NEW YORK, 21 November 2017 – Ahead of the UN Security Council’s 22 November meeting on Western Sahara, the Frente POLISARIO reiterates its support to the mission of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Mr. Horst Köhler, and urges Council members to provide necessary contributions to the relaunch of the UN peace process.
The Frente POLISARIO expects the Security Council to uphold its responsibility towards the people of Western Sahara and to ensure full respect to their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The Council has the duty to guarantee that its own resolutions are respected and fully implemented. In this regard, UNSC Resolution 2351(2017) has requested the Personal Envoy to provide an update on progress towards a lasting and just solution to the conflict of Western Sahara, as a question of decolonization, within six months of his appointment. This update – to be held next February – should comprise a concrete framework for the path forward that would culminate in urgent time-bound, face-to-face negotiations between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco.
In the interim, it is more than necessary that the Council addresses ongoing issues in order to create more favorable conditions for the new negotiating process. Morocco continues to reject the return to Western Sahara of the AU observers that were illegally expelled by Morocco in March 2016. There has still been no ‘technical mission’ to the Guerguerat region of Western Sahara to examine the very serious problems created by Morocco’s unilateral violation of the terms of the ceasefire, as called for in UNSC Resolution 2351 (2017).
Likewise, Morocco’s ongoing, widespread human rights abuses and plunder of natural resources in the occupied Territory of Western Sahara suggest a culture of impunity that is not conducive to a constructive and lasting peace process.
The POLISARIO welcomes increased regional engagement on these issues in the form of greater AU-UN cooperation on Western Sahara.
“With a new Personal Envoy in place and a clear Security Council mandate the peace process should be resumed bearing in mind that the respect of the right of self-determination of the people of Western Sahara must be the principal guidance for any credible efforts by the United Nations aimed at ensuring a lasting and just solution to the conflict of Western Sahara, the last African colony on the agenda of the United Nations. For the Frente POLISARIO, the right of self-determination of the people of our country is inalienable and, therefore, not negotiable”, said Ahmed Boukhari, the Frente POLISARIO’s Representative to the UN.