just concluded 29th summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

Actually, Moroccan diplomats succeeded to delete from the text of the AU resolution on the Sahara the “occupied territory” wording used in the past to designate Western Sahara. The expression was also deleted from the report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

In addition, the AU Commission broke away with the pro-Polisario semantic used under the mandate of its former President, South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in favor of a mutually acceptable political solution.

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