Human Rights: Morocco does not need to take any lessons from anybody (King)
Morocco does not need to take lessons on human rights from anybody, and especially not from those who “systematically” violate these rights, said Morocco’s king Mohammed VI on Wednesday.
“Morocco refuses to receive lessons on the subject (of human rights), especially from those who systematically violate human rights. Anyone wishing to outbid Morocco has to go to Tindouf and observe in many surrounding areas how the most basic human rights are violated,” said the king, referring in particular to the Sahrawi refugees camps located in south-western Algeria.
The king’s comments seemed to be directly addressed to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who had recently called in a message to an African meeting held in Abuja for setting up an international mechanism to monitor human rights in Western Sahara.
The Algerian message fuelled additional tension in the already strained relations between the two neighboring countries and Morocco recalled its ambassador to Algiers for consultations for few days.
The king’s remarks came in a speech he delivered on Wednesday on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the Green March that enabled the North African country recover in 1975 the territory that was formerly under Spanish rule but whose independence is claimed by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.
The King recalled that Morocco has willingly set up a number of national institutions and regional mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights and that these mechanisms are recognized, according to international standards, for their independence and credibility.
Deploring the fact that some states continue to deliberately ignore the achievements scored by Morocco, especially in the field of human Rights and freedoms, the king wondered whether there is a crisis of confidence between Morocco and some decision-making centers in strategic partner countries on the issue of human rights in the Sahara.
The King insisted that Morocco is attached to cooperation and positive interaction with international human rights organizations which address the issue objectively and accepts constructive criticism. However, his country, he said, refuses that some organizations, in reports prepared in advance, use as a pretext some isolated incidents to attempt to tarnish its image or trivialize its achievements in matters of human rights and development.
He explained that some states entrust the monitoring of human rights in Morocco to some officials who are either ill-disposed towards the kingdom or are influenced by the theories of its opponents. Unfortunately, it is these very officials who compile files and draft false reports on which some countries or officials base their standpoints.
The king was probably alluding to the United States which vainly tried last April to introduce a resolution at the UN Security Council seeking to expand the MINURSO’s mission to human rights monitoring in Western Sahara and which publishes annual reports on human rights in the World, that are sometimes very critical of Morocco.
The King also accused his country’s enemies of using money and other remunerations to try to “buy votes.”
“…the main reason for this unfair attitude towards Morocco is primarily due to money and benefits through which the opponents attempt to buy votes and induce some organizations to adopt hostile stands against our country. Thus, they squander the wealth and resources of a brotherly people that is not concerned by the (Western Sahara) issue,” the King said in a clear reference to Algeria, before deploring that this issue is a stumble-block to the integration of the Maghreb.
The dispute between Rabat and Algiers over Western Sahara actually hinders the building up of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) set up in the late eighties by Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
The King who renewed all Moroccans’ unwavering unanimity around their country’s territorial integrity, insisted that despite its opponents’ desperate attempts to harm its reputation and sovereignty, Morocco will continue cooperating with the United Nations Secretary-General, his Personal Envoy and friendly countries. This is “to find a lasting political solution to the artificial conflict over our territorial integrity, within the framework of our Autonomy Initiative, which has been recognized for its seriousness, credibility and realism,” King Mohammed VI said.
The Moroccan sovereign insisted however that Morocco will not jeopardize the future of its southern provinces and subordinate it to the Sahara issue developments at the United Nations, but will continue its all-encompassing integrated development efforts, as outlined by the economic, social and environment council which proposed a model of regional development for the southern provinces, based on an objective analysis of the current situation in these provinces and laying the foundations for a long-term integrated policy in the different sectors.