African Union - IDIA
PhilMUN 2007 17 Summary The Saharawi have fought for millennia against perceived invaders, and the struggle continues today as they fight for independence and the end of Moroccan influence. The nature of the struggle has forced the Saharawi people to reside in many refugee camps, which are often unsanitary and lack clean water. While international, regional, and governmental efforts have been made to alleviate human suffering, more must be done to ensure that the basic needs of the Saharawans are met. Yet, despite the conditions they are forced to endure, the Saharawi people maintain their desire for independence from Morocco. While many solutions have been proposed to the crisis during the thirty-year standoff between Morocco and the Saharawi Republic, none of them have effectively dealt with the main issues plaguing the area. While the United Nations called for a referendum on the question of Saharawi independence almost thirty years ago, petty arguments have precluded the referendum from taking place. Moreover, the Baker Plans, as well as all other multilateral initiatives, have failed to achieve meaningful consequences. As a result, in 2006 UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan suggested that it may be time for the UN to step aside and allow the Saharawans and Moroccans to attempt bilateral negotiations to address the question of Saharawi independence. However, while the two parties struggle with this concern, the entire region is destabilized. As an African body that understands the unique problems plaguing the continent, the African Union must take an active role in solving this crisis before it escalates further. Steps must be taken to ensure that the Moroccans and Saharawans are able to negotiate peacefully rather than revert to violence and bloodshed.
PhilMUN 2007 18 Discussion Questions • Should the African Union be actively involved in the question of Saharawan independence? • What measures could the African Union take to ensure that sovereign nations attempt to implement their proposed solutions? • Is legislation enough? Would sanctions or tariffs be more effective? • What role do humanitarian concerns play in the issue of independence? Should the African Union give humanitarian aid the Saharawi? If so, how and in what form? • How do discrepancies in the formal recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic affect the solution that the African Union will present, if at all? • Should there be greater involvement between the African communities to prevent new military violations and general uneasiness? What preventative measures should be taken, if any? • Should negotiations between the SADR and Morocco be bilateral? Should Algeria have a role in the proceedings? • Both Morocco and SADR have been accused of inflating the number of civilians that qualify for the referendum on independence. How should the numbers be determined? What qualifications should be necessary to vote?