Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UNHCHR delegation in Laayoune

A delegation of the UN High Commissioner for Human rights has started a visit to the Moroccan southern city of Laayoune to enquire about human rights in the southern provinces of the north African kingdom.

Delegation members, namely Christophe Giraud, Ms Rouieda Al Haj and Ms Karine Lick, arrived here on Tuesday after talks with several Moroccan officials in Rabat on the achievements made in Morocco concerning human rights, including the works of the Justice and Reconciliation Commission (IER - French acronym) created to examine human rights violations committed between 1956 and 1999.

Mahjoub Al Hiba, Secretary General of the Advisory Council for Human Rights (CCDH) told the delegation the council "processed all the files concerning the victims of past violations." The UN delegation was also briefed on the CCDH programs in the southern provinces, he added.

In Rabat, the delegation had talks with Khalihenna Ould Errachid, chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Sahrawi Affairs (Corcas), set up to run Sahrawi local issues and part of a move to settle the Sahara issue through granting enlarged autonomy to the southern provinces of the country.

Morocco is presenting to the United Nations a proposal on autonomy for the provinces, known as the Sahara, object of a dispute that erupted in the mid seventies because of the claim of the Algeria-backed “Polisario” to separate the provinces from Morocco. The latter retrieved the provinces in 1976 in line with the Madrid accords.

Corcas chairman told the Moroccan TVM channel, after meeting the delegation, “people must not be punished for their political opinions, while security must be preserved,” adding no democratic country tolerates breaches to security.

Errachid said his talks with the delegation showed the “noble mission” of the UNO is part of reconciliation moves, not only with young people, but also with “all Sahrawis.” The UN delegation met in Rabat with MPs and human rights defenders, including personalities from the southern provinces who reiterated their condemnation of the human rights violations perpetrated in the camps of Tindouf, hosting Sahrawis lured by “Polisario” propaganda into south-west Algeria to shore up their separation claims.

Giraud had told the media in Rabat the delegation is to present a report to the UNHCHR after its information mission in Rabat, Laayoune, Tindouf and Algier.

The UN delegation also had talks with officials of the Moroccan Foreign Ministry, of the Advisory Council for Human Rights (CCDH) and several representatives.

Representative Ms Guejmoula Bent Abi said talks with the delegation “were frank, transparent and responsible.”


Blogger H@KIM said...

hi, nice blog, shrewd words too

1:36 AM, May 18, 2006  

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