Granting autonomy to Western Sahara within the framework of Morocco’s sovereignty is “the most realistic” solution to bring the territorial dispute out of the longstanding stalemate, argues the Polish Centre for International Relations, a think-tank based in Warsaw.
In an analysis entitled “Western Sahara: autonomy, a win-win solution for all” the president of the Centre, Malgorzata Bonikowska stresses the conclusions reached by the former UN special envoy for the Sahara, Peter Van Walsum who claimed that the independence option for Western Sahara, is “unrealistic” and does not guarantee the Sahrawis the conditions for a normal life.
This recommendation is recorded in the 2008 report drafted by Van Walsum, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations at the time, Kofi Annan, Mrs Bonikowska recalls.
Besides, all the reports drafted in recent years by the UN, think tanks and international NGOs underline that autonomy is the best solution to the territorial dispute between Morocco and Algeria through the Polisario, she adds.
The President of the Polish think tank also recalls that many African and Latin American countries withdrew their recognition of the so-called Sahrawi Republic “SADR”.
She deems that the huge investments injected by Morocco in its southern provinces are likely to facilitate the integration of the Sahrawis when they return from Tindouf and to ensure to all the inhabitants of Western Sahara much better living conditions thanks to a harmonious development in all sectors.
According to the analyst, broad autonomy will bring to these people “peace, economic stability and sustained local development opportunities, a fact that will have beneficial effects on their socio-professional and material situation.”
This solution will finally end the ordeal of the Tindouf camps refugees who have long suffered from dire living conditions and survived on international humanitarian aid a large part of which was diverted by the Polisario leaders and their Algerian accomplices as revealed by a report of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) earlier this year.
These diversions were facilitated by the overestimation of the number of the inhabitants of the Tindouf camps, as there were no accurate numbers, Algeria and the Polisario having refused and continuing to refuse the organization of a census of these inhabitants.