See also:
» 06.03.2013 - Morocco denies entry to EU delegation
» 04.06.2010 - Morocco stalls EU-Sahara fisheries examination
» 17.05.2010 - PR company takes honour for Western Sahara "success"
» 13.05.2010 - Western Sahara "not part of EFTA-Morocco free trade"
» 14.04.2010 - Sahrawis fed up with UN chief
» 11.02.2010 - Morocco-Polisario revive talks
» 18.12.2009 - Sahara activist allowed back home
» 11.12.2009 - UN chief intevening in Saharawi activist cause

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Western Sahara

Europe considers recognising Western Sahara

afrol News, 2 May - The exiled government of Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara for the first time eyes hope of recognition by European states as several political parties are taking this into their programmes. Western Sahara, has been occupied by Morocco since 1975 but is a full-fledged member of the African Union (AU).

The exiled government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) noted its greatest diplomatic achievement in many years when South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki announced his government's full diplomatic recognition of SADR in September 2004. Some 80 states, mostly African and Latin American, have recognised SADR although this means tense relations with the occupying power, Morocco.

So far, however, no Western country has opted to recognise the Sahrawi republic, neither in Europe nor in North America. Although all these countries treat the SADR government as the legal representative of the Sahrawi people and do not recognise Morocco's claim to Western Sahara, they have shied away from the economic and diplomatic consequences a SADR recognition would imply.

Lately, however, two forceful initiatives have indicated that this may soon change. All over the European Union (EU), liberal youth parties have agreed to pressure their (often ruling) mother parties to go for recognition. Additionally, in Scandinavia, socialist parties are moving in the same direction.

At its annual congress, held in late April in Berlin, the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) agreed on a forceful resolution headed "Recognise Western Sahara". Mentioning UN efforts since 1960 to achieve self-determination for the people of the Western Sahara territory, the liberal youth parties noted that Morocco had seen to it that all efforts in this direction had failed. Meanwhile, LYMEC emphasised, Morocco was responsible for "grave and systematic violations of human rights in the occupied territories."

The European liberal youth parties therefore concluded on the need to "formally recognise the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as an independent state." This demand now is to be propagated among Europe's liberal parties. "Now, we have united liberals from all corners of the continent that will take the demand of recognition to their respective capitals and contribute to put the issue on the agenda," said Boye Bjerkholt of Young Liberals of Norway,, which had tabled the draft. Their mother party, the Norwegian Liberal Party adopted a resolution in January 2007 demanding official Norwegian recognition of SADR.

LYMEC has member organisations in 37 European countries and a total of almost 250,000 individual members throughout Europe. The youth parties have a varying degree of influence of their mother parties, of which many participate in national governments, for example in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.

In Scandinavia, even governing mother parties are now approaching the idea of recognising the Sahrawi state. The first governing party to make a formal decision on this was Norway's Socialist Left Party, which is the second largest party in the current Centre-left government of Norway. Also condemning Morocco's attitude and human right violations, the party's national executive passed a resolution calling for Norway to formally recognise SADR.

But Norway will not yet formally recognise SADR. The kingdom's largest party, which dominates the ruling coalition, still holds that a last diplomatic effort must be made. At the Labour Party's bi-annual congress in late April, a group of several delegates and members of parliament also presented a draft resolution that included a formal recognition of SADR. It was seriously considered, but concluded that for now, increased pressure on Morocco needed to be prioritised.

Nevertheless, the Norwegian Labour Party demanded the Sahrawi people were given the right to decide on independence in a referendum and condemned the Moroccan human rights violations in the "annexed territory", which the UN peacekeepers there should get a widened mandate to supervise. Together with the Socialist Left, the party agreed to work actively against trade with goods emanating fromWestern Sahara "until there is a solution to the conflict."

Also in neighbouring Sweden and Denmark, ruling parties are getting closer to consider recognition. In Denmark, the Liberal Party dominates the ruling coalition. In Sweden, socialists and conservatives are equally annoyed by Sweden's recent diplomatic failure in excluding Western Sahara waters from the new fishing accord between Morocco and the EU.

Indeed, the successful adoption of this fishing accord seems to have backfired as it has drawn greater international attention to Morocco's exploitation of natural resources from the occupied territory, deemed illegal by a UN analysis. In Scandinavia and all over Europe, political parties that so far have taken little interest in the Western Sahara conflict are now considering banning trade with the occupied territory. At least as a first step.

While a first European recognition may not be imminent, the Western Sahara solidarity movement at least made very substantial gains in April. With the resolutions by the European liberal youth, the Sahrawi struggle is put on the agenda in countries where it so far enjoyed little attention, in particular in the east. In other countries, trade limitations may soon be implemented. The heat is slowly being turned up on Morocco.

- Create an e-mail alert for Western Sahara news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at