Security Council extends by six months MINURSO mandate

New York, April 30, 2019 (SPS) - The Security Council extended by six months, until 31 October 2019, the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), reiterating the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.

With 13 votes in favor (and two abstentions Russia and South Africa), the Security Council adopted a draft resolution calling on the parties to the conflict, namely the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, to resume negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations without pre-conditions and in good faith.

As it was expected, South Africa and Russia refrained from voting the draft resolution presented by the United States, dubbing “unbalanced” the text.

Speaking following the adoption of the resolution, Russia’s representative said that “it is not wise to create an artificial controversy concerning the renewal of this mission or to judge what direction to give to the political process initiated by the United Nations.”

South Africa, which reaffirmed its “clear and firm support” to the MINURSO, underlined that “this mission was mainly created to facilitate the holding of a referendum in Western Sahara.”

Speaking following the adoption, the South African representative pointed out that several elements contained in this resolution “worry” its delegation. SPS