can someone tell me more about East Timor-Western Sahara connections?
- connieLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
In this speech, Jose Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, lends his substantial moral and intellectual support to the cause of Western Sahara, Africa's last colony. Like East Timor before independence, Western Sahara is a nation with undoubted claims to independence, yet still exists under the yoke of neighbouring nations. Western Sahara is a territory of North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria in the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and has been on the UN List of Non-Self-Governing-Territories since the 1960s when it was a Spanish colony.
For many years Western Sahara and East Timor were side by side on the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, waiting for the moment to exercise their right to self-determination. In August 1999 the East Timorese were allowed to choose their future status. They chose independence and East Timor has since 2002 been a member of the United Nations. The Saharawis, who at an earlier stage had been promised a similar referendum by the international community, are still waiting.
In terms of international law, the cases of Western Sahara and East Timor are like two drops of water. Their similarities are : the denial of the right to self-determination of both peoples, the crimes committed by Morocco and Indonesia by invading, occupying and annexing both territories, the plundering of their natural resources, the arguments advanced by both occupying powers, the proposals of autonomy as a “last offer”, the complicity of several major powers, the conclusions taken by the International Court of Justice, the weak position of the other United Nations’ organs, the stance of NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.