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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06RABAT1081 2006-06-05 22:25:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

GOM REGISTERS CONCERN ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS

Tags:   PBTS PHUM PREL PGOV MO 
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1. (U) On June 2, the Mission received the following
diplomatic note from the MFA, which was delivered to all
diplomatic missions and international organizations in Rabat.
Enclosed with the note was a copy of the official statement
issued by the MFA registering the Government of Morocco's
concern over the cancellation of the United Nations Human
Rights High Commissioner's previously arranged stop in
Algiers, which had been scheduled for May 24-25.


3. (U) Begin Embassy translation of MFA statement:

The Kingdom of Morocco
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Rabat, June 1st, 2006

The Kingdom of Morocco learned with great surprise and
serious concern the cancellation of the Algiers stop,
expected May 24-25, 2006, of the Human Rights High
Commissioner regional mission. This visit was to conclude
the regional trip that brought the United Nations Mission to
Morocco on May 15-19, and to Tindouf on May 20-23, according
to the terms of reference agreed by the High Commissioner.

This cancellation, as well as the total silence about it from
the High Commissioner, raised some questions and a lack of
understanding within the Moroccan government. Consequently,
the Moroccan Permanent Mission in Geneva immediately
requested an explanation about the reasons of the Mission's
change of program as well as regarding the absence of
reaction and communication from the United Nations agency on
this subject.

In a meeting between the Permanent Representative of Morocco
in Geneva, Ambassador Mohamed Loulichki, and the Human Rights
High Commissioner, Louise Arbour, on Wednesday, May 31, Ms.
Arbour said that she was unable to give any explanation
regarding this cancellation, planned in Algiers with Algerian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officers.

This situation is of a serious concern to Morocco which
claims, legitimately, the right to get appropriate
information and explanation. The Government of the Kingdom
of Morocco recalls that the Algiers stop was aimed at
discussing with Algerian officers the human rights abuses
committed on their soil, about which Morocco provided the
United Nations delegation, when they visited Rabat, an
aide-memoire giving details from victims of these abuses.

Morocco, which spared no effort so that this mission could
take place in the best conditions, considers that the
cancellation of the Algerian stop is a blatant evasion to the
call of the United Nations Secretary General who, in his
October 13, 2005 report to the United Nations Security
Council, urged the parties and Algeria, as a country of
asylum, to cooperate fully with the UN Human Rights High
Commissioner.

Moreover, this cancellation is a violation of the UN Mission
terms of reference, agreed upon by the High Commissioner,
Morocco, and Algeria. With this attitude, Algeria undermines
the High Commissioner's credibility as well as its noble
mission of securing human rights in the world.

Algeria's obstruction to the UN mission does not exempt this
country from observing its international obligations,
irrefutable and universal, regarding all these human rights
abuses committed on its soil, both in the Tindouf camps and
towards hundreds of former prisoners.

The Kingdom of Morocco is till expecting the necessary
explanations regarding the cancellation of the mission's
visit in Algiers, a stop duly agreed on in the mission's
regional trip.

End Embassy translation.

Comment


--------------------------





4. (C) The GOM is incensed that the GOA apparently blew off
scheduled meetings of the UN Human Rights Commission in
Algiers. MFA SecGen Hilale told Polcouns June 2 that he
hoped the US and other interested parties would seek an
explanation. As our reporting indicated, the GOM only
reluctantly agreed to the commission's visit to Morocco and
the Western Sahara in the first place (and under lobbying
from the US embassy in Rabat), and was all along displeased
with the short stop envisaged for Algiers, which Moroccan
officials complained allowed the GOA to distance itself
unfairly from human rights abuses during the Western Sahara
conflict. We welcome information from Geneva or Algiers that
can shed light on what exactly happened, as the GOM is
telling us the delegation arrived at the airport in Algiers,
waited in vain for contact with the GOA for several hours,
and then departed. Surely High Commissioner Arbour has more
to say about this than she apparently told Loulichki.


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Riley