Security Council "seriously preoccupied" over Morocco's measures against Minurso

Washington, 26 March 2016 (SPS) - The UN Security Council said on Thursday it is "seriously concerned" over the recent developments in Western Sahara, following Morocco's retaliatory measures that targeted MINURSO.

The "members of the UN Security Council held several meetings on Western Sahara and MINURSO, and expressed serious concerns about developments" that have followed these measures, President of the Security Council Ismael Gaspar Martins told the press.

Gaspar Martins made those remarks at the end of a Security Council meeting on Thursday on the review of the impact of these measures on the Mission mandate.

The Security Council stressed that the peacekeeping missions are deployed by the Council "to fulfil crucial tasks of peacekeeping and international security."

The UN body "also took note of the statement of the UN Secretary General on the impact of maintaining that situation on the effective functioning of the Mission."

Security Council members highlighted "the importance of addressing in a constructive, comprehensive and cooperative manner, the circumstances that led to the current situation" in order to ensure that "MINURSO can resume its full capacity to fulfil its mandate" as provided in Security Council resolutions.

The UN Security Council which met three times but abstained from any statement condemning firmly Rabat decisions. Internal divisions prevented it from having a strong and unanimous position against Morocco.

The UN agency made a simple statement called "elements to the press," which is the weakest response that Council could have in a situation of crisis.

The Security Council could also react via a resolution that is binding, a presidential statement or a press statement, a UN source told APS.

Morocco, which has expelled 73 members of the MINURSO civilian staff has recently closed the UN military liaison office in Dakhla in the occupied territories. (SPS)

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