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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Statement on Western Sahara resolution

The European Parliament yesterday has adopted a joint resolution on the situation in the Western Sahara, following the violent dismantling of the Gdaim Izik protest camp by Moroccan occupying forces on 8 November.

Jean said: “I welcome the decision of MEPs from across the political spectrum to support this strong resolution condemning the violent actions carried out by Moroccan forces during the dismantling of the Gdaim Izik protest camp – actions that left a still unknown number of innocent Saharawi people dead, including a 14-year-old boy.

“While noting that the Moroccan parliament has set up a committee of enquiry, the text states that the UN is the most appropriate body to launch an international and independent investigation into the event, deaths and disappearances and calls for the establishment of a human rights monitoring mechanism in the region.

“Furthermore, the resolution condemns the attacks on press freedom, insisting Morocco allow free access and free movement in the Western Sahara for the press, independent observers and humanitarian organisations.

“By adopting this text, the European Parliament has made a clear stand for the 165,000 Saharawi people existing in refugee camps as a result of Morocco’s illegal occupation of the region, in defiance of the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

“The international community must now do the same. It can no longer be allowed to ignore the human rights abuses and illegal plundering of the rich natural resources of this region that has divided the region for the past three decades. In neglecting this conflict and the suffering and destruction it has caused, the international community has prolonged the crisis. Peace and progress in Western Sahara are long overdue.”