The Saharawi elected representatives send a petition to the European Parliament in favor of the renewal of the fisheries and agricultural agreements.
Mobilization of all Saharawi elected representatives in the European Parliament. Deputies, regional presidents of Dakhla Ouad Eddahab and Laayoune Sakia El Hamra, members of the professional chambers as well as communal, provincial and regional councilors, all political affiliations, have sent a petition to the European Union in which they demand the renewal of fisheries and agricultural agreements linking Morocco to the European Union, which will be examined next week by MEPs.
The signatories state that “since our country has completed its territorial integrity by recovering its southern provinces, it is making significant efforts for their sustainable development. This perceived and felt progress in our southern provinces is the result of the efforts of our country, which has made development in general and that of our regions the top priority”. They sweep away allegations of separatist propaganda outlining that “the southern provinces are now at a higher level than the national average for human development indicators. Since 2015, they have had a new development model”.
Figures to support, they recall that an envelope of 77 billion MAD was granted for the realization of “many projects affecting tourism, employment, the environment, culture, craft industry, education, health, urban planning, roads, water, renewable energies, agriculture, transport and fisheries”.
On the other hand, they point to the deplorable conditions in which sequestered people live in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, who are victims of serious human rights violations and a systematic diversion of international humanitarian aid.
In their plea, the signatories of the petition cite, in particular, the recent report of the UN Secretary General of March 29, 2018 which specified that “Moroccan investments in the Sahara continued, accompanied by the execution or the announces many projects. The fisheries agreement and the agricultural agreement concluded between the Kingdom of Morocco and the EU are palpable examples. They promote the development of the marine fisheries and agriculture sectors and ensure that this is done with our participation and in the respect of our interests,” say the signatories of the petition.
The thesis that the Fisheries Agreement and the agricultural agreement do not benefit the local population concerned is null and void, decide the Saharawi elected officials. Indeed, the first estimates of the socio-economic benefits of sectoral support have led to the improvement of the working conditions of tens of thousands of workers in the fisheries and agriculture sectors and their related activities, including Sahara, according to a report produced by the European Commission in September 2017.
“To oppose these two Agreements would be to endanger the thousands of families who are financially dependent on maritime and agricultural activities in our southern provinces,” warn elected officials.
And to conclude by sending a message to MEPs calling for the renewal of fisheries and agricultural agreements between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union.
This petition is signed by 331 elected representatives from the Dakhla Oued Eddahab region and 548 from the Laayoune Sakia Elhamra region.