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Polisario Decries Endless Manoeuvres In West Sahara

PANA, 24 July 2000

ALGIERS, Algeria (PANA)—The Polissario Front and the Sahrawi people say they are frustrated by underground manoeuvres aimed at derailing the UN peace plan in Western Sahara.

Speaking at the weekend in Algiers, Malaine Sedik, ambassador of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in Algeria, said there is a real fear of a resumption of hostilities if things are not sorted out soon.

The curfew currently in force in Western Sahara should not be perceived as an end in itself. It is only a stage in the settlement plan, he added.

We take the international community as a witness on the Moroccan position and warn the UN and international organisations of the dangers of this stalemate, Sedik declared in an interview published Sunday in the Algerian daily, ’Le matin’.

The international community has proof that we are a peaceful people, but we are determined to fight for our right, on the strength of our conviction that law and justice are on our side, he stressed.

He added that the Polissario Front, the armed wing of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the entire people have the military, political and diplomatic means to keep on fighting.

Even so, he said, the Polisario Front continues to place emphasis on discussions and dialogue with the UN and the Moroccan party to make the settlement plan move forward.

We continue to explain, not only our position, but also to warn on the dangers that are threatening the peace process, he said.

Sedik recalled that the commission in charge of the identification of voters has completed the bulk of its work, and that Morocco insists on including 13,000 people in the voters’ roll against the UN protocol.

In this respect, he indicated that the meeting that took place Friday in Geneva was supposed to deal with the issue of voters’ roll.

However, the Moroccan delegation withdrew when the question was raised, declaring that it was not empowered to speak on the subject, he said.

Sedik also said there were attempts to divert the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.

The mission’s work consists, he recalls, in seeing to the maintenance of the cease-fire and the application of the settlement plan accepted by the two parties, to enable the Sahrawi people to express itself freely on its future.

Therefore, if the mission was manipulated to endorse the position of the other side, then it would become irrelevant in efforts to settle the dispute.

On his meeting with US envoy, Ronald Neumann, Sedik said the latter reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the UN-OAU peace plan and to the organisation of a referendum.

He called on UN officials to exercise restraint or risk having their credibility suffering serious damage. y The current position (of the UN) is a serious precedent. In the event of failure, it will assume the responsibility, he concluded.