Attached a brief summary of the interventions of the security council members in the meeting on Western Sahara on the 27th April 2018
12 votes in favor
3 abstentions: China, Ethiopia, Russia
United States (vote yes):
We as UNSC have allowed Western Sahara to lapse into a frozen conflict –
Our goal is to send 2 messages: 1) no more business as usual on Western Sahara. 2) full support to Kohler to his efforts. US wants to see progress at last….expect that the parties will return to the table over the next 6 months. Moroccan autonomy plan is ‘serious, realistic and credible’ represents 1 possible approach to resolve the conflict. It would be unfortunate for anyone to pick apart the resolution language for political point scoring.
Quoted John Bolton from his 2008 book: “MINURSO seemed well on its way to acquiring a near perpetual existence…” Read more
PRESS RELEASE – MINURSO Coordinator Mhamed Khadad Frente POLISARIO
[NEW YORK – 27 April, 2018]
Today the UN Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for a period of six months.
The Frente POLISARIO takes note of this development and in particular the short renewal period which reflects the need for an urgent resumption of the UN political process. The POLISARIO reiterates its commitment to enter into a time-bound process of direct negotiations with Morocco to finally allow for the exercise by our People of our inalienable right to self-determination and independence in accordance with the United Nations doctrine on Decolonization.
The Frente Polisario notes that through this resolution, the Security Council is insisting on the resumption of the negotiations without any precondition and in good faith. It is a clear and strong message to Morocco which has always subjected any engagement in the negotiations to preconditions, and has always put obstacles to alter any progress toward a political solution that guarantees our right to self-determination, as it was underlined three times in the current resolution. Read more
Algeria takes note of the new resolution on the Question of Western Sahara that the United Nations Security Council has just adopted.
It notes with great satisfaction that this resolution reaffirms, once more, with clarity, in its preamble and in its operative part, that there is no other solution to this conflict, than that which ensures the exercise by the people of the Sahara Western to its inalienable right to self-determination.
It can therefore only welcome the full support of the Security Council to the Secretary General and his Personal Envoy to revive, with a new dynamic and a new spirit, negotiations with a view to reaching a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. Read more
ecodiario.- The UN Security Council today renewed the mission of the organization in Western Sahara (Minurso) for six months and urged Morocco and the Polisario Front to resume negotiations to end the conflict.
The decision is contained in a resolution adopted with twelve votes in favor and abstentions from Russia, China and Ethiopia, a document that calls for moving towards a “realistic, viable and durable” political solution for the people of the Spanish ex-colonial.
In addition, it asks the Polisario to withdraw “immediately” from the zone of separation in the Guerguerat area, in the south of Western Sahara; expresses concern over its plan to move administrative activities to Bir Lahlu, in the northeast; and asks it to refrain from this type of “destabilizing actions”.
According to the United States, promoter of the resolution, the central idea is to try to unblock the negotiations during the coming months, taking advantage of the efforts being made by the new UN envoy, the former German president Horst Köhler. Read more
lavanguardia.com.- The UN Security Council will delay the vote of its annual resolution on Western Sahara, originally scheduled for this Wednesday, in order to try to iron out differences on the text, said today to Efe diplomatic sources.
Negotiations continue for the time being and the Council “is not yet ready to vote,” explained a Council diplomat who requested anonymity.
For now, a new date for the vote has not been established, which should be held in any case before the end of the month, when the mandate of the UN mission in Western Sahara (Minurso) expires.
In the text, in addition to extending the mission, the Security Council traditionally expresses its position on the latest developments on the ground and on the political process.
As every year, the United States is the country in charge of drafting the resolution, which is usually adopted by consensus. Read more
On April 23, Claude Mangin, on hunger strike since April 18 demanding the right to visit her husband Naama Asfari, a political prisoner of Gdeim Izik, was visited by Aida Ohanyan of Armenia on behalf of the Association Bonheur Retrouvé, Constance Machicote international jurist from France / Spain and Isabel Lourenço from Portugal representing the Western Sahara Foundation and porunsaharalibre.org.
