ALGIERS- United Nations Security Council will meet, today, Wednesday, in a closed session to discuss the situation in Western Sahara after five months of war resumption between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Morocco following the UN failure to appoint a new personal envoy to the region that would push towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
During this session, Personal Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Head of the United Nations Mission in charge of organizing the referendum for self-determination in Western Sahara (MINURSO) Colin Stewart will give a briefing on the work of the mission, which extended its mandate to October 31, according the Security Council program for the current month.
The development of the Saharan issue will also be highlighted in light of Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, failure to choose a new personal envoy to Western Sahara, two years after the position became vacant.
The United Nations attributed its failure to appoint a new personal envoy to the region, to succeed the resigned former envoy, Horst Kohler, to “the difficulty of finding the right person to take over the task,” who enjoys the confidence of both parties.
Morocco, backed by its traditional ally France, tried to hold the Polisario Front responsible for the failure to appoint the new envoy, while the last two figures proposed by the UN Secretary-General, the former Romanian Prime Minister, Petri Roman, last December, and the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Luis Amadou, were accepted by The Makhzen, are known to be biased towards the Moroccan side, according to what has been reported by the issue observers.
According to the same observers, Morocco, through its practices over the past years, has obstructed the work of former UN envoys and pushed them to resign, and even refuses to appoint any candidate for this position from countries known for their neutrality towards the Saharan issue, such as Scandinavia countries, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and others, and this is what the Polisario Front has confirmed on several occasions.
Observers believe that the upcoming session of the United Nations Security Council on Western Sahara is “of particular importance”, being the first to be held after the American administration led by Joe Biden assumed its duties, and in light of the increasing calls to cancel the declaration of former US President Donald Trump on the alleged “sovereignty” of Morocco over the Sahara Western.
During a remote meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, to discuss USA priorities in the United Nations, held last march, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, affirmed Washington’s support for political negotiations between the Polisario Front and Morocco to find a solution to the Western Sahara issue. Guterres also called for the speedy appointment of his personal envoy.
The last session of the UN Security Council on Western Sahara was held on December 21, 2020, at the request of Germany.
The war between the SADR and Morocco resumed, on November 13, after the Moroccan forces violated the ceasefire agreement signed with the Polisario Front in 1991, by crossing the buffer zone in Guerguerat and attacking unarmed Sahrawi civilians.
The UN Secretary General had presented, during his presentation of an official report on the MINURSO mission budget approval for the period from July 2021 to July 2022, held on March 11th, his “concern” about the continuation of armed operations in Western Sahara, while Morocco supports its denying of the existence of a war on the field.
Included since 1966 in the list of non-self-governing territories, and therefore eligible for the application of UN General Assembly resolution 1514 on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples, Western Sahara is the last colony in Africa, occupied since 1975 by Morocco.