Moroccan King lashes out at Algeria, US on Western Sahara human rights allegations
Morocco's King Mohammed VI told reporters that he did not "need lessons from anybody" on his country's human rights record in the Western Sahara (Courtesy of the Moroccan Embassy)
Click here to add Abdelaziz Bouteflika as an alert
Disable alert for Abdelaziz Bouteflika,
Click here to add Algiers as an alert
Disable alert for Algiers,
Click here to add Casablanca as an alert
Disable alert for Casablanca,
Click here to add Mohammed VI as an alert
Disable alert for Mohammed VI,
Click here to add Sahrawi party as an alert
Disable alert for Sahrawi party,
Click here to add United Nations as an alert
Disable alert for United Nations,
Click here to add Washington as an alert
Disable alert for Washington
Moroccan King Mohammed VI told reporters late Wednesday that his country did not "need lessons from anybody" on its human rights record particularly in the annexed Western Sahara, according to Agence France-Presse.
Speaking at an event commemorating the Green March of 1975 in which Morocco sent tens of thousands of soldiers to the Western Sahara territory after Spanish colonialists abandoned their claims to the land, the King told reporters that the human rights situation in the Western Sahara is "far worse" in non-Morocco controlled areas: "Anybody who takes issue with Morocco only has to go down to Tindouf and check the numerous human rights violations in the surrounding area."
Many exiled Sahrawis who previously resided in Western Sahara until Morocco's takeover of the territory now live in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria.
The Western Sahara conflict has been at the heart of tensions between Morocco and Algeria, who backs the Polisario Front, the main Sahrawi party that has advocated for the territory's independence for decades. The King thus made sure to reserve some critical comments for Algiers, saying that Morocco "[would not be lectured to], particularly by those who systematically trample on human rights," in an allusion to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's recent comments on Western Sahara human rights violations that caused protests in Casablanca last week.
The King also reserved further criticism for its ally, the United States, in response to Washington's failed effort to give the UN peacekeeping force for the Western Sahara unprecedented human rights monitoring powers. "Is there a crisis of confidence between Morocco and certain decision-makers in its strategic partners on the human rights issue?" he asked.
In recent weeks, bloody clashes were reported between pro-independence protestors and Moroccan security officials during a UN envoy visit to the territory.
Despite the recent clashes, the Sahrawis and Moroccans have for the most part upheld a UN-monitored ceasefire since 1991, but tense divides between Morocco, the Polisario and its Algeria supporters have undermined efforts to reach a permanent solution and settlement for the conflict.
- Syrian refugee expulsion claims lead Morocco to summon Algerian ambassador in latest Rabat-Algiers feud
- Human Rights 3: The Globalization of Human Rights
- UN: Morocco’s expulsion of Western Sahara staffers an ‘unprecedented violation’
- Bloody clashes in Western Sahara following UN envoy visit
- Moroccan soldier released from Tindouf camps dies