In an exclusive contact with Moroccans of the World, world renowned dissident Noam Chomsky shared some of his views on the Western Sahara Conflict.
Below are 6 of his remarks on the Sahara Issue. What you make of them is entirely up to you.
On why are most countries, especially Western powers, sitting on the fence when it comes to Western Sahara conflict:
As in many other cases: Palestine, East Timor through many years of virtual genocide,… The western powers don’t exactly sit on the fence: they typically support the aggressors – except, of course, when the aggressor is an official enemy.
On whether a power vacuum will be created which might result in a regional collapse if independence was ever going to be granted to the Sahrawi people:
I see no reason to believe that. On the contrary, continued denial of Sahrawi independence is likely to foster radical Islamist tendencies.
On whether the truth and reconciliation process adopted by King Mohammed VI to address violations which occurred during the reign of his father Hassan II could serve as a model for other countries in the region:
The few reports I’ve read about the Truth Commission have been equivocal, particularly about the no-sanctions policy. On the current situation, I have no expert knowledge but the general picture doesn’t look too attractive, according to the major human rights groups.
On whether the way forward to more democracy and prosperity in the Southern region lies in the Moroccan model:
Western Sahara’s plight does not derive from the economic model it has pursued, but from the colonial legacy followed by Moroccan aggression.
On whether the regional autonomy plan proposed by King Mohammed VI is the way forward, and whether should other countries in the region also devolve power to local regions:
The regional autonomy plan retains Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. Once the occupying forces are removed and true independence is achieved, it might make good sense to work for a more federal structure for the entire region, with attention to the rights of various groups.
On whether, despite political differences, the people in Tindouf should have the freedom to travel and settle wherever they like without any restriction put on them by the Polisario, the UN, the Algerian government, or Morocco:
People should always have the right to travel without restrictions, but the central restriction in this case is Morocco’s rejection of Sahrawi independence by various means.
Special thanks: Colm Fitzpatrick, Michael Rubin.