Oubi Buchraya Bachir

In a series of events, the Polisario Front has been insisting on the idea of being the only «legitimate representative of Saharwis». To back its stand, the Front relies on a non-binding resolution, adopted by the UN General Assembly in the 1970s. 


Days after the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara announced his resignation, the Polisario Front has been insisting on the idea of being the «only legitimate representative of Sahrawis». 


This idea was conveyed through a series of events that took place recently inside and outside the Tindouf camps. During a meeting of its National Secretariat, the Front discussed the recent developments of the Western Sahara conflict, addressing the resignation of Kohler.


In a communiqué relayed by the Front’s press agency SPS, the separatist movement urged as «a legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people» the United Nations to «to carry out the main mission that was entrusted to MINURSO, namely, to hold a referendum on self-determination».


The meeting presided by Brahim Ghali was not the only activity that focused on the Front’s «legitimacy». In France, the Western Sahara conflict is at the heart of a two-day conference held at the University of Picardie Jules Verne, Futuro Sahara reports.


Located in Amiens, a city in northern France, the university hosted on Monday the first day of the conference, attended by a number of scholars and activists, as well as the Front’s representative in France Oubi Buchraya Bachir.


The latter delivered a presentation, during the conference, mainly dedicated to the «Polisario’s legitimacy». Bachir highlighted the separatist movement’s «legal legitimacy in representing the Sahrawi people in accordance with international laws and UN resolutions».


A non-binding resolution


However, the Polisario’s legitimacy remains questionable. To defend its stand, the Front refers to resolution 34/37 issued by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. The UN body referred to the Polisario in this resolution as «the representative of the people of Western Sahara». The Front tends to forget that the UN General Assembly resolutions are non-binding towards member states.


While the Polisario is talking about its «legitimacy», Morocco has been sending lately elected representatives from the Sahara to UN events. Earlier in May, The Kingdom sent elected Sahrawis from the southern provinces to the Caribbean regional seminar of the UN Special Committee to explain the «democratic and socio-economic progress of their respective regions», reports MAP press agency.


Just like the previous year, the Kingdom decided to rely on elected representatives from the Sahara, including Laayoune Sakia El Hamra, and Dakhla Oued Eddahab. During this seminar, Morocco’s representatives seized the opportunity to highlight the autonomy plan proposed by the Kingdom in 2007, as well as the development programs that has been launched by King Mohammed VI in the southern provinces since 2015.


Elected representatives from the Sahara were also part of the Moroccan delegation that attended the two round-tables convened by the former UN personal envoy in Geneva.