BRUSSELS – The Research and Information Group on Peace and Security (GRIP) called on European countries to refuse any export of military equipment to Morocco, raising the diversion of these weapons to commit many human rights violations in occupied Western Sahara
GRIP warned, in a recent report, European countries of their arms exports to Morocco by insisting on the non-compliance of the transfer of these military equipments with the pre-existing evaluation criteria. established by the European Union in the "Common Position".
"Morocco continues to occupy most of Western Sahara," said the report of the GRIP, while referring to "repressive practices violent and disproportionate to international standards regarding freedom of movement, freedom of movement. expression and association, the right to a fair trial or the safeguarding of economic, social and cultural rights "of the Saharawi people.
In this report, the research center also recalled the brutality of the Moroccan invasion of the Saharawi territories and "napalm and white phosphorus bombing of Moroccan aviation against Saharawi civilians forcing a large part of the population Sahrawi to take the road to exile. "
"At present, no state recognizes the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara, a territory it has occupied since 1975," noted GRIP in its analysis.
Based on various documentary sources and reports of international organizations, the think-tank therefore called on EU states to take into account in their arms exports "repeated violations of fundamental rights that are committed by the Moroccan authorities, particularly in the occupied territories of Western Sahara "
The report highlights the "serious violations" committed by Rabat in Western Sahara
In this regard, the GRIP report cited the recent reports of the NGOs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which revealed "serious violations committed" by Rabat in occupied Western Sahara.
Among recent developments, the research center mentioned, by way of example, the trial of Saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik, which constitute, this report states, "examples of violent and unjustified repressive practices concerning freedom freedom of expression and association, the right to a fair trial or the safeguarding of economic, social and cultural rights ".
Furthermore, in this analysis, GRIP experts mentioned that "the Moroccan authorities impose restrictions on journalists and organizations interested in Western Sahara" and that "foreign defenders of Sahrawi rights are regularly expelled from the country. Moroccan territory ".
"The occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom, in contradiction with the provisions of the opinion of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, as well as the past and current violations of the human rights of the Saharawi people can serve 'argument to refuse arms exports to Morocco', recommended this research center based in Brussels in his document.
In this wake, the report of the GRIP proposed to invoke in particular the third criterion of the EU Common Position which provides for the refusal of authorization to export weapons if they are likely to provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination.
Moroccan media lead a "campaign of disinformation" against Algeria
This report by the GRIP was the subject, however, of a "misinformation campaign" conducted by the Moroccan media that "intentionally distorted to attack Algeria", said a European source close to the center.
While the report of the center explained that Algerian imports meet the needs of renewal and modernization of the military arsenal "to adapt to new security challenges, including terrorism and border security", some Moroccan media have "deliberately raised the question of the ambition of regional hegemony to explain these imports," said the same source.
"The Moroccan media wanted to take this report out of context, since it had explicitly pointed out that during the last decade, Morocco is trying to strengthen its influence in the region by increasing its military capabilities ", she explained.
The report recalls that "Morocco presented in 2007 a Plan of autonomy for the so-called" southern "provinces, however, a large part of the international community still supports the organization of the referendum of self-determination of the Saharawi people as a legitimate solution to the conflict. "