According to Foreign Policy Association, the report prepared by the RFK Center for Human Rights in the Moroccan Sahara is characterized by insincerity and ignores abuses and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Polisario in the Tindouf camps. In his analysis published on Foreign Policy Association website, Calvin Dark, an international policy and strategic communications professional based in Washington, DC, breaks down the Polisario’s maneuver of human rights issue in its conflict with Morocco.
According to Mr. Dark, the Polisario’s attempt to convince the international community of including human rights monitoring mechanism in the Sahara is meant to distract the international public opinion from the real issue at hand, which is “solving the Western Sahara dispute so that MINURSO won’t be necessary.”
If distracted, Calvin Dark states, “the international community is not focused on the fact that in 2007, Morocco proposed a compromise plan to resolve the conflict once and for all – a proposal that the U.S. and many in the international community called ‘a serious and credible basis for a negotiated solution.”
Calvin Dark denounces the partial and double standards report of RFK, as “it overlooks human rights abuses in the refugee camps of Tindouf and obscures the fact that Human Rights NGOs do not have the right to access to the Tindouf camps without permission from Polisario,” which, if need be, imposes stringent monitoring.
“I found the report issued this week by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights extremely disingenuous because they describe these camps in near utopic terms, not mentioning any of the well-documented abuses by the Polisario from other respected human rights organizations,” notes the Washington-based analyst.
“They also conceal that human rights groups are not allowed to go to the refugee camps without the Polisario’s permission and under its strict surveillance,” he ads.
He goes on to point out that human rights are guaranteed by the Moroccan constitution not only in the southern provinces but on the whole national territory without any distinction whatsoever.
“Human rights arealready being protected in the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. First, the Moroccan constitution guarantees personal safety and protection of liberties for all, without making any distinction between those that live in the Western Sahara and other parts of Morocco.”
He also recalls in this context that Morocco has established the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), in a general context where NGOs and civil society thrive.
He also emphasizes that international organizations for human rights, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International regularly enjoy free access in different regions of the Kingdom where they do their investigations and hold press conferences without any restriction.
Finally, he calls on the US not to be “distracted or manipulated by the Polisario and ‘grow’ what is supposed to be a temporary peacekeeping presence. “MINURSO should not be tasked into perpetuity, but firmly directed so that it becomes history and the valuable resources it takes up can be used elsewhere,” he concluded.
By Youssef El Kaidi