UN Security Council renews mandate of Western Sahara Mission for one year

PUSL.- The Security Council vote that took place today adopted resolution 2494 renewing the mandate of MINURSO (Referendum Mission in Western Sahara).

Both Russia and South Africa abstained. Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and is the second time to abstain from adopting a referent resolution of Western Sahara.

France another permanent member and traditional defender of Morocco’s position has been pushing for MINURSO’s mandate to be extended a year instead of the 6 months of the last vote in April this year.

The status quo remains, and MINURSO’s mandate will not include any mechanism to protect the Saharawi population under Moroccan occupation and victim of extreme human rights violations.

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Hmad Hamad :”United Nations uses the occupied territories of Western Sahara as a military base”

PUSL.- Hmad Hamad (Saharawi activist and vice-president of CODAPSO -Committee for the Defense of the Right to Self-determination of the People of Western Sahara

The United Nations, namely MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) has been in Western Sahara since 1991, the year of the signing of the cease-fire between the Polisario Front and Morocco. The cease-fire was based on a referendum that allowed our people to freely choose their destiny and achieve self-determination. After 28 years, we continue without a referendum and now under almost 44 years of occupation by Morocco.

MINURSO and the Security Council were not able to comply with what was determined at the United Nations and spent decades postponing the implementation of resolutions that would lead to the end of a 4-decade occupation.

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Former German President Horst Köhler leaves office in Western Sahara at the UN

Horst KoehlerPUSL / Jornal Tornado .- Horst Köhler, who was the president of Germany for six years, left his post as UN-SG personal envoy to the territory of Western Sahara. His departure for health reasons leaves the conflict to settle, a decades-long dispute in limbo.

The former German president announced he would step down on Wednesday, two years after assuming the role of personal envoy to the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara.

Mr Koehler, 76, informed the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in a telephone call, the UN statement said.

Former President Köhler spearheaded UN efforts to end the long-standing impasse between Morocco and the Polisario Front. Read more

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Western Sahara: Security Council renews MINURSO mandate for 6 months

PUSL.- At today’s meeting of the Security Council (SC) on Western Sahara, the extension of the mandate of MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) was adopted with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions (Russian Federation and South Africa) for six months.

All members of the SC support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy, Mr. Horst Koehler, and the performance of MINURSO and Colin Stewart.

The approved text was written by the United States, which was disappointed with the two abstentions and emphasized the need to accelerate the process to reach a mutually acceptable and realistic solution that results in the self-determination of the Saharawi people.

France, Morocco’s historical ally said that a realistic political process is needed and that Morocco’s proposed autonomy plan is a credible solution. They voted in favour, but they prefer a one-year rather than six-month mandate, arguing that they are more stable mandates. Read more

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Near-Verbatim Transcript Of The Press Stakeout By Mr. Horst Köhler, Personal Envoy Of The UN Secretary-General For Western Sahara On The Second Roundtable On Western Sahara

ONU – Geneva, 22 March 2019

Ladies, Gentlemen,

I am happy to report to you that we have just finished the second roundtable meeting on Western Sahara.

I would like to commend all delegations for displaying their commitment and engagement in reconvening on this occasion. I would also like to thank the Swiss government for their generous support in the organization of this roundtable.

As a result of our discussions over the past two days, delegations have agreed on a joint communiqué which I will immediately read to you. But first, allow me to make a few personal remarks. Read more

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Frente Polisario: Only with the approval of the saharawi people can a solution be enduring and foster a genuine peace

Press release of the Frente POLISARIO:

[GENEVA, 22 MARCH 2019] Today the Frente POLISARIO concluded the second UN-led roundtable on Western Sahara. We participated in these talks constructively and without pre-conditions with an aim towards fulfilling our people’s inalienable right to self-determination and Independence.

It is clear that the only practicable, realistic and enduring solution is one that grants our people their right to freely and democratically decide their own fate, without preconditions. Only with the approval of the Sahrawi people can a solution be enduring and foster a genuine peace that paves the way for a free, prosperous, and democratic Western Sahara, which will contribute to regional peace, stability, security and Integration.

