Hinz hosts talk on Western SaharaDr Manfred Hinz hosts a talk on the Western Sahara – after Namibia, the last colony on African soil, at the Scientific Society in Windhoek on Tuesday.
The presentation shares insights into the history of Western Sahara and the efforts to end the conflict around it by comparing the process of decolonisation of Namibia and Western Sahara. Special emphasis is placed on relevant cases before national and international courts.
The people of Western Sahara fought for decolonisation and self-determination against Spain that colonised Western Sahara, Morocco and Mauretania, the two countries to which Spain handed over its colony in violation of international law through the Treaty of Madrid in 1975.
After years of war, the ceasefire between the POLISARIO Front, the liberation movement of the Sahrawi, Morocco and Mauretania seemed to open the way to a peaceful solution to the conflict: Under the supervision of the United Nations, a referendum was to determine whether the people of Western Sahara wanted independence or being part of the Kingdom of Morocco. Until this day, it is Morocco that has prevented the holding of the referendum.
The bigger part of Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco. In the remaining non-occupied area and including the territories of the refugee camps in Algeria, the POLISARIO founded the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (DARS) in 1976. The recognition of the DARS as a state is controversial. DARS is a member of the African Union. The SADC countries and with them Namibia, are important international agents that stand for the solution of the problem of Western Sahara in terms of international law.
Manfred Hinz is a Professor em. of Public Law, Political Sociology and Sociology of Law at the University of Bremen and works as an Adjunct Professor of Law and African Studies at the Constructor University, Bremen.
Living and working in Namibia from 1990 to 2010, he co-founded the Faculty of Law (today: School of Law) of the University of Namibia. Succeeding the founding dean, he was dean and held the Namibian UNESCO Chair: Human Rights and Democracy. Back in Germany, Hinz rejoined the German movement in solidarity with the people of Western Sahara.
He is the co-editor of the book Westsahara, Afrikas letzte Kolonie.
The talk starts at 19:00.