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Special Political and Decolonization Western Sahara - IDIA

Special Political and Decolonization Western Sahara - IDIA

Rutgers Model United

Rutgers Model United Nations 9 2003: Baker’s Peace Plan The Peace Plan for the Self-Determination for the People of Western Sahara was presented to Morocco and the Polisario Front in 2003. The peace plan proposed a period of autonomy followed by a referendum within five years. The referendum under the peace plan would be a choice between integration and independence. 31 Furthermore, the 2003 peace plan addressed the discrepancies regarding voter eligibility. Under the peace plan, the electorate would consist of persons of voting age either on MINURSO’s 30 December 1999 list, the UNHCR repatriation list as of 31 October 2000, and persons “who have resided continuously in Western Sahara since 30 December 1999.” 32 Arguing that Western Sahara is Moroccan, the Moroccan government objected to the independence option on the final status referendum. Polisario objected to the peace plan on the grounds of Moroccan participation in the vote, and the ability of Morocco to use its power to keep the Western Saharan territory. Commenting on the rejection of the Baker Peace Plan, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated, “It should be acknowledged that the Security Council is not going to solve the problem of Western Sahara without asking that one or both parties do something they are not otherwise prepared to do.” 33 2007: Moroccan Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara Presented to the Security Council in 2006, the Moroccan Autonomy Plan provides for an autonomous Sahrawi government within greater Moroccan sovereignty. While the POLISARIO has not agreed to the plan, Morocco has been hailed for its proposal. France’s Foreign Minister has characterized the solution as the “only realistic solution on the table.” 34 Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has also supported the Moroccan plan, calling it “serious, realistic, and credible.” The Moroccan Plan granting autonomy to the 31 Zunes and Mundy, 229 32 Ibid. 33 Zunes and Mundy, 233 34 Moroc Globe, U.S., France Voice Strong Support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan to Resolve Western Sahara Dispute, Remove Obstacle to Peace in Region, http://marocglobe.com/2012/03/12/u-s-france-voice-strong-supportfor-moroccos-autonomy-plan/ (Accessed 29 April 2012)

Rutgers Model United Nations 10 Shrawi populations declares, “Sahara populations will themselves run their affairs democratically, through legislative, executive and judicial bodies enjoying exclusive powers. They will have the financial resources needed for the region’s development in all fields, and will take an active part in the nation’s economic, social and cultural life.” 35 Actors and Interests Morocco Throughout the Western Sahara conflict and the struggle for self-determination by the Sahrawi people, Morocco has argued that it has historic and legitimate claims to the Western Saharan territory. 36 Although the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has found no legal claims of sovereignty between Morocco and Western Sahara, Morocco has continuously impeded the referendum process, which would allow the Sahrawi population to exercise their right to self-determination, possibly resulting in a state independent from Morocco. Following the ruling of the ICJ, King Hassan II of Morocco continued to assert Moroccan claims over the territory of Western Sahara by characterizing the Sahrawi nationalists as Moroccan secessionists. 37 Further delegitimizing the Sahrawi is the Moroccan foreign minister who stated, “POLISARIO is not recognized as a liberation movement. What is called the SADR is not a recognized state.” 38 Continuing on the subject, the foreign minister stated that the king would only negotiate with its equals, for example Algeria and Mauritania. 39 This stands in stark contrast to the position taken by the UN, through General Assembly Resolution 37 recognized the POLISARIO as the voice of the Sahrawi people. 40 The Moroccan denial of self-determination to the Sahrawi people, rooted in historic claims to the territory, also has an economic dimension. Three key resources 35 Morocco Autonomy Plan, http://www.freedom-for-all.org/politics/autonomy-plan-text.php (Accessed 29 April, 2012) 36 Zoubir, Yahia. “The Western Sahara Conflict: A Case Study in Failure of Prenegotiation and Prolongation of Conflict.” California Western International Law Journal. (1996): 178 37 Ibid. 38 Jensen, Erik. Western Sahara: Anatomy of a Stalemate. Lynne Reiner Publishers, Boulder Colorado (2005): 33 39 Zoubir (1996), 185 40 Zoubir (1996), 184

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