The resolution adopted on Friday by the UN Security Council extending for six months the mandate of its mission to observe the ceasefire between Morocco and Front Polisario is “positive” and “marks the will to find a solution to the Western Sahara conflict”, said on Tuesday the Saharawi Minister Delegate for Europe, Mohamed Sidati.
“The UN Security Council’s resolution of 27 April on the mandate of the UN Mission for the Self-Determination Referendum in Western Sahara, the Minurso, is positive in several aspects”, he declared to the APS.
The Saharawi Minister welcomed, as such, the abstention in the vote of three member states: Russia, Ethiopia and China, which noted “a certain lack of transparency and consultation before writing the final resolution”.
The UN Security Council adopted on Friday a resolution calling on parties to the Western Sahara conflict, Morocco and the Polisario Front, to “negotiate without preconditions and in good faith” to reach a solution guaranteeing the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and extending, until October 31, the mandate of the Minurso.
The resolution was approved with twelve votes. Three countries abstained, China, Russia and Ethiopia, accusing the United States, drafters of the text, to have precipitated the vote without giving time to negotiations.
Mohamed Sidati, who is also a member of the Polisario Front’s national leadership, noted various elements that indicate the desire to find a solution. A solution, he continued, “is eminently responsibility of the United Nations as it is a problem of decolonization”.
This is evidenced by the call for resumption of direct negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front, “without preconditions and in good faith”, expressed by the UN Security Council in its resolution in order to progress towards a political outcome which guarantees the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.
The Saharawi Minister also cited the decision by the UN Security Council to extend the mandate of the Minurso for only six months instead of one year, until October 31, 2018.
“This more frequent confrontation on the Western Sahara conflict in the Security Council’s agenda runs counter to the clear will of Morocco and its French ally to drag things along,” he said., stressing that “the status quo has been declared ‘unacceptable’ by several member States of the Council”.
He noted the UN Security Council’s “very clear” support for the organization’s personal envoy, Horst Kôhler, in his willingness to revive the peace process in Western Sahara.
“Many expectations have been expressed about him as to his ability to lay the foundations of a solution that implements the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, and which allows the advent of peace” he said.
He felt that the confidence expressed in the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General in Western Sahara should be “concretely supported” by the international community and the European Union (EU) in particular.
“The EU is saying that he is providing such support, but to do so, the EU must refrain from concluding agricultural and fisheries agreements with Morocco that include Western Sahara, because it only encourages the negative attitude of the Kingdom of Morocco toward the UN process” he said.
“If support for Horst Kôhler is necessary” he continued, “the EU will provide it better by not bypassing the decisions of its own justice”.
The Saharawi Minister has called on the EU to “seize the opportunity offered by the Security Council resolution to effectively assist the United Nations-led peace process”.