United Nations Farouk Batiche/ Stringer

Un avenir pour le Sahara occidental

MADRID – La politique internationale connaît de nombreuses disputes territoriales non résolues, allant des revendications conflictuelles de la Chine et du Japon autour des îles Senkaku/Diaoyu situées en mer de Chine orientale, jusqu’au désaccord de longue date entre l’Arménie et l’Azerbaïdjan sur la question du Haut-Karabagh. Mais l’une de ces disputes, qui concerne le Sahara occidental, est bien souvent ignorée, malgré une possibilité de résolution tout à fait réelle.

Abritant une population de près de 600 000 habitants, sur un territoire d’environ 266 000 kilomètres carrés, le Sahara occidental, colonie espagnole jusqu’en 1975, est le plus étendu des 17 territoires non autonomes répertoriés par l’ONU comme n’ayant pas de statut politique définitivement fixé. Ce territoire est suspendu dans l’incertitude depuis près de 40 ans, revendiqué à la fois par le Maroc et par le Front Polisario. Le Maroc en contrôle environ 80 %, et le Front Polisario les 20 % restants, au niveau de la frontière avec l’Algérie.

Je me suis rendue le mois dernier dans la capitale du Sahara occidental sous contrôle marocain, Laâyoune – ville énergique et rayonnante, née d’un vieil avant-poste colonial espagnol – afin d’examiner la durabilité des opérations du groupe OCP, en qualité de membre de son conseil consultatif international. Le groupe OCP est leader mondial dans la production de phosphate, ayant accès à près de 70 % des réserves de phosphate de la planète. Le groupe opère au Sahara occidental via sa filiale Phosboucraa, qui représente approximativement 6 % du chiffre d’affaires d’OCP et environ 1,6 % de ses réserves de phosphate.

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