Why the Conflict in Western Sahara Matters to America

The support of Autonomy for the Sahrawi people under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco is an important issue to me personally and for all Americans in general. The camps of Tindouf in Algeria continue to be a breeding ground for terrorism and extremists beliefs. This has direct ramifications for US citizens.

Morocco, a moderate Muslim country, religiously tolerant society, and democratic parliamentary monarchy, has remained a loyal ally of the USA since the inception of our country. Morocco actively supports the US, both militarily and politically, in our efforts to end the spread of terrorism around the world. If you are not motivated to awareness by the great humanitarian suffering of the Sahrawi people, then educated yourselves strictly for benefit of our own national security.

Last week, my friend Mahjouba Daoudi Ati, along with a coalition of other representatives from Morocco, the Sahara and delegates from around the world, made a passionate appeal to the UN. Each spoke on behalf of the Sahrawi detainees for a swift resolution to the continued crisis in the Algerian supported Polisario camps.

MAHJOUBA DAOUDI, a Saharan researcher, said petitioners carrying the separatist banner in Western Sahara were in reality Algerians.  Why were the people living in the Tindouf camp not available to express their views before the United Nations?  The 2013 United States State Department report and the five leading international human rights organizations had cited restrictions placed by Algeria on its people, as well as on those seeking to study their plight.  “Get your own house in order before asking your neighbours to do the same,” she said.

I hope you will take some time to learn more about this important issue - you can begin by listening to the arguments presented here: "Decades-long Dispute over Western Sahara Draws Appeals from Petitioners in Fourth Committee, with Some Saying Impasse No Excuse for Inaction"


 Elaine Obenshain