Sahara: Security Council Enshrines Morocco-Proposed Autonomy Plan

sccThe UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution on the Sahara issue that constitutes a “scathing setback” to the maneuvers of the UN General Secretariat, which had sought to change the MINURSO mandate, said the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in a statement.

Ban Ki-Moon and some of his advisers had tried to alter the parameters of the political settlement process on the Sahara, led by the UN, maneuvering to revive the obsolete referendum option and to “introduce elements not recognized by the Security Council.”

In its Friday resolution, the Security Council extends for one year the MINURSO mandate until April 30, 2017. The resolution was passed by a majority of 10 votes and was opposed only by two countries (Venezuela and Uruguay) out of the 15 Council members.

The text enshrines the preeminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative for the Sahara, and describes as “serious and credible” the efforts made by Morocco to push forward the UN-led political process seeking to reach a solution to the Sahara conflict. And once again, the Security Council calls on Algeria to commit itself and to fully contribute to the settlement of this dispute.

Furthermore, the Council has called for the fifth consecutive year for the registration of the Tindouf camps populations. “This recurrent appeal to correct an international humanitarian anomaly is primarily addressed to Algeria as the host country in order to allow the UNHCR to proceed with the registration of these populations, a registration that Algeria has been refusing for 40 years,” said for his part Omar Hilale, Morocco’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

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