Algeria’s representative at the UN: No alternative to right of self-determination on Western Sahara
NEW YORK – Decolonization of Western Sahara is an “urgent and crucial issue” for the region’s stability, Algeria’s ambassador and permanent representative at the United Nations, Sabri Boukadoum said, adding that there is no alternative to the respect of Western Sahara’s right to self-determination.
There is “no alternative to the United Nations doctrine on decolonization,” Boukadoum said at a meeting of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, also called the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee.
“To Algeria, the settlement of Western Sahara conflict is an urgent and crucial issue for stability, progress and integration in the Maghreb, the only sub-region in Africa where there is no such a process yet,” the Algerian diplopmat said.
Quoting Jose Marti, he said “We are free, but not to be evil, not to be indifferent to human suffering.”
Boukadoum said it was with bitterness and frustration that the international community was still debating colonialism in 2017, adding that it was also truly appalling that there were still 17 non‑Self‑Governing Territories.
There could be no discussion over the merits of colonialism and domination, he added.
“There is some consciousness being built here,” he said.
“Are we going to celebrate colonialism in 50 years?”
The Algerian diplomat urged the Fourth Committee and the General Assembly to speak up.
The dispute over Western Sahara is indeed a decolonization issue, he stressed, describing it as the last unsolved question of colonialism in Africa, having been on the Committee’s agenda for more than 54 years.
The legal status of Western Sahara “suffers no ambiguity,” he said.
In response to his Moroccan counterpart, Omar Hilale, who alleged that the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 1975 recognized the link between Sahara tribes and Moroccan people through allegiance to the King of Morocco, the Algerian ambassador stressed that the Court had unequivocally confirmed Western Sahara people’s right to self-determination.
To refresh his memory, Ambassador Boukadoum invited his Moroccan counterpart to reread the relevant advisory opinion which concluded there were no legal ties between Western Sahara and Morocco which would prevent Resolution 1514, about granting independence to colonized countries and peoples, from being applied.
“All United Nations resolutions adopted by both the General Assembly and the Security Council reaffirmed, continuously and constantly, the legal nature of the conflict as well as the principle of self-determination that must be applied,” he stressed.
Boukadoum cited various other United Nations and African Union resolutions and decisions in favour of Western Sahara people’s right to self-determination.