The security crisis in Western Sahara has become an international concern for some time, due to terrorism. Aware of the deteriorating situation over the years, former Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero called on the Polisario Front to work for a « realistic » political solution in the Sahara. But he also called on Morocco and the « Saharawis » for peace, to end the 45-year old conflict.
On the occasion of the first anniversary of the Sahrawi Movement for Peace (MSP), which was held last Wednesday in Laayoune, the former Spanish president, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who was invited by videoconference, showed his commitment to the thesis of the « Moroccanity of the Sahara », did not expressly mention Morocco or the Polisario in his speech, according to the news agency EFE. But Zapatero advocated peace.
« Peace is an agreement, it means giving in, admitting that one is never completely right, because it is almost always true that the use of force is not the best alternative, » he said, referring to the strong position of Morocco and the Polisario Front on the Sahara issue. « 45 years after the beginning of the Sahara war, a return to peace is necessary between the parties to the conflict », insisted Zapatero.
Other participants in the forum, organised by the MSP, a movement founded by former Polisario leader Hach Ahmed Bericalla, insisted on the need for dialogue and commitment to move forward in a conflict that has lasted for almost half a century, due to the impossibility of reaching any compromise between the parties.
In addition, the UN Security Council also met last Wednesday to discuss the Sahrawi issue again. The appointment of a new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara is still pending, the previous one, German Horst Köhler, having resigned since May 2019 « for health reasons ».
However, all attempts to appoint a new envoy have failed, given the difficulty for Morocco and the Polisario to agree on a name. As a reminder, the territory is claimed by both Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), proclaimed by the Polisario Front in 1976. This movement, whose objective is the total independence of Western Sahara, is supported by Algeria.