Procedure : 2010/2954(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0682/2010

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 24/11/2010 - 16
CRE 24/11/2010 - 16

Votes :

PV 25/11/2010 - 8.11

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0675/2010

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the humanitarian consequences of the situation in Western Sahara


Ioannis Kasoulides, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Marco Scurria, Cristian Dan Preda on behalf of the PPE group

European Parliament resolution on the humanitarian consequences of the situation in Western Sahara  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Western Sahara,

–   having regard to Resolution 1920 (2010) of the UN Security Council, extending by one year the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO),

–   having regard to the appointment of Christopher Ross as the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy to Western Sahara,

–   having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s report on the situation concerning Western Sahara, of 14 April 2008,

–   having regard, in particular, to the conclusions of the visits made by its Ad hoc Delegation for Western Sahara in September 2006 and January 2009, calling for MINURSO’s mandate to be broadened, subject to the agreement of all the parties concerned, to include monitoring the observance of human rights in Western Sahara, and having regard to the invitation extended to the Commission to monitor the human rights situation in Western Sahara through its delegation in Rabat, and to send missions there on a regular basis,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Western Sahara and, in particular, to its resolution of 27 October 2005,

–   having regard to the EU statement on the VIIIth session of the EU-Morocco Association Council, of 7 December 2009, and to the joint statement from the first EU-Morocco Summit, of 7 March 2010,

–   having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part, and particularly to Article 2 thereof,

–   having regard to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by the Kingdom of Morocco,

–   having regard to the statement by the spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, of 10 November 2010,

–   having regard to the negotiations held in Westchester County (New York) in February 2010,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 19 October 2010 several dozen people had set up camp peacefully at Agdim Izik, 12 kilometres from Laâyoune, Western Sahara,

B.  whereas, within a few weeks, their numbers had grown, according to UN observers, to around 15 000 and a dialogue had been established with the authorities,

C. whereas the demands being made by the members of the camp were of a purely socio-economic nature, concerning the provision of social housing, a minimum income for needy families and public-service jobs for qualified young people, but the talks ended in impasse,

D. whereas Moroccan police and gendarmes, while not resorting to the use of firearms, according to UN observers, used disproportionate force to clear the camp at Agdim Izik,

E.  whereas the events that took place on the streets of Laâyoune following the dismantling of the camp give cause for grave concern,

F.  whereas the widespread violence that left people dead and injured, and others missing, is to be deplored, and solidarity should be extended to the families of the victims,

G. whereas several journalists and members of various regional and national parliaments and of Member States, as well as Members of the European Parliament, were unable to enter Laâyoune or the camp at Agdim Izik and some of them were expelled from Morocco,

H. whereas the Polisario Front’s figures for the numbers of dead and injured are significantly different from those supplied by the Moroccan authorities,

I.   whereas Spanish national Babi Hamday Buyema died violently in unexplained circumstances,

1.  Deplores the effects of the Moroccan authorities’ use of force to dismantle the Agdim Izik camp;

2.  Finds it regrettable that the two parties should make contradictory statements accusing one another of recourse to extremely violent methods during the dismantling of the camp on 8 November 2010;

3.  Calls on all parties to refrain from inciting violence or calling for the use of violence of any sort as a means of resolving the conflict;

4.  Notes that the Moroccan authorities have set up a parliamentary committee of inquiry in order to shed as much light as possible on the events that led to their intervention, but considers that an independent international committee of inquiry under UN leadership would be the most suitable body for this purpose;

5.  Welcomes the unsolicited request by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco to be invited to attend a meeting of Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, which would also like to hear the positions of the other parties involved in the conflict;

6.  Calls on the MINURSO forces, stationed in the area, to provide information about the dismantling of the camp;

7.  Calls on the local Moroccan authorities – the evidence of socio-economic development noted by the Ad hoc Delegation when it visited Laâyoune on 27 January 2009 notwithstanding and given that the region’s level of development is still below the Moroccan national average – to take into consideration the demands for an improvement in the socioeconomic conditions of the Sahrawis, who believe that they do not receive a fair share of the profits from their region’s natural resources;

8.  Calls on the Moroccan authorities to shed light on the circumstances of the death of the young Sahrawi Najem El Gareh, on 24 October 2010, in front of the Laâyoune protest camp;

9.  Condemns the detention of Sahrawi human rights defenders and the harassment they have suffered in the area of Western Sahara controlled by Morocco; calls for those Sahrawis human rights defenders imprisoned there and in Morocco to be treated in accordance with international standards and to receive fair trials as soon as possible;

10. Calls on the Polisario Front to explain the circumstances surrounding the detention of Mostapha Sidi Mouloud, who has been held since 21 September 2010 in an unknown location, and calls for representatives of the international community to be able to visit him;

11. Welcomes, in this regard, the resumption on Monday 8 November 2010 in New York of informal talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco, in the presence of Algerian representatives, and the fact that the talks continued despite the clashes at Laâyoune; notes with satisfaction that it has already been agreed that further talks are to take place in December 2010 and January 2011;

12. Commends the role played by the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy to Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, who organised the New York talks;

13. Asks all the parties concerned to recognise that a mutually acceptable political solution will not be found on the basis of their current positions and expects them to move some way toward one another, in the interests of the Sahrawi people who have suffered far too long from the status quo;

14. Calls on the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, the neighbouring countries and the EU to cooperate fully with the UN in pursuit of a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions;

15. Considers that the recent events show how essential it is for the remit of MINURSO – the body tasked with monitoring application of the ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario Front that was signed almost 20 years ago, in 1991– to be broadened, in line with the recommendation by the Ad hoc Delegation – to include the monitoring of human rights observance;

16. Deplores the attacks on freedom of the press and freedom of information which many European journalists have suffered, and calls on the Kingdom of Morocco to permit free access and free movement in Western Sahara for members of the press, independent observers and humanitarian organisations; deplores the fact that the Moroccan authorities have prevented parliamentarians, journalists and other media representatives and independent observers from entering Western Sahara;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the UN, the President of the African Union, the Moroccan Government and the leadership of the Polisario Front.

Last updated: 25 November 2010Legal notice