Indonesian university professor Mawardi Ismail has urged the polisario to drop the unrealistic option of independence and accept the pragmatic autonomy plan offered by Morocco for a lasting and peaceful resolution of the Sahara regional conflict.
Addressing the 10th international academic research seminar held on Monday at United Nations under the theme: “Territorial autonomy as a means for conflict resolution”, Mr. Mawardi called on the polisario separatists to learn the lessons from the case of the Indonesian province of Aceh, which was granted a broader autonomy in 2005 by the Jakarta central government.
The Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a former armed rebel group, had at first rejected the autonomy proposal made by the Indonesian government, before finally accepting it after a bloody conflict which lasted nearly three decades, said the Indonesian professor and lawyer.
He drew a parallel between the Sahara conflict and the case of Aceh, highlighting the pertinence of the Moroccan autonomy plan, saying this plan is the only way to achieve a peaceful resolution to this conflict within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
Mr. Mawardi Ismail called on the polisario to show realism and renounce unworkable option of independence, which is not supported by the international community that describes Morocco’s autonomy plan as “serious, credible and realistic”.
The Indonesian professor also expressed hope that the peaceful settlement of the Aceh case could inspire the resolution of Moroccan Sahara issue.