Polisario Front: “Security Council inaction threatens peace and security in Western Sahara” (Press Release)

Bir Lehlou (Saharawi Republic) 9 April 2020 (SPS)- Polisario Front issued a Press release after the holding by the UN Security Council of a closed meeting on UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), considering that the Council has once again “opted for inaction and delivered no concrete action or outcome”.

The Full text of the Press Release:

Polisario Front

Bir Lehlo, 9 April 2020

The Frente POLISARIO deeply regrets that the UN Security Council today failed to send a clear signal regarding its united support for the UN-led peace process on Western Sahara. Today’s consultations on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) offered another chance for the Council to stand strongly behind international law and reinvigorate the stalled political process. Instead, the Council opted for inaction and delivered no concrete action or outcome.

Since the resignation of the Secretary-General’s former Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, President Horst Köhler, in May 2019, the Security Council has done nothing to reactivate the UN-led peace process or stop Morocco from sabotaging the process. To the contrary, the Security Council has stood by as Morocco, the occupying power of Western Sahara, brazenly engaged in a series of destabilising and provocative actions including, inter alia, the unlawful opening of so-called “consulates” by foreign entities in occupied Western Sahara. The Council has also failed to condemn Morocco’s flagrant violations of Military Agreement No. 1 and has permitted Morocco to set self-serving preconditions on the appointment of the UN Secretary-General’s next Personal Envoy.

Failure to make progress in the political process and the silence and inaction of the UN Secretariat and the Security Council in the face of Morocco’s unlawful and destabilising actions have further deepened the loss of faith amid the Sahrawi people in the peace process. Neither the UN Secretariat nor the Security Council has taken any of the actions that we have outlined in our letter (S/2020/66) with a view to restoring our people’s confidence in the UN process. As a result, we continue to reconsider our engagement in the UN political process in its current form, which we consider a serious departure from the mutually agreed peace plan that sustains the existing ceasefire and related military agreements and determines the role and responsibilities of the UN Mission in Western Sahara.

The primary mandate of MINURSO, as established in Security Council resolution 690 (1991) and subsequent resolutions, is to hold a free and fair referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. The time has come for the Security Council to support MINURSO’s mandate and the UN peace process with deeds, not only words. The Council therefore should take concrete action to enable our people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, in line with the UN established parameters in relation to the question of Western Sahara as a decolonisation case.

The Frente POLISARIO remains committed to a peaceful resolution to the conflict. However, we reaffirm that we will not be a partner in any process that does not fully respect and provide for the exercise by the people of Western Sahara of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence in accordance with relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. The right of our people to self-determination and independence is inalienable and non-negotiable, and we will pursue all legitimate means to defend it. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)