When the first attempt failed to admit the RASD to the OAU in Monrovia in 1979, Morocco was contemplating other strategies, and other alternatives to OAU resolutions. It became apparent that the Algerians influenced the passing of the resolutions and the balance started to tilt more in favour of the Polisario Front rather than in favour of Morocco. This prompted Hassan II to act on a new strategy. He chose to improve relations with France by having further consultations with Mitterrand in January 1982 when he renewed his acceptance of a referendum in the Western Sahara. Furthermore, Hassan II took the decision to address the UN on 27 September 1983 for the first time since the Sahara crisis, and declared to the General Assembly that Morocco was ready for a referendum within 24 hours.i After the failed effort with the OAU, Morocco circulated a resolution at the UN asking for the transfer of the Sahara question to the UN. Guedira, the king’s representative, intervened on 28 November 1984 and declared that only the General Assembly of the UN was capable of dealing with the question of Western Sahara.ii Algeria reacted angrily to the Moroccan proposal, maintained that the issue was an African one, and it is up to the Africans to resolve. The UN found a compromise solution when it asked the OAU to help in this missioniii and called for indirect talks to take place between Morocco and the Polisario Front.iv The Secretary General of the UN then addressed a letter to the two parties concerned on 20 March 1986, informing them officially that he had taken up their case. First indirect talks between Morocco and the Polisario took place in New York from 9 to 15 April 1986 and from 5 to 9 May 1986. It was Hassan II, in a letter addressed to Perez de Cuellar, who requested these indirect talks or proximity talks.v Further separate consultations followed in Geneva, from 9 to 10 July 1987, involving the General Secretary of the UN, the Secretary General of the OAU, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario Front. They reached a decision to send a UN technical mission to the region in order to assess the practical details of organising a referendum. The mission visited Morocco, the Sahara, Mauritania and Algeria respectively, from 20 November to 9 December 1987. After consultations with Kenneth Kaunda, the President of the OAU, and Abderrahim Farah, the Assistant Secretary General of the UN in May 1988, de Cuellar submitted to Morocco and the Front his proposal to settle the Western Sahara conflict under a ‘Settlement Proposals’ for a peaceful resolution of the conflictvi. The Sahrawi people will have to choose between independence or to join with Morocco. Moroccan administration will remain during the referendum but a UN force will control public order. There will be a commission headed by Gros Espell to deal with the organisation of the referendum and a commission will proceed with the identification process of those who are illegible to vote in the referendum.vii By accepting de Cuellar’s plan, both Morocco and the Polisario Front accepted a cease-fire ending all military activities and giving a rise to political dialogue. In order to carry out a referendum, the Security Council decided on 29 April 1991, through resolution 690 (1991) to create the MINURSO, a UN Special mission, to organise and supervise the referendum. The MINURSO comprises around 1,700 military personnel including 550 observers and 700 infantry battalion, air support unit of 110 and a logistics battalion of 200, as well as 900 civil agents including those dealing with the identification process and 300 police officers to help in keeping peace and order during this operationviii. De Cuellar’s initiatives in achieving a cease-fire in order to finding a suitable solution to proceed to a referendum, created instead a stalemate of no peace no war for several years to come, and the situation remains unchanged in 2016. Nevertheless, there are only around 482 personnel left in total as at 31 January 2016, of which 226 are uniformed personnel of which 27 are Military, 4 policemen, 195 other military observers, and other 246 members of civil personnel of which 84 international civilian agents, 162 local civil personnel and 10 volunteers, the same figures as provided in S/2004/827 UN Reports dated 5 October 2004ix, and doing nothing in Laayoune since their task to supervise the identification process and the organisation of a referendum was ruled out of the equation since the resignation of James Baker in 2004, a point Ban Ki-moon did not grasp. The question of ruling out the referendum was confirmed by the UN when it accepted, in principle, a modified Moroccan version for an autonomous region in 2007, based on one of the proposals presented by James Baker in 2004. As a result of recent Ban Ki-moon blunder to name Morocco as an ‘occupier’ and more, Morocco responded by submitting 84 names to leave from the 246 members of the Civil Personnel who have no role to play in Morocco, and which was one of the options proposed already in the UN Report SC/8232 dated 28 October 2004x. The UN complied with the Moroccan request and also agreed to transfer the three observers in Dakhla to a more ‘favourable’ environment in Aousserd. This personnel has ever since the cancellation of their first objectives, been receiving salaries and bonuses beyond imagination for doing nothing other than counting crickets that invade the region from time to time. In addition, Morocco, with its meagre resources, voluntarily contributes around 3 million dollars a year to be abused, as well as providing over 2300 Blue Helmets since the first Congo Rebellion of the 1960s, as well as setting up military hospitals in Kosovo, Palestine, Jordan, Mali, Ivory Coast, Tunisia to help Libya and more….Is really Ban Ki moon aware of the overall Moroccan international political weight and military contribution to the UN and World peace and security? Or is he using Morocco as a case study to propose a solution for South Korea to merge and be ruled by Kim Jong-un? Is he disguised in Pyongyang president Kim Jong-un communist sympathy uniform to please communist Algeria against his own Democratic South Korean country to challenge Seoul president democratically elected Ms Park Geun-hye as President and suggest to her to move the capital to Pyongyang, better than being dictated to by Yankees? Who knows? Hitler was neither stupid nor mad but he was definitely dumb because he could not see beyond his nose. All Ban Ki moon has done is to create more problems when he could not solve the earlier ones. He put the clock back to an early period, when the referendum itself became the subject of conflict, and now revived it in his ridiculous declaration in Tindouf. It seems that Ban Ki moon ignored the fact that negotiations to hold a referendum went on for a very long time but failed to produce an agreement. The status of Western Sahara remained unchanged, but several initiatives emerged, including an agreement involving James Baker, the new man Kofi Annan appointed on 17 March 1997 as the new UN Special Envoy. He tried with the Polisario and Morocco to hold a referendum as soon as December 1998, but to no avail. This initiative failed and suffered the same fate as its predecessor. Baker organised several proximity talks with all parties concerned and the first separately held talks were in London between Baker, Morocco and the Polisario, in 1997, and were followed by the first face-to-face talks in Lisbon from 23 to 25 June 1997, leading to some glimmer of hope in the Houston Accords which were reached in September of the same year. The main obstacle that made a referendum impossible was that no one could agree on the form it should take or defining the people who would be eligible to participate. Though, the MINURSO personnel were planning to hold the first referendum in mid-January 1992, and 12 years later, in 2004, James Baker came to the conclusion to scrap the whole idea, thus burying for good any reference to holding a referendum and recommended a political solution in his failed Baker I and II “framework Agreement” before he left the jobxi. The Autonomy plan presented by Morocco is based, in parts, on Baker’s plan, without the option of any trial time or future referendum ever taking place: autonomy or nothing.