All three activists declared their solidarity with Claude Mangin and stated their rejection of the action of the Moroccan government in preventing this French citizen from visiting her husband who was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The town hall of Ivry sur Seine near Paris houses Claude Mangin during her hunger strike. Read more
According to an article by Julio Sanz published on the website defensa.com, the long-range multiple rocket launchers of the Chinese company Norinco PHL 03 of the Royal Army of Morocco are one of its most secret materials.
Images taken by amateurs and published on social networks show the movement of a convoy of multiple rocket launchers or MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) PHLO3 of the Royal Army in the course of its transfer from the north, where they are usually positioned, to the south of the country.
One of the images shows two MLRS circulating on the highway linking Marrakech with the port city of Agadir and a second shows one of the PHL 03 in the latter city before entering the occupied territories of Western Sahara, the former Spanish Sahara, which Morocco invaded in November 1975.
According to the analysis of Sanz, It seems that the Moroccan army is hardening its tone against the Polisario Front’s attempt to install permanent camps in the liberated territories of Western Sahara, sending reinforcements to the territory, as was published by the Algerian media menadefensa. Read more
Claude Mangin, wife of Naama Asfari, a political prisoner of the group of Gdeim izik, sentenced to 30 years and currently detained in Kenitra, started today a hunger strike demanding respect for the right to visit her husband which has been denied since October 2016.
According to the statement by Claude Mangin-Asfari, her greatest desire is “to return to Morocco to see my husband Naama Asfari, a Saharawi political prisoner, sentenced to 30 years in prison after two unfair trials together with his comrades of the Gdeim Izik group for his peaceful struggle for the independence of Western Sahara, which has been occupied by Morocco for more than 40 years. ”
Naama received the Human Rights Award granted by the ACAT Foundation for Human Dignity in January of this year. The UN Committee against Torture in Geneva has condemned Morocco for the torture of Naama Asfari in December 2016.
However, since October 2016, that Claude Mangin is not allowed to enter Morocco. Read more
Brussels (Belgium), 04/16/2018 (SPS)
The Polisario Front condemned today the decision of the European Council to authorize the European Commission to renegotiate a new agreement amending EU-Morocco fisheries rules with the aim of explicitly including Western Sahara.
Polisario recalled in a statement released today that “the Court of Justice of the European Union has twice decided that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara” and therefore can not be included in international agreements.
“These negotiations can only lead to an illegal agreement against European Union law and international law,” the statement said, while reiterating that the EU Court of Justice has established that the only way to negotiate agreements on Western Sahara is through the consent of the Saharawi people expressed by its representative recognized by the United Nations, the Polisario Front.
In addition, Polisario said that the renegotiation of the agreement with Morocco undermines the EU’s contribution to the peace process and undermines the efforts of the United Nations and its special envoy. Read more
Morocco has recently been engaged in an unprecedented, frenzied media and diplomatic campaign of misinformation and propaganda in which it has threatenedto take military action to forcibly annex the Liberated Territories of the Sahrawi Republic (SADR), alleging that the Frente POLISARIO had violated the terms of the 1991 UNsupervised ceasefire in Western Sahara.
The misinformation campaign also involved the dissemination of a series of fabrications and misrepresentations of the realities on the ground, particularly in terms of the geographical schemeenacted under the ceasefireand the related military agreement between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco. To put the record straight, we
would like to clarify the following:
1. The Military Agreement no. 1, which regulates the ceasefire between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, establishes the Moroccan military wall as a line of separation between the Sahrawi and Moroccan armies pending the holding of the selfdetermination referendum and the determination of the final status of the Territory. It also establishes a 5 km wide “buffer zone” to the east and along the 2700 km Moroccan military wall. Read more
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Koehler
On April 10, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov received Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Western Sahara Horst Koehler, who arrived in Moscow on a working visit.
During the meeting, it was stressed that there are no alternatives to a political settlement of the Western Sahara problem in line with corresponding UN Security Council resolutions. It was pointed out the drafting of a mutually acceptable scheme for a settlement on Western Sahara would promote the general improvement of the situation in North Africa.
The Russian side expressed support for the mediatory efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his personal envoy, as well as for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and its key role in maintaining regional stability. Read more