We are in 2022. The last time the Security Council used the expression ‘holding a referendum’ in its resolutions on the Sahara, was in its resolution 1359 of June 29, 2001,” said Bono, speaking at the opening of the 1st International Conference for Peace and Security in the Sahara, held in Las Palmas.
The former speaker of the Spanish Congress of Deputies noted that “in 2007, Morocco responded to the call of the Security Council for a political solution by proposing an autonomy plan for the Sahara. Since then, the Security Council has regarded the Moroccan proposal as serious and credible,” adding that the context of this proposal is well known in Spain.
“Autonomy was the constitutional solution to the problem of the territorial distribution of power in Spain and the legal response to those who demanded independence,” he said.
According to the former Spanish official, “by declaring that the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco is the most serious, realistic and credible basis”, the Spanish government is going in the same direction as the UN resolutions and is in agreement with the position of the United States and Germany.
“Rather than UN resolutions on the Sahara that have not been implemented for decades, what the Sahrawis need are solutions to their problems, more solutions and fewer resolutions,” he argued.
According to Bono, a part of the Sahrawi population enjoys remarkable development” in Morocco, while another part continues to live in “inhuman conditions, without either party being able to heal the wounds of the sad separation.”
“In its advisory opinion of October 16, 1975, the International Court of Justice had referred to the existence at that time of legal ties of allegiance between Morocco and the populations of the Sahara,” he stated, adding that this “age-old tradition symbolizes the ties that unite the population and its Sovereign.”
The above-mentioned advisory opinion referred to the appointment of delegates, governors and judges in the Sahara and to documents showing their loyalty to the Sultan of Morocco. “This recognition by the International Court speaks for itself when one considers the historical rights in the Sahara,” he said.
The Sahara conflict has “lasted longer than can be tolerated by a population that has suffered greatly for more than half a century,” Bono noted. “To build the future by overcoming enmities and inherited prejudices, we must seize every opportunity,” he added.
The polisario can not ignore the fact that the world has changed a lot in recent years and must differentiate between what is possible and what is impossible,” Bono concluded.
The International Conference for Peace and Security in the Sahara runs until Sept 23. It sees the participation of several Spanish political figures, international researchers, journalists as well as Chioukhs and notables of Sahrawi tribes.
Source: Agency Morocaine De Presse