As these talks broke down on 28 June 2000 in Geneva, Baker realised that a referendum is a thing of the past and it is no longer possible to proceed to any meaningful identification process acceptable to either side, an aspect which Ban Ki moon did not read in 2016, when he has been on the job from January 2007. Baker proposed a new initiative in the Baker Plan I (Framework Agreement to replace the 1991 Settlement Plan but rejected by both Morocco and the Polisario) as it was stillborn and never reached discussion at the Security Council. It was to provide self-rule for the region, short of full autonomy, with Moroccan sovereignty, and a referendum to be held at a future date. Algeria and the Polisario rejected it in June 2001, when on 2 December of that year, President Chirac recognised Moroccan sovereignty over the Saharan regions. Baker Plan II was proposed in January 2003 in favour of a trial autonomy period of 5 years, followed by a referendum, but was rejected, this time, by Morocco. So in fact both the ‘1991 Settlement plan’ and the ‘2000 Framework Agreement as in Plan I and II’, all failed and there was nothing left to negotiate. Because of frustration and the stagnation of the affair, James Baker resigned in June 2004 and Kofi Annan appointed Alvaro Soto as the new Representative for the Western Sahara and, in turn, left shortly after in May 2005. Mr. Peter Van Walsum replaced him in July 2005 and started looking for an agreement between the two parties when Morocco came with its own proposal of autonomy, offering more than Baker’s self-rule, if not a complete revamp of Baker’s Plan II, but excluding any notion of a referendum ever to take place. The new Moroccan initiative proposed a self-governing entity, which, through the Royal Advisory Council for the Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), should govern the territory under Moroccan sovereignty. The United Nations Security Council received officially the proposal on 11 April 2007. Though the Security Council received it favourably, the Polisario with their backers, the Algerians objected to it. The stalemate has led the UN to ask the two parties to have direct talks without preconditions for negotiations, in order to reach a mutually accepted political solution, excluding any notion of a referendum, though Algeria and the Polisario have always maintained this position since both Morocco and the Polisario did not agree on Baker’s Plan. There were, in fact, 13 rounds of negotiations from 2007 to 2012, all ending in failure. Mohammed VI made it clear that the question of a referendum is out of question since Baker technically closed that file, considering that Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara is a de facto reality, and nothing will change that. After several direct meetings between the Polisario, the Moroccan government, and the neighbouring countries of Algeria and Mauritania, both the Polisario and the Algerians rejected the offer. In the meantime, the UN renewed the mandate of the MINURSO every six months without much difficulty and this, perhaps should have ended a long time ago. On the contrary, resolution 1813 of 30 April 2008 renewed MINURSO’s mandate for 12 months, to 30 April 2009, in order to give both parties enough time to reach an agreement based on the Moroccan proposal. The UN also appointed a new Special Envoy, Christopher Ross, on 15 January 2009, and both parties of the conflict welcomed him hoping for miracles to happen. Two main developments emerged through confidence building exercises, mainly the release of all Moroccan prisoners of war held by the Polisario and Polisario and Algerian prisoners held by Morocco, as well as the organised exchange visits between split families in Algeria and Western Sahara. However, Christopher Ross’s role suffered from both sides and Morocco was opposed to his continuing as Envoy in 2012, but with the intervention and promises of the SG, the King accepted the resumption of Ross’s role. Equally, the MUNIRSO’s role is threatened, as Morocco refuses any changes to the original agreement on the mission the UN has in the ‘Moroccan’ Sahara. However, no one asked the question of what the 1300 administrative civil staff are doing there, since the referendum task they were appointed to administer, supervise and control was absent from the equation since the resignation of James Baker in 2004. It was only on 5 March 2016 after Ban Ki moon made his outrageous declarations, by all standards, while visiting Tindouf and his behaviour there that was beyond any acceptable norm for a SG of the UN and this reached rock bottom patience in Morocco and prompted the government to react and strongly and firmly they did. Immediately the government asked for a drastic reduction of all civil and political agents, and requested their immediate departure from Morocco, stopped instantly the voluntary contributions Morocco made towards the salaries of the administrators. In fact Ban Ki moon could send them to set up camp in Tindouf to wait for Godot, if he wished…..but there is no fishing except chasing scorpions or play Russian roulette, with the complements of the SG Ban Ki moon.
Further informal talks, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1871, were held in Armonk, New York on 10-11 February 2010, with no agreement reached. Christopher Ross was again dispatched to the region in March 2010, visiting Morocco, Tindouf, Mauritania and Algeria, pressing for formal talks to start soon while the MINURSO mandate was renewed again on 30 April 2010 for a further year. Ross’s effort produced many meetings, including those in Manhasset, New York between 8 and 9 November 2010, and other meetings followed to give more dynamism to confidence building measures from 16-18 December 2010, held also in Manhasset, New York, another followed in January 2011. Then came Geneva on 9 February 2011 to discuss humanitarian conditions in Tindouf, leading to the one on 16 May 2011, all ending in deadlock. Morocco cancelled all meetings with the Polisario till 2012, once the 25 November 2011 elections were over and a new majority government in power, though Ross had another round of consultations around the world in November 2011 to include Morocco, Algeria and the Polisario. Further visits took, place without any result while Morocco concentrated more on the formalisation and the execution of its decentralisation plan, thus unilaterally imposing the autonomy plan, by first introducing Regionalisation in Morocco in 2015, as prescribed in the 2011 Constitution. During the 40th Anniversary of the Green March, the southern regions 10, 11 and 12 became officially totally integrated with the rest of Morocco and a development plan was announced with an investment plan of 77 billion Moroccan Dirhams putting the 3 regions in a very advanced economic development projects in all areas, outshining many other regions of the rest of Morocco.
