See also:
» 11.10.2010 - Sahrawis awake to government opposition
» 01.07.2010 - EU considers Western Sahara fisheries legal
» 17.05.2010 - PR company takes honour for Western Sahara "success"
» 13.05.2010 - Western Sahara "not part of EFTA-Morocco free trade"
» 11.02.2010 - Morocco-Polisario revive talks
» 03.02.2010 - New talks on Western Sahara in US
» 29.01.2010 - Ease restrictions on Sahrawi - HRW
» 18.12.2009 - Sahara activist allowed back home

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Western Sahara
Politics | Society

Sahrawis fed up with UN chief

afrol News, 14 April - The President of Western Sahara, Mohammed Abdelaziz, in a strongly worded letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon complains about his poor leadership and unwillingness to fulfil the UN's mandate in the Moroccan-occupied territory. Mr Abdelaziz demands changes to the UN peacekeeping mission.

Nearly two decades ago, the UN peacekeeping mission MINURSO was sent to Western Sahara to oversee a ceasefire between Morocco and the Sahrawi independence movement POLISARIO and to organise a referendum regarding Western Sahara's independence. Moroccan obstruction policies hindered the referendum, and since then, MISURSO peacekeepers have been defined to boredom in the desert region.

But in his latest periodical report to the UN Security Council about Western Sahara, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon barely mentions the referendum that is key to MINURSO's mandate. Mr Abdelaziz is furious about the development.

The fact that "the report recommends that MINURSO's presence should be continued only 'for the maintenance of the ceasefire', implies, on the one hand, that the UN has accepted Morocco's fabricated claim that a referendum is now not possible and on the other, that MINURSO's role is to be reduced solely to the observation of an illegal occupation," the Sahrawi leader writes in his letter to Mr Ki-moon.

A second matter of great irritation is the little attention given to Moroccan human rights violations against Sahrawis in the occupied territory. Despite repeated calls by international human rights groups such as Amnesty and by POLISARIO, the UN peacekeeping mission has not been given a logical extension of its mandate to monitor human rights abuses. Independent groups have documented systematic human rights abuses by the Moroccan occupiers.

In a recent move, POLISARIO invited the UN to monitor the human rights situation in the small part of the territory under its control and in the Algeria-based refugee camps where the exiled Western Sahara government is housed.

"Instead, you have chosen in your report to uncritically reproduce Morocco's assertion that the Frente POLISARIO is raising the issue of human rights as a political diversion," Mr Abdelaziz writes. "This is outrageous," the Sahrawi leader adds, saying that the fundamental rights to freedom of speech and freedom of movement were "prerequisites" to hold a referendum.

The UN engagement in Western Sahara has been noted by decreasing intensity and interest over the last few years. Kofi Annan made some high-profiled attempts to find a mediated solution during his first years as UN leader but gradually gave up. With his far less energetic successor now heading the UN, no progress at all is noted.

The disappointment among the estimated 200,000 Sahrawi refugees living in Algerian camps since 1976 is growing. "After nearly two decades of failing in its duty to implement the referendum allowing for the exercise of self-determination by the people of Western Sahara, as agreed to in the 1991 Settlement Plan, we are fast reaching the conclusion that the UN has neither the capacity nor the fortitude to address Moroccan obstructions and deliver – finally – on its promise of a free and fair referendum," Mr Abdelaziz notes.

The POLISARIO leader therefore now demands that the Western Sahara issue is put higher on the UN agenda. "We are now calling on the [UN Security] Council to significantly increase the regularity of its debate of the situation in Western Sahara to once every quarter, supported by more frequent and accurate reporting from your office," he writes in the letter to Mr Ki-moon.

The demand implicates that MINURSO's mandate in Western Sahara would only be given for four months at the time, is stead of the current six months. This would increase the pressure on the UN to seek progress between each time MINURSO's mandate is renewed. POLISARIO, as one of the two parties in the 1991 ceasefire, can demand the withdrawal of MINURSO and as such influence the length of its running mandates.

Interestingly, however, Mr Abdelaziz at this stage did not indicate POLISARIO was considering asking for the termination of MINURSO's mandate. At earlier occasions, the Sahrawi leader has threatened to withdraw from the 1991 settlement, which would imply the termination of MINURSO's mandate.

- Create an e-mail alert for Western Sahara news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at