"The Sahrawi people have waited for too long to exercise their rights."

An open letter by 100 Sahrawi civil society organizations in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, Sahrawi refugee camps and the Diaspora to US President Joe Biden.
Sahrawis living in the Moroccan-occupied territories of Western Sahara face violent repression as part of day-to-day life, extreme poverty, and social and economic marginalization. In this open letter, they ask US President Biden to reverse Trump's decision to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara — and to allow the Sahrawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination.

Mr President,

Sahrawi civil society associations and organizations from the occupied territories of Western Sahara, Sahrawi refugee camps, and the Diaspora have the honor to address this message to your Excellency, expressing sincere congratulations on your election as President of the United States of America.

We would like to inform you of our desire for the United States to take an honorable stance that corrects the improper mistake of your predecessor, former US President, Donald Trump, who recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, in a blatant violation of the requirements of international law, and to ask you to reverse that decision, which is contrary to international legality.

Allowing this unjust decision to be maintained will seriously undermine the reputation of the USA on the African continent and challenge respect for international law, maybe even encouraging other countries to believe that they can expand their territory at the expense of other countries with impunity.

Mr President,

The legal nature of the issue of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, is easy to understand. It is not an ethnic or religious conflict nor a civil war, but rather a basic issue of decolonization not yet resolved – as has been recognized by the United Nations and its different bodies since 1963.

In spite of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 1975 and many UN resolutions affirming the right of our people to self-determination and independence, Morocco continues to occupy Western Sahara illegally by force since October 31, 1975. The continued occupation of parts of our land by Morocco and other regional security challenges makes it imperative to reach a swift, peaceful, lasting and just solution to decolonize it.

Morocco continues to systematically violate human rights in occupied Western Sahara and unlawfully plunder the natural resources of the Sahrawi people. These human rights violations have been documented and reported by several international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Robert F. Kennedy for Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, to name only a few. We hope that the United States will actively engage as a defender of human and peoples’ rights and values ​​of democracy, as you indicated in your first speech after assuming the presidency, and that you make sure to work towards the protection of the human rights of Sahrawi civilians living in the territories illegally occupied by Morocco.

Mr President,

The Sahrawi people have eagerly waited for a long time to be able to exercise their legitimate rights. What is required now is to exert all necessary diplomatic pressure so that the United Nations can resume the implementation of the peace plan without further delay by allowing our people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence through the free and true expression of their will without any restrictions or impediments by organizing the self-determination referendum.

The ideals of freedom, equality and popular sovereignty embodied in the founding principles of the United States of America have made many peoples across the world, including the Sahrawi people, view the United States as a beacon of hope and a defender of freedom, democracy and respect for human and peoples' rights in the face of oppression, tyranny and injustice.

Being aware of the international responsibility of your country and its vanguard role, we hope that you will work, Mr. President, to cancel the decision of your predecessor and work effectively within the framework of the international efforts aimed at reaching an urgent, peaceful and lasting solution to the issue of decolonization of Western Sahara on the basis of our people's exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.


Comisión Nacional Saharaui de Derechos Humanos (CONASADH)

Unión Nacional de Mujeres Saharauis (UNMS)

Unión Nacional de Trabajadores de Saguia El Hamra y Rio de Oro (UGTSARIO)

Unión Nacional de la Juventud de Saguia El Hamra y Rio de Oro (UJSARIO)

Unión Nacional de Estudiantes de Saguia El Hamra y Rio de Oro (UESARIO)

Unión de Juristas Saharauis (UJS)

Unión de Periodistas y Escritores Saharauis (UPES)

Asociación de Familiares de Presos y Desaparecidos Saharauis (AFAPREDESA)

Asociación de Víctimas de Minas (ASAVIM)

Unión de Abogados Saharauis (UAS)

Unión de Juristas Saharauis

Unión de Artesanos Saharauis

Unión de Médicos Saharauis

Unión de agricultores Saharauis

Unión de ingenieros Saharauis

Unión Saharaui de trabajadores de educación y formación

Instancia Saharaui Contra la Ocupación Marroquí (ISACOM)

Asociación Saharaui de Victimas (ASVDH)

Comite Defensa del Derecho de Autodeterminación (CODAPSO)

