Report on the Extraordinary Congress of Frente Polisario in Dakhla between 8 and 9 July 2016

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By the invitation of the Frente Polisario, the delegation of the Alliance of the Central and Eastern European Solidarity with the Saharawi People (CEE Alliance) participated in the Extraordinary Congress of the Polisario Front in the Saharawi Refugee Camps of Dakhla (near the city of Tindouf in south of Algeria / Western Sahara borders) under the slogan “Strength, Determination and Will to impose national independence and sovereignty,” with the participation of more than two thousand Saharawi delegates and about 300 foreign guests from the countries of Europe, Latin-America and Africa.

The Congress came in accordance with article 49 of the Statue of the Frente POLISARIO, which stipulates that the President of the National Council (the Parliament) shall assume the post of the Secretary-General and President of the Republic until a new Secretary-General is elected in an extraordinary Peoples’ Congress to be held within 40 days.

The foreign delegations participating in the extraordinary congress including Algeria along with participants from Mauritania, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Angola, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Spain, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Russia and Hungary, the European parliament, Egypt, Lebanon,as well as civil society organisations and the press were most welcome.

The Saharawi delegates, who were coming from the liberated territories, occupied territories, refugee camps and Saharawi diaspora abroad, has elected a new President of Republic and secretary general of the POLISARIO, namely Brahim Ghali. As a new leader of the Polisario, Ghali pointed out the need of strengthening the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) through a „specialized military training” that allows it face „any eventuality” with the best disposition. Besides, he highlighted the need of „activating the diplomatic work” in the fight for the independence.

Most of the speeches at the Extraordinary Congress highlighted the abuses of human rights committed by the Moroccon occupiers against the Saharawi people and demanded independence for Western Sahara. The Committee of the Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (Codesa) said that it was high time to end the conflict and the national unity was the unique way to snatch the independence of Western Sahara.

Many participants called on the United Nations to assume their responsibilities towards the victims of savage repression of Morocco. Speakers underlined that the Kingdom of Morocco continues its repression against the peaceful Sahrawi population before the eyes of the international community and called for international solidarity to make pressure on the Moroccon colonial power.

On behalf of the CEE Alliance Matyas Benyik, President delivered a speech at the Congress, saying that it learned with great sorrow of the death of Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Secretary General of the Polisario Front. Matyas Benyik assured the participants that CEE Alliance continues its active solidarity activity with the Saharawi people in its long-overdue process of decolonisation. He declared that MOROCCO DOES NOT HAVE ANY SOVEREIGNTY over Western Sahara. Morocco is simply an OCCUPYING POWER, and consequently its continuous presence in Western Sahara is illegal.

He went on saying that CEE Alliance denounces the illegal EU-Morocco Fisheries agreement approved on 10th December 2013 by the European Parliament. He demanded the urgent establishment of a mechanism for monitoring and reporting on human rights within MINURSO’s mandate.

Finally, Matyas Benyik confirmed CEE Alliance`s commitment with the just fight of the POLISARIO Front for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people and demanded for the inmediate and unconditional liberation of all the Saharawi political prisoners as well as asked for penal responsibilities to the Moroccan government by the criminal acts committed in the occupied territories. Morocco must be held to account for crimes of this sort and bear its legal and political consequences he added.

A short video about the Extraordinary Congress of Frente Polisario is available here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrbPmHodXhc

Budapest, 15 July 2016.

Matyas Benyik

President of CEE Alliance

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