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John Brady TD expresses concern over potential Western Sahara conflict

19 November, 2020 - by John Brady TD

John BradySinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD today expressed concerns at the deteriorating situation in Western Sahara.

Teachta Brady said: “Western Sahara has benefited from an almost three-decade cease-fire. Which today is threatened following the Moroccan response to the protests of Sahrawi civilians.

"Despite claims by Moroccan authorities that Sahrawi militias were responsible for blocking roads, preventing the free flow of commerce, international news agencies operating in the area have been unable to discover evidence of this.

"Polisario, the Sahrawi pro-independence group, have stated that if Morocco carried out its threat to send troops into a buffer zone governed by the UN, that the cease-fire in place since 1991 would be over.

“Groups on the ground, including Polisario, are calling for the protection and intervention of the UN and the UN Security Council in particular.

"Ireland, which is due to take up its place on the Security Council in January needs to be pro-active on this issue.

"I believe that is a time for restraint, and I would join with UN calls for both sides to abstain from violence.

"But the long-term solution to the dispute in Western Sahara is the holding of the long-promised referendum on Independence that was agreed in 1991, and which has provided a cornerstone of the ceasefire."

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