National Security Adviser to the White House, John Bolton, expresses “frustration” over the stagnation of Western Sahara

WASHINGTON, ( – The National Security Adviser of the White House, John Bolton, expressed Thursday his “frustration” for the lack of progress in resolving the political dispute over Western Sahara and asked “how can it be justified” that the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINURSO) continues to be extended.

Bolton has outlined the strategy of the Donald Trump Administration for Africa and has used the example of MINURSO, whose initial mandate he himself contributed to draft in 1991, to demand a change of approach in relation to international peace missions.

Trump’s advisor has acknowledged his “frustration” for the lack of progress in resolving the dispute over Western Sahara. “I would like to see this resolved if the parties can agree on a way out. That is my preference, “he told reporters at a Washington think tank, according to Reuters.

Bolton has assured during a colloquium that the case of Western Sahara is his “favorite example” in terms of the repercussions that an international peace mission can have, to the extent that, with them, there is a risk of the end of the ” creative thinking”.

“Success is not simply to continue the mission,” he added, referring to the successive mandate renewals that the UN Security Council is usually approving. In the case of MINURSO, the last six-month extension was approved at the end of October.

Thus, although Bolton has said he has “enormous respect” for the mediation work carried out during these almost three decades, he has asked himself “how can it be justified” that the situation continues as it was in 1991. “Everything we wanted was to hold a referendum for 70,000 voters, (but) 27 years later, the status of the territory remains unresolved, “he lamented.

“Is there no way to solve this?”, He said, in the middle of an argument in which he recalled that the resolution of this type of conflict would “free” the resources allocated to peace missions to devote to key issues in the matter of development.

Western Sahara continues to be in political limbo since the end of the Spanish colony in 1974 and, at least until now, the efforts promoted by the UN have been in vain, since the Moroccan Government only contemplates autonomy and the Polisario Front, that controls the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), claims the possibility of independence.

The current United Nations envoy, former German President Horst Koehler, achieved an unprecedented milestone in recent years by bringing together in Geneva representatives of the Polisario and Morocco, as well as the governments of Algeria and Mauritania. The parties have agreed to meet again in early 2019.

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