Though the UN succeeded in achieving a cease-fire but was bogged down to defining and identifying the original inhabitants of the regions. All this time the UN MINURSO still relied only on a census Spain assented to under international pressures in 1974, and finally began to formulate plans for such a referendum, the principles of which the UN wanted to adopt under Moroccan administration. The whole region of Western Sahara had, according to the Spanish census published in 1974, approximately 82,000xii native inhabitants. Alternatively, the figures provided by Jeune Afriquexiii, recorded that the total Sahrawi population was 73,497, of whom 38,336 were male and 35,161 were female, and of these 40,988 were under 18 years of age and 2,025 were over 70. The latter figures were the ones adopted by the UN to establish an electoral list for the referendum. Neither of the parties from Morocco or from the Polisario agreed on the figures or on the method to be adopted, and the flimsy UN diplomacy achieved next to nothing other than the fat salaries and perks the officials received including bribes from all sides and are still enjoying many privileges. Baker was sincere in his assessment when he reached the conclusion that there was no solution possible under current proposals of maintaining the idea of a referendum and submitted new ones before he resigned in 2004. It was generally accepted since 2004 that conducting a referendum is an impossibility given the difficulty on agreeing on any identification process, which led to the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1754 passed in April 2007, looking at a mutually agreed political solutions, as first proposed in the Baker Plans. As previously indicated, Morocco submitted a proposal for autonomy that was considered credible and serious to become ever since the only practical solution, at least for Morocco and many friendly nations across the world until 2016. Ban Kamoon, the current SG, inadvertently committed a capital crime when on a visit to Tindouf on 5 March 2016 evoked the ‘occupation’ of the Sahara by Morocco, using a V sign during his visit and called for a referendum, amongst other stupid ideas, adding to his ignorance of the diplomatic code and principles. The UN under Ban Kamoon failed, as his predecessors, to provide any statistics on the number of sequestrated people in the Camps around Tindouf or show any real concern on the Human Rights being ignored in the camps. Whereas Morocco has conducted a general census in 2014 and the actual total population of the 3 regions as it stood at the end of 2014, was 944.470 and outlined for each region as followsxiv:
a) Region 10 Guelmin and Oued Noun; with 4 Provinces: Tan-Tan, Guelmin, Sidi Ifni and Assa Zag, with a Total Population of 433757
b) Region 11 Laayoune Sakkia el Hamra with 4 provinces: Al Massara, Boujdour, Laayune et Tarfaya with a Total Population of 367758
c) Region 12 Eddakhla Oued Eddahab with 2 provinces: Aousserd and Oued Eddahab with a Total Population of 142955
Furthermore, Ban Kamoon has completely ignored the wishes of the great majority of the real Sahraoui that are settled in their Sahara as part and parcel of Morocco. They are democratically elected and freely chosen by the people for the people and running their own affairs at local, regional and national level and moving freely as they please, in other words they are as free as the rest of the Moroccans from Tangier to Lagouira and from Saidia to the region of Aousserd. They marched with the rest of the Moroccans in Rabat on 13 March 2016 and organised their own spontaneous march of nearly 200000 Sahraoui people on 15 March 2016 in the streets of Laayoune to prove their point and delivered a letter to the MINURSO offices there. There were placards calling for the MINURSO to leave, a view shared by all Moroccans and was also reflected in the last declarations addressed to the UN Secretary General on 15 and 16 March 2016.
Of course the figures above are academic and have no purpose for a referendum but have to be analysed and agreed to determine the Moroccan Sahraoui that are on Moroccan soil compared to those in the Camps around Tindouf. Only Region 10, though it is part of the Sahara, but does not form totally part of the Spanish decolonisation process, as part of the region was in independent Morocco and previously under French occupation. This census would also be a real headache for the UN if they were to resolve any identification process because of the movements of all the populations from region to region and going back over centuries if not millennia. This is what James Baker discovered and advised against any such doomed exercise. This adds further to the old figures provided by the Spanish census which were published in 1974 and in the absence of any reliable and concrete figures, it is now estimated for political reasons and refugee aid at the camps at between 40,000 to 80,000 people, that are still victims of the Tindouf camps and a tool for the Polisario and Algerian corruption. At best, the whole population of the Western Sahara had approximately 82,000 native inhabitants in 1970s and other independent figures that appeared after the Moroccan dispute and published by Jeune Afrique, show the total Sahrawi population at 73,497, as previously indicatedxv. Approximately one third of these were dragged to the Camps of Tindouf, and the other two-thirds remained in the mother country and have been joined by a great number of returnees who fled the camps. Both identification and data on the population would not be an easy exercise as expressed by previous UN Envoys and specialists that such exercise would be impossible to carry out. This was the reason that led James Baker to resign in 2004, leaving a general impression that only a political solution acceptable to both parties would resolve the conflict. This very point was also highlighted by the King of Morocco, amongst others, in a letter addressed to the SG Ban Kimono, as a reminder of this fact, which was delivered by the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, on 14 March 2016xvi.
