Fisheries Agreement : Two members of CNDH have allegedly defended the Polisario's stance

A European Commission mission is visiting Morocco to start consultations related to the fisheries agreement. Yesterday, the delegation held talks with pro-Rabat NGOs in a meeting attended by the heads of CNDH’s regional offices in Laayoune and Dakhla.

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The headquarters of the European Union delegation in Rabat hosted, Thursday, a meeting attended by representatives from the Sahrawi civil society that support the Moroccan stance (three NGOs) and members of a mission from Brussels. Discussions focused on the fisheries agreement and its economic impact on the population of Western Sahara.

Presidents of the regional offices of Morocco’s National Human Rights Council (CNDH) in Laayoune and Dakhla, Mohamed Salem Cherkaoui and Mohamed Lamine Semlali, respectively took part in the meeting.

During the session, the two men have reportedly reacted in an unexpected way. «Pro-Morocco NGOs were surprised and had nothing to say regarding what the two officials said during the meeting», a source close to the file told Yabiladi on Friday.

An EU mission

«Before the European Commission’s officials, the two men had allegedly estimated that the fisheries agreement signed in July between the EU and Morocco would violate international law and would bring nothing for the inhabitants of the Sahara», added the same source.

During his visit to Laayoune, in June, Horst Köhler met Mohamed Salem Cherkaoui. He did not defend the Polisario’s stance in front of the personal envoy to Western Sahara.

According to the same source, «the term of the CNDH regional office's officials in the southern provinces has expired for months, so they are trying to keep their positions by all means».

Yabiladi tried repeatedly to contact Salem Cherkaoui and Mohamed Lamine Semlali to get their version of the story, but the two men did not answer our phone calls.

On the other hand, and in a statement to Yabiladi, another authorized source indicated that «the two representatives of the CNDH have adopted a free speech, defending the right of the population of the Sahara to benefit from the financial compensation and to be consulted, which is a credible and convincing speech».

It is likely that the mission of the EU Commission will meet on Friday with representatives of NGOs close to the Polisario.

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