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Western Sahara: The Security Council will hold closed consultations on the MINURSO mission on April 16.


New York – On April 16, the UN Security Council will hold closed consultations on the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), where members of the Council will listen to two briefings presented by the Special Representative for Western Sahara and the Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, Alexander Ivanko, and the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General. To the United Nations, Staffan de Mistura.

According to the agenda of the UN Security Council for the month of April, of which Malta holds the rotating presidency, the consultations are held in line with Resolution 2703 of October 30, 2023, according to which the Security Council renewed the mandate of the MINURSO mission for another year until October 31. The resolution presented a new formula that welcomed De Mistura holding informal consultations with Morocco and the Polisario Front, in addition to holding consultations with members of the Group of Friends of Western Sahara (France, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) in the period from 27 to 31 March 2023 in New York.

The resolution also called on all parties to resume negotiations with the aim of “reaching a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that guarantees self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.”

In response to this report, the Polisario Front reaffirmed its position that “the self-determination of the Sahrawi people remains the only basis for any political process.” He added, “The Council once again missed an opportunity to adopt concrete measures to enable MINURSO to fully implement its mandate as specified in Security Council Resolution 690 of 1991.”

The Polisario Front also regretted the silence of the Security Council and some influential members regarding the dire consequences of the Moroccan occupying state’s breach and demolition of the 1991 ceasefire agreement, which not only jeopardized the prospects for resuming the peace process, but also threatened the establishment of peace, security and stability in the entire region.

Human rights in the occupied Sahrawi territories raise the concerns of the Security Council

The Security Council is holding its consultations in light of the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Sahrawi territories, which the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has drawn attention to on many occasions, the most recent of which was the letter sent by the Polisario Front on February 19 to draw the attention of Council members to “the increasingly dangerous situation in the Sahrawi territories.” “occupied” because Moroccan forces launched a “genocidal war against the Sahrawis.”

The letter referred to reports from the region highlighting the involvement of the Moroccan authorities in destroying and setting fire to many rural homes and huts owned by Sahrawis in the occupied city of Laayoune, accusing them of “confiscating vast lands owned by Sahrawis and handing them over to Moroccan settlers and foreign investors.”

The serious developments in the human rights situation in the occupied Sahrawi territories attracted the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who expressed, in a report last October, his deep concern about “the deteriorating developments in Western Sahara that have become ‘entrenched’,” calling for the need to immediately correct the situation. Speed to avoid any additional escalation in the region.

In his annual report, Guterres did not hide his “concern” about the continued inability of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to access the territory of Western Sahara for the eighth time in a row, calling again for “respecting, protecting and promoting the human rights of the Sahrawi people in the occupied territories, especially by addressing Outstanding human rights issues, enhancing cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations human rights mechanisms, and facilitating the monitoring missions it sends.”

The Commission also noted that the Moroccan authorities continued to “prevent and suppress gatherings in support of the right to self-determination and the celebration of Sahrawi commemorative events, as the Commission received six cases in which international observers, researchers and lawyers engaged in advocacy work regarding Western Sahara were prevented from entering Western Sahara or were expelled from it.”

As part of his duties, the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to Western Sahara toured several countries during which he held discussions with the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, early last February. Mr. de Mistura also held discussions on March 11, in the Russian capital, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in addition to his discussions on March 22 in the British capital, London, where the British Commonwealth and Development Affairs Minister, Lord Tariq Ahmed, affirmed his country’s support for the efforts of the Secretary’s Personal Envoy. General of the United Nations to Western Sahara.

Earlier, the US Ambassador to Algeria, Elizabeth Moore Aubin, confirmed that the conflict in Western Sahara “has lasted long enough,” noting that Washington supports reaching a political solution to this issue within the framework of the United Nations through the work of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. To Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura.

It should be noted that the return of military confrontations in Western Sahara at dawn on November 13, 2020, following Morocco’s violation of the 1991 ceasefire agreement, raised a problem about the nature and objectives of the presence of the United Nations Mission to Organize the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).



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