Over all, there have been three successes recorded, that is the cease-fire agreement, which remains in force to the present, the release of prisoners and family visits. However, no referendum has yet taken place, as it is completely rejected by Morocco and thought impossible by Baker and Ross. Nevertheless, Morocco submitted its own proposal, which is accepted by many in the Security Council and Permanent Members of the General Assembly as a serious alternative, but rejected by both the Polisario and Algeria, the core of the problem. This brings into question the raison d’être of Minurso and especially the useless administrative and political agents who were given the task to organise the defunct referendum there. So the settling of the Western Sahara may be seen as the failure of the UN on the one hand, and the Algerian-Polisario entente cordiale on the other, whereas Morocco is continuing ‘business as usual’ in its Southern Regions. Furthermore, the US, Russia, Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, the GCC countries, Jordan and many more are all supporting openly the Moroccan autonomy plan. Though, there are some analysts who still consider that Moroccan diplomacy, under the governments of both King Hassan II and Mohammed VI, has failed to reach a final solution and close the file for good. Nonetheless, the question of sovereignty over the region is still unresolved even after the last declaration of Hilary Clinton in Rabat favourably endorsing the Moroccan autonomy plan, during the last meeting that took place in March 2012 and repeated constantly when she is asked. The last official declaration from the White House was made by President Barak Obama when he received King Mohammed VI on 22 November 2013 and was repeated and confirmed on several occasions by different White House sources and John Kerry no later than April 2016 at GCC Conference. According to the White House Office, “The President pledged to continue to support efforts to find a peaceful, sustainable, mutually agreed-upon solution to the Western Sahara question. U.S. policy toward the Western Sahara has remained consistent for many years. The United States has made clear that Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic, and credible, and that it represents a potential approach that could satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity. We continue to support the negotiations carried out by the United Nations, including the work of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Ambassador Christopher Ross, and urge the parties to work toward a resolution.’xvii Similar declarations of support were voiced several times and confirmed by the White House after Ban Kamoon made his outrageous declarations. Anne Patterson, the Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East, added her voice and declared on 13 April 2016 that Ban Ki-moon’s declarations were “very unfortunate” and Ros-Lehtinen, the President of the Sub-commission of Foreign Affairs for the region, also expressed her deep concern of Ben Ki-moon’s out of place comments. Nevertheless, Ban Kamoon’s declaration in Tindouf in March 2016 changed many things including the role of the civil personnel of the MINURSO which has been terminated as the question of administering a referendum is no longer valid. Morocco officially asked the SG of UN on 16 March 2016, for the immediate departure of the majority of civil employees and especially the MINURSO political units, as well as the freezing of the Moroccan voluntary contribution to the administrative salaries of those remaining in Moroccoxviii. A list of the 84 members to leave immediately was issued on 17 March 2016 and eventually left. Furthermore, Morocco has revised all its dealing with the SG, including the Moroccan contribution to international security and closed the observation bureau in Dakhla and the 3 observers were transferred to Aousserd.
Ban Ki-moon Gaffe and Lobby Interests
Ban Ki-moo is not Mother Teresa. If he wants to be an angel of mercy, he should first resign from his post and join his good friend Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, who in addition to her vast responsibilities and knowledge in international problems, she also figures as a member of the Board of HRNK Human Rights in North Korea. She could perhaps offer him a job to provide some relief for his poor brothers and sisters in Pyongyang and do something more practical than empty talk, kissing babies and weep. The point here is really about arrogance, incompetence and the worthiness of a SG of the UN. From all analysis his behaviour and declarations either in Algiers or Tindouf do not meet the qualities required for an international leader of quality. What he uttered there is not worthy of a person in a such position, if one respected what Max Weberxix prescribed on the quality of leadership and Ban Ki-moon, as anyone who studied the subject would come to the same conclusion, as all MA students in international relations & MBA in Global negotiations, who do not attend Harvard as Ban Ki-moon did, would agree that he failed in his task and is a disgrace to the reputation of the Harvard’s MA degree he took, perhaps in absentia, in International Relations. Furthermore, an MA is nothing more than a foundation course for an MPhil in order to proceed to real research for a PhD or DPhil in the British system. The success rate for a PhD in the US show, according to U.S Census data conducted in 2013, only 1.68 of Americans over the age of 25 have a PhDxx. He failed because Weber would say ‘he does not fit or respect any of the principles to qualify for a legitimate leader on either traditional principles that he proved he did not possess, the charisma which he needed, but his peers would not accord him as he does not have any personal and extraordinary grace worthy of an individual to be called charismatic, and finally he lacks authority to obey and apply the rules of law and raison when he ignored the legal implications of his actions which run contrary to the principles set by the UN, in short, he may be considered simply, as Professor Paul Bloom of psychology at Yale wrote describing a similar character, ‘as a moron’ or as Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it, “you’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” So, the sooner Ban Ki-moon disappeared from the scene the better it would be for world peace. He failed to consult history and eminent writers on the subject and learn about Morocco, as George Joffé wrote: “there was a long tradition of cohesive political culture in Morocco, stretching back to the early Idrissids in the tenth century.”xxi He has also given elsewhere an evolutionary account of Moroccan borders and describes them as follows:
The Mediterranean-Figuig border, where delimitation had begun in 1845 on the basis of prior Moroccan and Turkish practice, was successfully delimited and demarcated in 1905. The Figuig-Tindouf border was delimited in 1972 and ratified by Algeria in 1973 and by Morocco in 1989. The Western Saharan borders were delimited in two stages.xxii The Saguia al-Hamra northern region was delimited by a Franco-Spanish convention in 1904, confirmed in 1921, and Rio de Oro region in the south by a Franco-Spanish convention of 1900, confirmed again in 1912, after the French and Spanish protectorates were established in Morocco. The actual borders were only demarcated in 1956-58xxiii.
