Press release issued by POLISARIO Representation to Europe

POLISARIO condemns holding of Crans-Montana forum in occupied Western Sahara

Brussels 13 March 2018 – POLISARIO Front condemns the decision to host the 2018 Crans-Montana Forum in the Western Saharan city of Dakhla; illegally occupied by Morocco.

The forum will take place on March 15-20; and is a clear attempt to whitewash the brutal daily reality of Morocco’s illegal occupation in Western Sahara. The promotional material for the forum describes Dakhla as part of the Kingdom of Morocco – in contravention with International and EU law. Polisario reaffirms its preparedness to seek recourse in legal action if necessary when the sovereignty over Western Sahara is threatened or undermined.

POLISARIO Front urges Crans- Montana Forum to desist from holding its meetings in Western Sahara.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled unequivocally in December 2016 and January 2018 that Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco are two distinct and separate territories.

The final declaration of the ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, held 28 – 29 January 2018 in Addis Ababa, called for a boycott of the Crans –Montana Forum meeting. The declaration reads  “The Assembly REITERATES its repeated calls, in particular its declaration adopted at its 24th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, from 30 to 31 January 2015, on the Crans – Montana Forum, a Switzerland-based organization, to desist from convening its meetings in the city of Dakhla, in Western Sahara and APPEALS to all Member States, African civil society organizations and other relevant actors to boycott the upcoming meeting scheduled to take place from 15 to 20 March 2018”.

Western Sahara remains the last colony in the African continent and it has been on the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories since 1963 when it was under Spanish colonial rule. Morocco’s systematic human rights abuses in occupied Western Sahara, including torture and discriminate against Saharawis, are well documented by independent Human Rights organisations. The General Assembly has since consistently recognised the inalienable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence.