Morocco hinders Kohler’s freedom of movement, UN deplores

New York, April 13, 2019 (SPS) - Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres deplored the restrictions imposed by Morocco to freedom of movement of his Personal Envoy, Horst Kohler and the MINURSO (the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara).

“The MINURSO cannot meet local interlocutors west of the wall of sand and this situation continues to limit its ability to independently assess the situation in Western Sahara for analytical or security purposes,” wrote the Secretary General in his final report on the situation of Western Sahara, submitted to the Security Council.

The deadlock imposed by Morocco prevented the MINURSO from “fulfilling this part of its mandate, which consists in providing assistance,” Kohler.

“These restrictions have only aggravated during the considered period although my personal envoy asked my special representative to help him to keep contacts with some local interlocutors,” said the UN Secretary General.

Morocco categorically rejected this request on the grounds that these contracts would be incompatible with the MINURSO mandate, said Guterres in his report.

In the past, Morocco has adopted a confrontational approach with Christopher Ross, the predecessor of Kohler, limited his freedom of movement and declared him as “persona non-grata” in the Sahrawi occupied territories. (SPS)