Equally, Rezette, concludes that: “geographically and historically the Spanish Sahara from North to South, is a graduated version of Morocco; from Goulmine to Tarfaya and Smara, it is the same country, the same people in ever smaller numbers and ever sparser agriculture.”xxiv Furthermore, politicians of great influence and experience in world affairs like Pierre Messmer who wrote that the Moroccan claim was real and historical, refuting the existence of any Sahrawi state ever existed but the population always formed part of the Moroccan fabric within its geographical boundaries, linked with a common economy, language and religion.xxv
Mr Ban Ki-moon has failed intellectually and has shown none of these outstanding qualities and as a result of his shallow knowledge, he has achieved nothing anywhere; he gave up and retreated when faced with the Israeli PM to total capitulation to act on Palestine and never dared accuse him of occupation because Netanyahu would have kick him in the bud as he did with Kerry and Obama. He watched helplessly in Syria and Iraq, whereas Afghanistan was just ignored and that attitude was repeated again and again in Africa, Asia or the Middle East. In his recent visit to Beirut, he was criticised by all sides for his empty words which amounted to nothing and only exposed his helplessness. In Algiers, he failed to press the Algerians to register the victims of the Polisario at the hands of the Abdelaziz el Marrakchi and the Algerian military, and dared to talk about a subject of a referendum which was dead and buried by Baker’s declarations and never discussed as a viable solution since 2004. He seems to have misled or was unfamiliar with the UN resolutions 2625 (XXV) of October 1970xxvi relating to 1960s UN Resolutions giving new interpretation to ‘decolonisation and self-determination’ procedures. Furthermore, he failed to understand Security Council Resolution 658 which produced the failed Settlement Plan which was designed in 1991 as a blue print to lead to a settlement between the Polisario and Morocco. This failure was attributed to the Security Council for not taking into consideration the reservations made by the Polisario and Morocco who rejected it in the form it was presented as a fait accompli. Because of this stalemate, no agreement was possible after many attempts by the SG, his Envoys and the Security Council, including the attempt made in the 1997 Houston Agreement on holding a referendum which h finally convinced the Secretary General to suspend the Settlement Plan. A new attempt by Kofi Anan was made by introducing the UNSC Resolution 1108 adopted unanimously on 22 May 1997 leading to James Baker III and the total collapse of old ideas to new era and interpretation of regional conflict resolution. National, regional and international security started to play a more important role than historical rhetoric and rejected emotional and ideological tautology. A new approach emerged since it became apparent to James Baker that the question of a referendum was no longer an option and introduced his various plans I, II and III. The question of a referendum was put aside since 2004 and confirmed by the majority of the members of Security Council, as interpreted in the united Nation Security Council Resolution 1754, which was adopted on 30 April 2007. In part, it qualified in the preamble of the resolution that the Moroccan proposal presented to the General Secretary on 11 April 2007, was “serious and credible”, and Morocco made a real effort to move forward to resolve the dispute on peaceful principles. Whereas Algeria and the Polisario proposal submitted to the SG did not bring any innovation and remained attached to the Referendum, which was seen as an impossibility by all and was part of history.
It seems that Ban Ki-moon did not do his homework and ironically, he seems to ignore the fact that less than a third of the Sahraoui people were dragged to Tindouf and more than two-thirds (2/3) remained in their country Morocco. He failed to show or provide any figures to help identify these people who are used as pones of the Polisario and the Algerian regime, figures which could target better food aid to the right people in the camps and not to be sold in Algiers or Nouakchott, as reported in the press. It is above all to know how many Moroccan Sahraoui are kept against their will in the camps. Nevertheless, he is happy receiving a fat cheque and all the perks that go with the job. To reinforce further his ignorance of the whole situation and he admits that he is unfamiliar with the Sahara file, as confirmed by his own declarations. He proved that he knew nothing about the Moroccan Sahara and relied completely on an unreliable Christopher Ross who was Ambassador in Algeria and well acquainted with a corrupt terrorist regime, worse than that of his ‘brother’ Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang. One cannot help wondering what has he done, at a personal level, on the humanitarian front for his relatives in North Korea who are suffering more than anyone cares to think or admit. The Sahraoui people have the choice, if the Algerians let them, to decide and also not to have their foreign food aid stolen by the Algerian corrupt generals with the help of the dying Mohammed Abdelaziz el Marrakchi, (born in Marrakech, bread and educated in Morocco and his family including his father, who was recently decorated by the King, live in Morocco) and his clan and wears Yves Saint Laurent clothes to impress and become a westernised clown, but not wear a dignified Sahraoui dress. He failed to realise that the people in the Moroccan Tindoufxxvii were angry because the Algerians and the Polisario leadership deprived them even of the international humanitarian food aid and he did nothing about it. Why the so-loving Stalinist Algeria has kept the people in those terrible conditions and not providing them with decent accommodation and make them part of the Algerian people as Morocco did for the exiled Algerians up to independence in 1962 when they became, for the first time in their history, a nation-state, if not to draw sympathy from gullible people like him and many other pseudo-human right cowboys who are recruited for a price.