The Frente POLISARIO remains committed to a peaceful, genuine solution, and we welcome the steadfast efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy and urge the international community to fully support him. But we are under no Illusions about the obstacles to peace. Western Sahara remains under Morocco’s illegal, repressive occupation, which systematically violates the human rights of the Sahrawi people. This basic reality cannot be ignored; self-determination is incompatible with occupation. Read more

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Western Sahara: meeting under UN auspices between Frente POLISARIO and Morocco

PUSL / Jornal Tornado .- The second meeting between POLISARIO Front and Morocco organized by Horst Koehler, personal envoy of the Secretary-General of the Nations, is taking place (21-22 March) in Geneva.

In addition to the delegations of Morocco and POLISARIO, Algeria and Mauritania are participating as observers, a UN statement said.

According to this statement “The meeting will take place in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2440 as a further step in the political process to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that will provide self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.”

A phrase used over and over again in United Nations resolutions, but whose meaning is simple: the completion of the referendum agreed between the parties that was the basis of the 1991 ceasefire agreement. Read more

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UN rights expert unable to carry out visit to Morocco over lack of guarantees

GENEVA (19 March 2019) UN (ohchr.org) .– The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, has announced that the necessary conditions for his visit to Morocco have not been fulfilled.

“The Government of Morocco has not been able to ensure a programme of work in accordance with the needs of the mandate and the terms of reference for country visits by special procedures,” he said.

The human rights expert was scheduled to visit the country from 20 to 26 March 2019 to examine the impact of measures aimed at ensuring the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and prosecutors, and the independent exercise of the legal profession.

“It is most regrettable that the suggestions of places to visit and schedule of work were not fully taken into consideration by the Government. It is an essential precondition for the exercise of the mandate of Special Rapporteur that I am able to freely determine my priorities, including places to visit,” he said. Read more

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Sahrawi negotiating delegation in Berlin for consultations with UN Secretary-General Personal Envoy

Berlin, March 3, 2019 (SPS) – At the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, the Sahrawi negotiating delegation will hold consultations with Mr. Koehler in German capital Berlin from Monday to Tuesday.

The consultations come in the context of Mr. Koehler’s efforts aimed at activating the United Nations-sponsored political process in Western Sahara. In his briefing to the Security Council on 29 January, the UN Secretary-General Personal Envoy of had announced his intention to invite the parties to the conflict, the POLISARIO Front and Morocco, to hold private consultations with him to discuss several issues related to the political process and to prepare for the second round of talks in Geneva this month. Read more

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POLISARIO reiterates its support for the UN political process

EW YORK, January 30, 2019 (SPS) -. Frente POLISARIO reiterated on Tuesday, in a statement after the appearance of Köhler before the Security Council to report on the situation in Western Sahara, its support for the UN political process and the defense of the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.

For the Frente POLISARIO, the first round of peace talks on Western Sahara demonstrated that the status quo is not sustainable and is an obstacle to peace. In this regard, it hopes that with the current efforts of the Personal Envoy and the effective support of the Security Council, a just, peaceful and lasting solution will be found that will lead to a real process of self-determination in Western Sahara.

In that context, the representative of the POLISARIO before the United Nations, Dr. Sidi Mohamed Omar, underlined that the “Security Council must take advantage of the current momentum by taking concrete measures to guarantee the inalienable right of our people to self-determination, as they demand the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. ” Read more

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Morocco denies existence of Saharawi political prisoners

PUSL.- Last Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the United Nations Security Council held private consultations on the question of Western Sahara during which members received information on the latest developments and heard the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mr. Horst Kohler.

Following the meeting Hilale, Morocco’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York, denied the existence of Saharawi political prisoners and reaffirmed that for Morocco there is no other acceptable solution than the autonomous plan of the “southern provinces” official Moroccan name relative to the territories of Western Sahara that Morocco invaded in 1975.

Hilal was clear, Morocco does not give or negotiate, the only solution is the autonomy plan “On this basis, we are ready to negotiate it and give largest operative power for the autonomy. Outside autonomy, nothing. We are not ready to negotiate anything.” Read more

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