Liga de Defensa de los Presos Politicos Saharauis

Asociacion Saharaui de Control de los Recursos Natirales y la Proteccion del Medio Ambiente

Asociacion Saharaui para la Proteccion de la Cultura

Coordinadora de Gdeim Izik-Aaiun

Comite de Familiares de los 15 Jovenes Secuestrados

Grupo contra la Nacionalidad Marroqui

Observatorio Saharaui de Proteccion del Niño

Cordinadora de las ONGs en Aaiún

Comite de Proteccion de los Recursos Naturales

Asociacion Saharaui contra la Tortura s.o

Liga Saharaui de Defensa de DDHH y Proteccion de RW –Bojador

Comite Saharaui de Defense de DDHH – Smara

Comité de Proteccion de los Defensores Saharauis

Freedom Sun – Smara

Observatorio –Marsad - Media Goulimin

Comité Saharaui para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos Goulimin

Comision Saharaui para los Funcionarios y Trabajadores Despedidos de Forma Arbitraria

Equipe Media

Association de la Communauté Sahraouie en France

Association des Femmes Sahraouies en France

Association des Sahraouis en France

Association Culture Sahara – Centre de France

League des Jeunes et des Etudiants Sahraouis en France

Association Culturelle Franco-Sahraouie

Association des Sahraouis de Bordeaux

Association d’Amitié avec le Sahara Occidental en Midi -Pyrénées (Toulouse)

Association des Sahraouis de Périgueux

Association pour la Sauvegarde de l’Environnement du Sahara Occidental (ASESO)

Association Sahraouie CARASO

Association Sportive des Sahraouis de France

Vereniging van de Saharawigemeenschap in Belgie – Belgium

Le Sahara n’est pas à Vendre – Association Sahraouie à Bruxelles

Association Sahraouie Bjaoui – Pays de Loire Atlantique

On Ne peut pas Applaudir d’une seul Main-centre ouest France

Association des Sahraouis de Suède VGS

Association des Avocats Sahraouis en Espagne

Association des Médecins Sahraouis en Espagne

Ligue des Athlètes Sahraouis en Espagne

Ligue des Journalistes Sahraouis en Espagne

Communauté Sahraouie à Las Palmas

Association des Sahraouis à Tenerife

Association des Sahraouis à Fuerteventura

Groupe Sahraouis à Lanzarote

Association des Sahraouis à Bal

Association ARDI Hurrah à Séville

Association des Sahraouis à Lebrija

Collectif des Sahraouis à Jaén

Association des Sahraouis à Jerez de la Frontera

Collectif des Sahraouis à Estepona

Communauté Sahraouie à Grenade

Amal Association Centre Andalousie

Communauté Sahraouie de Murcie

Association des Sahraouis à Alicante

Association Zemour Valence

Communauté Sahraouie de Catalogne

Communauté Sahraouie en Aragón

Association des Sahraouis de Valdepeñas

Communauté Sahraouie en Castilla-la Mancha

Association des Sahraouis de Ávila

Communauté Sahraouie de Castille y León

Association des Sahraouis de Navarre

DISABI Bizkaia

Sahara Euskadi Vitoria

Sahara Gasteiz Vitoria

Amal Nanclares

Tawasol lludio

Tayuch Amurio

Collectif Sahraoui à GIPUZKOA

League des Etudiants en Espagne

Association Filles de Saguia et Rio

Association Sahraouie en USA (SAUSA)

Collectif des Associations du Martyr Ali Mayara ( Mauritanie)

Collectif des Associations du Martyr Sahla Edaf ( Mauritanie)

Collectif des Associations du Martyr Sidi Cheikh ( Mauritanie)

Collectif des Associations du Martyr khalil Sidemhamed ( Mauritanie)

Collectif des Associations du Martyr Sidemhamed Elab ( Mauritanie)

Collectif des Associations du Centre(Mauritanie)

Collectif de la Communauté Sahraouie de Tindouf ( Algérie)

Collectif de la Communauté Sahraouie de Bechar ( Algérie)

Collectif de la Communauté Sahraouie d’Oum Laasal ( Algérie)

Collectif des Travailleurs de la Communauté Sahraouie (Algérie)

Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia

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