As far as history can tell, in American tradition and particularly in that of the Republican neo-cons, they always preached war on communism and even claimed that communists ate children in Russia, according to their propaganda diffused amongst some peasant and poor Italians in the 1940s and colluded with fascist Italy to keep Gramsci in prison until his death. They also accepted that lies are normal, as justified to the White House by the Zionist philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973), and encouraged neoconservative policymakers to denigrate the USSR throughout the cold war and is still not over, and treated the world with contempt with their believe that the ‘ends justify the means’ even if the means are illegal and based on lies, as in the case of Iraq, as used in the failed fiasco in Vietnam, or Afghanistan when all that was justified was the American failure and death of millions of innocent people. Bush, with his prophetic vision, came up with his own interpretation of ‘either you are with us or against us’, interpreting Matthew’s words in the New Testament, ‘He who is not with me is against me…’, rather than using Mark’s ‘…whoever is not against us is for us’, and Morocco choose ‘with us’, since it was an Imperial power, and the first nation-state in the world to recognise American Independence and signed a Treaty of Friendship with the United Stated in 1786 which the Confederation Congress ratified in July 1787. Morocco also welcomed the Casablanca Conference that was held in Anfa Hotel from 14 to 24 January 1943 to plan Allied European strategy to free Europe. There were present President the Sultan of Morocco, Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud. It was during this visit and at a dinner offered by the Sultan that Roosevelt discussed Moroccan independence which he supported and promised to resolve after the war. This prompted the Moroccan Nationalists to create ‘The Roosevelt Club’ that saw the day in 1943 and became the symbol of Moroccan independence and the permanent link with the US for support, and for ever Morocco remained faithful to the principles of the first friendship treaty to the present.xxviii At the time present Algeria was terra nullius for centuries and at best the territories were under Moroccan and Turkish rule until the French took over in 1830 and to become part of French Departments, making it a legal possession and an integral and indivisible part of France. The recent new Communist Algerian nation-state that emerged in 1962, choose ‘against us’ throughout the cold war to the present but now some failed nincompoops from the Democratic Party and some Republicans praise a Terrorist organisation that has allied itself with Belmokhtar (massacres by the Algerian Army with Belmokhtar help at ‘In Amenas’ or the beheading of the French priests and other thousands of Algerian nationals killed), AQMI, DACH and the Polisario and all controlled by a Stalinist regime from Algiers because its rich in oil and gas and there is always a good reward if you play your cards right. Furthermore, Angola is still living in the cold war taking its revenge on Morocco because it was on the side of the Americans who asked the King to intervene against the MPLA and provided logistical support to move Moroccan forces first to the Congo to join the French forces and then some units were engaged to repulse the MPLA and the Cubans in Angola. Dos Santos is now becoming a thorn to Moroccan position and acts with impunity in persecuting the opposition in contradiction to Human Rights when they have been imprisoned en mass in March 2016. The American help goes further and extends to Nigeria, another Stalinist regime who opposes Morocco because it is a friend of France who helped the opposition in the Biafra war and working together with Algeria to harm both Moroccan and French interests just as the Americans are working in favour of the South African Stalinist regime led by the corrupt Zuma who also opposes Morocco because it was a French and American Ally helping Congo, as well as Morocco is gaining a lot of influence in Africa, which both Algeria and South Africa resent badly. The Americans went to court South Africa to gain influence to outperform the Chinese in Africa and all working for securing, at best, contracts for some, donations and other privileges for the so-called affiliated ‘NGOs’ to the Republicans, Democrats and other private individuals and groups that can promote their cause at the UN. It is worth adding that American inconsistency started with the adoption of ‘anti-state’ policies first introduced by the Republican Ronald Reagan between 1980 and 1988, marking thus a new neo-liberal approach that was so much hated in the past and which is now Halal or Kosher, following in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1991, to the consternation of many who raised many questions about the new semantics. Furthermore this slip-up is a reminder to the dirty word when ‘Liberal’ in the US was considered as ‘Leftist-evil communist.’ This was used by George Bush supporters against John Kerry labelling him as “liberal”, therefore leftist-communist, which is considered by some people in the United States as an insult. Similar slogans were used against the Democrats as the Republicans “save” and the Democrats “spend”, even though the Republicans have been historically more interventionists, responsible for the Public Debt to reach an unhealthy and risky level leading to chaos. It reached the point of becoming dependent, to a great extent, on China and on some three trillion dollars deposited by Saudi Arabia in the US and not disclosed large amounts from Algeria, and to the rest of the world to include, to a lesser extent, Russia, the Middle East and others. This neo-liberalism that was normalised by Bush father and son has deepened the size of the debt that was left to the Democrat, Bill Clinton, to resolve only for Bush Junior to spend even more and for Obama to struggle with throughout his first term in Office and even during the Second, before some progress was achieved. So it seems that, after all, communism is only another facet of human political game played when America always favoured Zero-sum. It was only when it failed, that it adopted the Chinese concept of Win-Win principles, though over used, that is considered correct and just, to achieve success. This is evident with the rapprochement the Americans have been nurturing with Algeria to develop its oil and gas, South Africa, Angola or Nigeria (and no surprise, they are all great producers of oil and gas or diamonds…) and many more, and after all, ‘politics is the art of the possible’, and self-interests are above politics, and morality has no role to play in business, or so it seems.
