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Saharawi ambassador to Bolivia highlights independence struggle

La Paz, Feb 25 (Prensa Latina) The ambassador of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) to Bolivia, Ahmed Salem Mohamed Ahmed, highlighted the resistance of his people with their Liberation Army at the forefront against Moroccan occupation forces.

In an interview with Prensa Latina on the eve of National Day and the 48th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic (February 27), the diplomat analyzed the history of that conflict and its current situation.

“After 15 years of an atrocious armed confrontation between the Saharawi Army and the Moroccan occupiers, the United Nations and the African Unity approved a peace process,” he stated.

Salem Mohamed recalled that it was accepted by both parties: the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguía el Hamara and Río de Oro (POLISARIO) and Morocco.

In the context of the so-called Peace Plan, the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was created in 1991, which stipulated the holding of this consultation and the declaration of a ceasefire within a 12-month period.

However, the ambassador stressed that “after 30 years of multiple maneuvers by the Moroccan occupiers so that the Self-Determination Referendum was not organized and the lack of pressure from the UN Security Council, a new situation of instability arose in the area.”

He indicated that Moroccan forces attacked unarmed Saharawi civilians who were peacefully demonstrating against the repression carried out on the occupied territories, in Guergarat, southeast of Western Sahara.

Additionally, Morocco established a wall in the area, which represented a violation of the ceasefire and the restart of the war on November 13, 2020.

“Since then, the Saharawi People through their Liberation Army have waged a war of attrition, which bears daily fruit not only in the human and material losses of the Moroccan army, as well as in its low morale,” the ambassador stressed.

He added that these wars also have a detrimental impact on the Moroccan economy with the resulting social upheaval.

Salem Mohamed noted that at the political and diplomatic levels, the SADR is a full member of the African Union and has the recognition of more than 83 countries.

The POLISARIO Front, meanwhile, has recognized representation in most nations of the world and is an observer member in organizations such as the Socialist International.

The diplomat anticipated that from a legal point of view, by mid-March of this year, the European Court of Justice plans to approve an opinion that confirms that Western Sahara and Morocco are two separate territories and that the POLISARIO Front is the sole and legitimate representative of the Saharawi People.

This criterion coincides with opinions by other UN organizations and the Court of Justice in The Hague.

When referring to the state of ties with Bolivia, the ambassador recalled that the Andean-Amazonian country recognized the SADR on December 14, 1982, and since then the two brother states have maintained diplomatic relations and continuous contacts.

The ambassador told Prensa Latina that as part of these ties, Saharawi leaders have visited Bolivia occur, in addition to meetings at the UN General Assembly.

“In 2022, the SADR decided to establish a permanent embassy in La Paz in order to strengthen relations further, not only diplomatically but also culturally, and at the institutional level, a mission that we are putting into practice,” he commented.

Salem Mohamed emphasized that the two countries share the values of democracy and respect for human rights, they have the vision of societies linked to their social roots and culture, as well as the Spanish language, since the Saharawi people are the only Spanish-speaking Arab people.