Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Illegal Occupation" - An Exercise

I googled "illegally occupied" and the first results:

1.  Israel.
2. Buffalo, NY
3. State Department on Israel.
4. The Breaking the Silence NGO against Israel..
5. The UN unit against Israel.

As for news,

1. Breaking the Silence.
2. A Pal news outlet.
3. Georgia (the country).
4. West Sahara.
5. Labelling Israeli products.

You'd think Israel was almost the only country involved in the issue of "occupied territories" if you depended on the media.

But review this material on the Western Sahara and think to yourself - this is so like Israel, so why does Israel get such a bad press in such and outlandish fashion:-

Nationalism emerged in the 1960s, as nomadic Saharans, or Saharawis, settled in the region.

Polisario was set up on 10 May 1973 and established itself as the sole representative of the Saharan people. Some 100,000 refugees still live in Polisario's camps in Algeria.

In October 1975 the International Court of Justice rejected territorial claims by Morocco and Mauritania. The court recognised the Saharawis' right to self-determination and Spain agreed to organise a referendum.

But in November 1975, Moroccan King Hassan II ordered a "Green March" of over 300,000 Moroccans into the territory. Spain backed down and negotiated a settlement with Morocco and Mauritania, known as the Madrid Agreement.

...Polisario declared the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on 27 February 1976 and announced its first government on 4 March...In August 1978, one month after a coup, a new Mauritanian government signed a peace deal with Polisario and renounced all territorial claims.

Morocco moved to occupy areas allocated to Mauritania. Algeria in turn allowed refugees to settle in its southern town of Tindouf, where Polisario still has its main base.

Polisario led a guerrilla war against Moroccan forces until 1991.

In April 1991 the UN established Minurso, the United Nations Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara...In September 1991 a UN-brokered ceasefire was declared.

The peace plan provided for a transition period, leading to a referendum in January 1992. Western Saharans would choose between independence and integration with Morocco...UN special envoy James Baker mediated in talks between Polisario and Morocco in London, Lisbon and Houston in 1997, then in London again in 2000.

Agreements were reached on the release of POWs...In a new bid to break the deadlock, James Baker submitted a "Framework Agreement", known as the Third Way, in June 2001.

It provided for autonomy for Saharawis under Moroccan sovereignty, a referendum after a four-year transition period, and voting rights for Moroccan settlers resident in Western Sahara for over a year.

This formula was rejected by Polisario and Algeria. Then in July 2003, the UN adopted a compromise resolution proposing that Western Sahara become a semi-autonomous region of Morocco for a transition period of up to five years. November 2010, several people were killed in violent clashes between Moroccan security forces and protesters near the capital Laayoune, shortly before UN-mediated talks on the future of the territory were due to open in New York.

Peace plan.  Partition. Framework agreement.

It's all an echo of the Arab-Israel conflict.

P.S.   Most recent UN reaction.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and also West Papua in Indonesia or East Timor. or Cyprus.