All prejudices and principles could be forgiven and set aside for the individual good. This is the action of failed politicians like Kerry Kennedy advancing her ambition and wealth though The Kennedy Foundation or Joseph Pitts, the Republican Congressman and the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, just as much as other opportunists and power seekers from some of the pitiful members of the Democratic Party, whether it is Susan Rice, Samantha Power, the new She-Che Guevara rebel, Denis O’Brian or Christopher Ross, forming together with Kerry Kennedy foundation and Lantos a new front helped by the spoils of South African and Algerian handouts, bidding for the World Cup to be held in Tindouf in April of every year, the best way for laundering money and no one dares ask the right question, ‘where the money comes from? How is it spent?’ ‘What do donations amount to’? Or, is it the best way to finance covert and subversive actions? Wars only make more money for American warmongers and the Armament Industry. Or simply they are looking for glory and chasing recognition at any price for their ‘Capitalist’ cultural revolution of making money. They want to become something and it takes one to know one and find themselves uniting with rogue states by adopting the Republican slogan ‘the end justifies the means’. These groups also include the likes of Erik Goldstein of Human Right Watch, an organisation that earns millions from these rogue states and organisations to publicise and legitimise their terrorist lost causes and subversive actions. They work in tandem with Erik Hagen from WSAFRW who knows how rich the Sahara is for fishing, and you may even strike gold or silver or perhaps collect snakes and scorpions and for sure you would never leave empty handed, if not only with a bucket of prickly pears or of sand to serve as a fertilizer. There is the Western Sahara Action Forum (WSAF), a failed group of nincompoops amongst them, at one stage the treacherous Carne Ross, incarnating Edward J. O’Hare, against Blair, and at another historical gangster figure, ‘Easy Eddie’ reincarnating in his friend, David Kelly, and when Carne could not make it in a law practice, he selected gullible mafia organisations and terrorists to give them notoriety, that, not the bootlegger, but the modern narcotic traffickers enjoy, as well as have a share of the wealth extracted from blood money earned from kidnapping and drugs, as there is also ‘blood diamonds’ and ‘black gold’ to be had. There is again another ‘humanist’ who learnt the ropes of corruption and trafficking on his direct contact with the terrorist Polisario mafia, ex-member of MINURSO, Francesco Bastagli, another ‘impartial’, like Ban Ki-moon, who shares the same convictions as Hagen and the prosperous businessman, Carne Ross, all defending lost causes. Carne Ross has been stained over Iraq when he lied about Saddam Hussein and fabricated false information, the same lies he has been spreading about the Moroccan legitimate cause, on behalf of his paymasters in Algiers. His friend, David Kelly, committed suicide or killed when the truth started to come out and Ross left the Foreign Office when he realised that his situation was compromised and Tony Blair would act, in other words, he chose the way out before being kicked out. He opted instead to become a mercenary offering his services to the highest bidder and what better than narcotic traffickers and terrorists who have what it takes, or as he knows, there is money to be grabbed as it is extirpated from kidnappings and drugs, though the saying goes, ‘easy come, easy gone’. He is no different than many other good-doers to help themselves and if the Scotsman blows the bagpipe to produce a tune, this sort of Englishmen blows his pipe to produce hot air. There are a lot more of the same, all looking for recognition and think they are right, and sometimes they are, like Amnesty International, but more often than not, they are misinformed and lack rigour, because they are shallow and lack the deep knowledge it takes to understand history of 10,000 years in the making. They are reductionists and neglect facts, unlike the innocent logic of children, they use malicious simplifications to confirm that ‘milk comes from the bottle or now more from cartons in the fridge and the cow is an animal without any consequence to its production.’ They have no principles, knowledge, the talent or the convictions to search further down that path of fairness, peace, prosperity, the respect of Human Rights and tolerance, as the UN tries to promote. The UN is facing a stronger challenger set for profit and self-interest as shown amongst many actors in many NGOs that are linked, in one way or another, to the UN and they prefer to take the short cut leading to what Hobbs describes as the ‘war of all against all’xxix.
Furthermore, does Susana Rice really understand Moroccan politics? Or do other Democrats like Jim McGovern, Ms Betty McCullum, and John Conyers joining the Republican Joe Pitts, all members of the “Western Sahara Caucus” know really their bedfellows or understand the effect of a terrorist organisation like the Polisario and its agents like Lehbil Ould Ali Said Ould Joumani, alias Adnane Abou Walid Al Sahraoui who is threatening, not only Morocco but also the UN through MINURSO in the Moroccan Sahara. They should also examine who were and still are the US friends since and even before the cold war scenario that is still well embedded in the Algerian, Angolan, Nigerian and South African psyche. Since when the Americans became friends with Communists? Nevertheless, the busybodies, like the beetles, are ready, for a price, to muddle in the same muck and think they are striking gold or enjoying a ‘nicely rolled nibble of a chocolate gateau’, but black gold is a nice cake. They are found regularly defending their lion’s share of any cake or cause, for the sake of ‘humanity’, lost causes and to achieve this, they struggle to make a quorum for their regular presence at Tom Lantos Commission. It is unfortunate that Dr Lantos Swett, collude together with other insignificant failed individuals, distort the course of history, the spirit and the good name of the founder, Tom Lantos. The late Tom Lantos is known for his devotion to noble causes and for his humanism and made a special call urging the Polisario to accept the Moroccan offer of autonomy and said with conviction, sincerity and great concern for the people and not ideology or self-interests: “This will all happen if the Polisario is wise enough to accept the reasonable and realistic offer currently on the table. The Moroccans have proposed far-reaching autonomy for the people of the Western Sahara region. They would elect their own leaders, run their own affairs, levy taxes and establish budgets, maintain their own police forces, and control the education of their children. Only external security and foreign affairs would be conducted and controlled by the central Moroccan Government.” If his successors do not believe in him, it is unlikely that they believe in the principles he set for organisation he created.
The new approach by Dr Lantos Swett and her friends begs the question since when the Americans supported “Communists”, rather what is possible and good for peace. Or do they know that the dying Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Said Bouteflika are also Moroccan born and their mother was running a Hammam in Oujda? It was a small business but comfortable, or that the controversial ‘corrupt’ American national Chakib Khalil, was also groomed by the Americans, was born in Morocco? He led there an ordinary normal life which prepared him for whatever is the best of him while the Mafia terrorist regime prepared him for what is the worse that came out of his actions. People who ignore history may be reminded that none of the exiled Algerians to Morocco were put in a desert hell-camp that now the Algerians have reserved for the last 40 years, to the Moroccan Sahraoui in occupied Moroccan Tindouf. They deep down hate these people as much and converge their anger and take their vengeance on them to square up with Morocco as a therapy to cure them from schizophrenia in order to come to terms with the defeat and humiliation they suffered during the 'sand war' of 1963 and the Amgala battles; a load they have been carrying for so long and build an inside Berlin wall they cannot erase from their subconscious mind and still live with it today, something many people ignore or simply they do not know anything about, or perhaps Christopher Ross and Mr. Fix it Carne Ross, the power seeker of the ‘Independent Diplomat’ Advisory group, intends to set up his private embassy in Tindouf or Laayoune to declare himself Khalif. Perhaps they were briefed but they just could not remember? Otherwise why should the Algerians keep them in such horrible conditions? After all, there are no free lunches, as the saying goes in England.
