The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) ratified today, without a vote, on a resolution on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara. The resolution had been ratified last October by the Fourth Committee as the UNGA renewed the UN’s support for the a search to a negotiated political solution to the issue based on the standards of negotiations the UN Security Council (UNSC) set in 2007.
This resolution confirmed that the UNGA “supports the series of negotiations which began in accordance with Resolutions 1754 (2007), supported by Resolutions 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), 2044 (2012), 2099 (2013) and 2152 (2014), issued by the UNSC in order to reach a political solution that is just, lasting and acceptable to all parties.” It also acknowledged the efforts made in this regard.
In particular, the resolution calls for countries of the region to fully cooperate with the efforts undertaken under the supervision of the UN and with each other in order to reach an acceptable political solution by all of the parties to the regional conflict over the Sahara.
The resolution also called on the parties to continue to show the political will and to operate in an atmosphere of dialogue in order to enter with good faith and without preconditions into a phase of even more intensive negotiations, taking into account the efforts made and developments that have occurred since 2006 in order to ensure the implementation of the aforementioned UNSC resolutions.
The UNGA supported the UNSC’s approach since ratifying Resolution 1754 (2007), in reference to Morocco’s provision of its autonomy initiative in the Sahara, which has garnered praise from the executive body and the entire international community as a serious and credible initiative to finally settle the regional conflict over the Sahara.
Through its support for the UNSC resolutions, including Resolution 2152 (April 2014), the UNGA has adopted the fixed norms determined by the UNSC to reach a final solution to this issue, which the resolution describes as a “disagreement.”
A number of observers confirmed that by ratifying this new resolution, the UNGA has joined the UNSC in its call for other parties, which remain in a locked in a rigged and extremist position, to express the necessary political will to contribute to reaching a consensual political solution under UN auspices.
Translated by Kevin Moore.
Access original article here.
The recently formed “Youth Movement for Change” has declared the creation of its military wing in order to defend itself against attempts by the Polisario to disband the group. The movement, established in the past few months in the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria for Saharwi refugees, is calling for Polisario’s leadership to make way for younger members in light of rampant corruption.
Protesters and security forces clashed in the Western Saharan capital of Laayoune following peaceful protests by supporters of the Polisario Front who were calling for self-determination and the expansion of the UN mission in the disputed territory. This comes at a time when Morocco has been moving towards oil extraction in the Atlantic off the coast of Western Sahara, and the UN seems to be moving to monitor human rights abuses through MINURSO. Continue reading
Nabil Benabdallah, Secretary General of the Party of Progress and Socialism (Morocco’s former communist party) and Minister of Housing and Urbanism, has called for a reexamination of the kingdom’s policies regarding the Western Sahara issue. Benabdallah sees the conflict in its current state as divisive and hopes to see a national consensus in order to better benefit Morocco and Moroccans while maintaining territorial integrity. Continue reading
A new group calling itself the “Youth of Change” movement has appeared in the Tindouf camps for Sahrawi refugees in southwestern Algeria. The group has released its first statement vowing to fight for freedom and dignity in the face of corruption and exploitation by the Polisario Front. Continue reading
Morocco has renewed French petrol company Total’s licence to prospect for oil off the coast of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the territory following Spain’s withdrawal in 1975. A UN-brokered ceasefire was reached between Morocco and the Polisario Front, on the condition that a referendum about self-determination be held. No referendum has been held to this day, and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination say that Morocco is strengthening its control over the region by granting oil contracts. The Polisario Front considers the licences granted to French Total and American Kosmos to prospect for oil illegal. Continue reading
Algeria has recently confirmed its support for Western Saharan self-determination. The issue has been a dark spot on Algerian-Moroccan relations for decades. Morocco considers the territory, a former Spanish colony, to be a part of its southern lands, and has denied Sahrawi attempts for a referendum on self-determination. The Polisario Front and representatives of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic are based in southern Algeria.
Algeria has criticized the election of Morocco to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2014-2016. Morocco and Algeria have a contentious relationship, and Algeria cites the drug trade in Morocco, as well as its oppression of the Saharawi people in Western Sahara, in its criticism of Morocco’s appointment. Algeria has also been elected to the council.
In its struggle for self-determination and independence from Morocco, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in Western Sahara is finding support from Latin American countries, who see their shared history of European colonialism as reason to mobilize for the Saharawi people and their cause.