Polisario: Saharawi people only expect UN to enable them to exercise their right to self-determination and independence

New York (United Nations) 06 September 2020 (SPS)- The Representative of the Polisario Front at the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Sidi Mohamed Omar, issued a statement today, marking the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the UN Mission to Western Sahara, MINURSO, stressing that what the Sahrawi people expect from the United Nations is to fulfil its obligations by enabling them to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

The Sahrawi diplomat recalled that the ceasefire is only one component of the African UN peace plan, and “cannot be considered as an arrangement separate from the peace plan or an end in itself,” calling on the UN decision-making bodies to enable its mission in Western Sahara to monitor and report on human rights.

Following is the complete text of the Press Release:

PRESS RELEASE

WHAT THE SAHRAWI PEOPLE EXPECT FROM THE UN IS TO ENABLE THEM TO EXERCISE THEIR INALIENABLE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND INDEPENDENCE

[New York, 6 September 2020] Twenty-nine years have passed since the entry into force of the UN-supervised ceasefire in Western Sahara in accordance with the UN-OAU Settlement Plan that was accepted by both parties, the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, in August 1988 and approved by the Security Council in its resolutions 658 (1990) and 690 (1991). However, the self-determination referendum provided for in the UN-OAU Settlement Plan has not been held because Morocco, the occupying power of Western Sahara, has repeatedly reneged on its commitments, and persisted in its efforts to undermine the foundations of the peace plan including the ceasefire and related military agreements.As a result, the entire UN peace process in Western Sahara has been completely paralysed.

The Frente POLISARIO reaffirms that the ongoing ceasefire is an integral part of an integrated package deal, namely the UN-OAU Settlement Plan, which was accepted by both parties and approved by the Security Council in its relevant resolutions. The ceasefire, therefore, cannot be considered as a separate arrangement from the peace plan or an end in itself, but only as a means to create the necessary conditions for implementing the mandate for which the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was established by the Security Council in 1991, which is the holding of the self-determination referendum for the people of Western Sahara.

The Security Council has repeatedly called upon both parties to adhere fully to the military agreements reached with MINURSO with regard to the ceasefire and to refrain from any actions that could undermine UN-facilitated negotiations or further destabilise the situation in Western Sahara. However, Morocco has been engaged with impunity in a series of destabilising and unlawful actions aimed to forcibly entrench and “normalise” its illegal occupation of parts of Western Sahara before the very eyes of the United Nations and its mission in the Territory.

The inaction of the UN Secretariat and the Security Council in dealing strictly with Morocco’s repeated transgressions has severely undermined the credibility and impartiality of the United Nations and its Mission in the eyes of the Sahrawi people. It is therefore imperative that the Security Council ensure full respect for the letter and spirit of the ceasefire and related military agreements. The Council should also ensure that MINURSO, in fulfilment of its mandate, operates in line with general principles applicable to UN peacekeeping operations including having a capacity to monitor human rights in the Mission area. It is unacceptable that MINURSO remains an exception at a time when the promotion and protection of human rights is becoming a priority in all UN peace operations.

What the Sahrawi people now expect from the United Nations, after twenty-nine years of unfulfilled promises, is to see concrete actions that show genuine will to create the necessary conditions to enable our people to exercise freely and democratically their inalienable right to self-determination and independence in accordance with the UN-OAU Settlement Plan that underpins the mandate of MINURSO and the ongoing ceasefire.

Dr Sidi M. Omar

Ambassador, Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations." (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)