In the final analysis, Morocco’s foreign policy is now very well anchored on three major priorities focusing on the legal Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, though “Morocco is in its Sahara and the Sahara in its Morocco”, excluding any notion of a referendum, on the one hand, and create a revolutionary development process in all areas, to include the democratisation of all the institutions in the country, modernising education by giving priority to the National Amazigh language and reduce the foreign Arabic language in Moroccan schools and Universities, promote the provision of foreign languages as presented by the gifted Prof Rachid Belmokhtar as well as reinforcing sciences by reducing useless Islamic studies, Arabic language, literature and poetry and other useless luxury subjects without any future for employment, innovation or tolerant thinking. The second is security and security both within Morocco, regionally and at international level. Morocco considers that the problems facing the world today are more about insecurity than anything else. World terrorism is better organised now than any time before and poses serious problems and challenges the whole of the international community. It breads on failed and weak states, like the case in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali, Centre Afrique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Soudan, and many more states around the world. The West is not spared and terrorism finds its root in defective democracies (démocraties défectueuses) like France, Belgium and many more. The experiences in Syria, Iraq, the attacks in Paris and Brussels show the resolve of these obscurantist who instead of being called “Terrorist” belonging to either Ben Laden’s Group, or Baghdadi’s Group, these failed and defective democratic states still hammer their hidden hatred for peaceful Islam and validate their false assumption. They label them, not as terrorists, but ‘Islamic Terrorists’ or ‘Islamic State’ and not even using the word ‘Islamist’ which is not Islamic because it sounds better to undermine Islam and reinforce islamophobia in society when Islamic bashing becomes fashionable, instead of calling a spade a spade. Furthermore, they legitimise what is not legal by their actions and declarations when they acknowledge these “Terrorists” as a legitimate and a sovereign state and hypocritically arrest, harass and punish people for apology when they are the first ones to promote it. So the fact remains that these ONGs, who support failed regimes like that in Algeria or a terrorist organisation like the Polisario’s Abou el Oualid Sahraoui, one of the Algerian secret service collaborator and one of the founders of the MUJAO terrorist group based in Mali before he headed the Mourabitun Movement with the Algerian Belmokhtar. They seem to ignore or do not want to examine in any details who is behind Mokhtar Belmokhtar or Abdelmalek Droukdel, both working with the Algerian military and the secret services covering Algeria, Libya, the Sahel, or the Moroccan Sahara and beyond. None of them mention the atrocities committed by Polisario terrorists, encouraged by some of these ONGs to cause serious damage to the Moroccan population and the security services as well as the army. These Polisario terrorists acting in Tindouf and Moroccan Sahara are targeting different towns and villages including the attack on Gleim were legitimised by these organisations and now MINURSO is on the top of their list. They gave them a green light to butcher innocent people, targeting especially members of the army and security services in the Camp at Gdeim Izik when they attacked the Camp from 9 October 2010 and continued till the dismantling of the camp by the government forces on 8 November 2010. Unlike the ‘Zemla Intifada’ under Spanish rule in 1970, the ‘First and Second Intifada’ was not of the same magnitude and could be seen as an excess zeal from the security services when it was based on trivial technical matters and the case should have been handled with tact and better. Up to now the Moroccan authorities were still living in the shadow of the “Years of lead” and made serious mistakes in turning a minor issue to a major one, because of the traditional non-respect of the individual, be it from the South or from other parts of Morocco, an aspect the ONGs did not take into consideration in order to be given any credence for impartiality. It appears that other Moroccans do not count. Whereas for the case at Gleim Izik was a deliberate and well organised Polisario terrorist act designed to create carnage in Morocco and outrage abroad enflamed by some self-made ONGs for self-glory when they failed in everything else in their lives. They never reported the Polisario terrorists butchering with knives of 11 members of the auxiliary forces at the camp and injuring 159, whereas only 2 members of the terrorists were killed. The authorities arrested 25 members of them and presented them to a military court where they received all the care and attention of the selfish ONGS and no concern for the dead. The 25 arrested Polisario terrorists received heavy sentences except for 2 who were freed at the end of the trial in 2013xxx. The other main concern for Morocco is the promotion of all types of synergy in all industries and in all fields of technology, improve the infrastructure in all urban and rural areas as well as completing electrification and make available water distribution in all isolated areas, build major and rural roads, motorways, complete and renovate rail networks, build hospitals, universities and Research Centres for excellence as well as other projects to make all Moroccans responsible and prosperous in their country from Saidia to Zug in the East, from Zug to Lagouira in the South, from Lagouira to Tangier in the West and from Tangier to Saidia in the North. To achieve its development goals, Morocco needs above all its security which is centred first and above all on securing the Saharan borders from Mauritania in the South to the border line with Algeria that extends from Saidia Oued Kiss to the Mauritanian border line in the East; complete its advanced status within Europe as well as reinforcing further its role in its continent among Francophone and Anglophone Africa. It has just confirmed its special partnership with the GCC and Saudi Arabia during the King’s historical visit of April 2016, uniting all Arab-Amazigh Monarchies, except Jordan. Major changes also have taken place with major powers by improving and consolidating Morocco’s position with Russia since the visit of the King in 2016, further breakthroughs are expected with China to include a Free-Trade Agreement to be discussed during the King’s coming May 2016 planned visit together with further consolidation with his second visit to Indian on his way to China. There are also major changes taking place with Brazil which is the third Moroccan trading partner, and the kingdom is exploring further breakthroughs with other major and minor partners in all economic, political and social spheres. Morocco has to work harder to assert itself against Algeria which failed completely to make any substantial contribution to its economy or impress its traditional allies, other than the drying out cash handouts it used to distribute but can no longer sustain as the price of oil is enjoying the thrill and danger of a defective roller-coaster freefall.
Dr. Ben Kirat
Consultant/Journalist - Oxford Consultancy International
Dr. Ben Kirat was educated at Oxford and Nottingham Universities, holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Westminster College Oxford, an M.A in French Studies and a PhD in International Relations from Nottingham University. He was a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University and M.A Supervisor in French Studies and held other post as Head of Department, Director of Studies and Marketing Manager in Colleges in Oxford and Europe and a Visiting Professor at Marbella University, Spain. He has also been working as an International Consultant for over 30 years, specializing in European-US affairs, Africa, the Maghreb and the Middle East.