Western Sahara: Ban Ki-moon's visit to region, UN efforts for conflict resolution

Submitted by webmaster on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 09:52


Boudjdour(Sahrawi refugee camps) March 03, 2016 (SPS) - The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will pay a visit to the Sahrawi refugee camps on Saturday, as part of a trip to the region, where he will meet the highest Sahrawi authorities, announced Wednesday Sahrawi sources.

In line with the UN efforts for the resolution of the Western Sahara conflict, Ban Ki-moon's trip, which he started Tuesday from Spain, is considered by the Sahrawis as a "strong message to the Moroccan occupier which continues to undermine the efforts of the international community for a just and final settlement of the forty-year long conflict."

After Spain, the UN Chief will pay a visit to Burkina Faso to "congratulate the authorities of the country on the success of the political transition," according to media, and then he will head for Nouakchott, where he will meet the highest Mauritanian authorities.

Afterwards, Ban Ki-moon will visit the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, where he will hold discussions with Polisario Front's Secretary General Mohamed Abdelaziz.

He will also meet with the UN personnel in the region as well as the members of the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

The UN Chief will be in Algeria on 6 and 7 March and will hold talks with top officials, according to UN sources.


New era in UN policy


Following the announcement of Ban Ki-moon's visit to the region, the head of the Sahrawi delegation to negotiations with Morocco for the resolution of the Western Sahara conflict, Khatri Addouh hoped that this visit would be a "strong message" to the Moroccan occupier which continues to undermine the efforts of the international community."

"We hope that it "UN chief's visit) would be a strong message, that our Moroccan brothers understand once and for all that they must first admit that they made the mistake of invading a territory that is not theirs to the detriment of international law and also to the detriment of the right of a people to self-determination," said Khatri Addouh.

The Sahrawi negotiator chief added that Ban Ki-moon's visit will be an opportunity "to examine means to push the negotiation process and the search for a peaceful solution to Western Sahara conflict between the two parties to the conflict, Morocco and Polisario Front.

For his part, Sahrawi Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb hoped that the UN Chief's visit to the region would manage to get Morocco to respect UN decisions in favour of the Western Sahara's self-determination.

Taleb Omar said that the Sahrawi people hope that Ban Ki-moon's visit would "open a new era for UN policy and positions regarding the Sahrawi cause and that the tormenter and the victim would no more be put on an equal footing."

"Although Rabat refuses Ban Ki-moon's visit to Morocco and to the occupied (Sahrawi) territories, the UN chief insists on visiting, on March 5, the liberated territories and the Sahrawi refugee camps," he added.SPS