The ACTU deplores the flagrant violation by the Moroccan army of the ceasefire in Western Sahara by moving its army into the Guerguerat area and Buffer Strip which is monitored by the United Nations’ mission in Western Sahara, MINURSO.

MINURSO was tasked with organising a referendum of self-determination promised to the people of Western Sahara, which has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. The referendum has never happened.

The Australian trade union movement expresses our solidarity with the people of Western Sahara and the Saharawi Trade Union UGTSARIO, and reaffirms our support for the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence in accordance with UN resolutions and relevant UN decolonisation doctrines.

We urge the United Nations to take immediate steps to restore the ceasefire and deliver a lasting resolution to the conflict in Western Sahara, which must include the right to the Saharawi people of self-determination.

The ACTU calls on the Australian Government to recognise the Saharawi Republic, and use its position in the international community to call on the UN to pressure Morocco to withdraw its army from the Buffer Strip and respect the terms of the ceasefire.

The ACTU reaffirms its longstanding policy on Western Sahara; the ACTU:

  • Strongly supports the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence;
  • Condemns the gross violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara;
  • Calls on the Moroccan Government to respect human rights in the Saharawi occupied territories and to release all Saharawi political detainees forthwith;
  • Calls on the UN to proceed without further delay with the organisation of the long overdue referendum of self-determination;
  • Urges the UN to expand the mandate of its mission in Western Sahara to include human rights monitoring; and to
  • Protect the natural resources of Western Sahara and set up a UN Council for the Natural Resources of Western Sahara.