18 April, New York; Statement of Ahmed Boukhari

STATEMENT OF AHMED BOUKHARI, Representative of the Frente POLISARIO in New York
The Frente POLISARIO has taken note with satisfaction of the latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara and its recommendations particularly those calling for the intensification of direct negotiations between the Frente POLISARIO and the Kingdom of Morocco.
The Frente POLISARIO would like to reaffirm its readiness to engage, in good faith, in substantive negotiations with the Kingdom of Morocco with a view to achieving a mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, and calls on the other party to demonstrate the same willingness.The Frente POLISARIO is also pleased about the official clarifying statement of the United Nations spelled out in the report of the Secretary-General that provides a stinging denial of the accusations repeated by the Kingdom of Morocco that locate the zone of Tifariti in the buffer strip whilst describing the activities that took place there as alleged violations of the ceasefire. The Secretary-General has clearly established, once and for all, that Tifariti is situated at 70 kilometres to the east of the berm and thus very far from the buffer strip, which is five kilometres wide, and that the activities carried out there were not a violation of the cease-fire.

The Frente POLISARIO also welcomes the Secretary General’s recalling of the duty of the United Nations to uphold the international standards relating to human rights in Western Sahara. The Secretary-General in this respect expressed his concern about the massive violations of human rights in the occupied territories perpetrated by the Moroccan authorities, which have been reported by international NGOs for defence of human rights and other bodies. The Frente POLISARIO seizes this opportunity to call on the United Nations to assume its responsibility for protecting the Sahrawi people under Moroccan occupation in keeping with the recommendations of the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

At a time when the Security Council is about to examine the situation in Western Sahara, the Frente POLISARIO also seizes this opportunity to launch a solemn call on this august organ to assume all its responsibilities for the achievement of the decolonisation of this Non-Self-Governing Territory, and for enabling its people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and fair referendum.

New York, 18 April 2008