South Africa calls on the Security Council to conduct a visit to occupied territories of Western Sahara

New York (United Nations) 31 October 2020 (SPS)- South Africa called on the UN Security Council, in its explanation of vote during the discussion last Thursday of a new resolution on Western Sahara, to conduct a visit to the occupied territories of Western Sahara, in order to break the current impasse in the conflict.

“South Africa once again proposes a Security Council visit to the occupied territory, as it did in 1995, to assess the situation on the ground in an effort to resuscitate the current political impasse amongst the parties,” the text reads.

On another hand, it considered that “as with many other African issues on the Council’s agenda, Western Sahara should not be treated any different and also requires the Council’s attention.”

In this regard, South Africa “also proposes that in the same way that the UN Security Council engages with the African Union on other issues on the Council’s agenda, that there is more formal coordination with the African Union on Western Sahara.”

South Africa, it should be recalled abstained along with Russia from voting on this new resolution, because it considered it was unbalanced and unfair, and consists of elements that betray an attempt by members of the so-called “group of friends of Western Sahara” to impose the law of “might makes rights” as South Africa said.

In fact the South African explanation of vote considered that “the current text as it stands does not reflect the current realities on the ground, which were clearly outlined by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in his briefing to the Council on developments pertaining to the human rights, humanitarian, security and political situation in Western Sahara.”

In terms of the appointment of a Personal Envoy “South Africa fully supports the efforts of the Secretary-General to find a suitable candidate. However, the current text does not adequately reflect the urgency of the UN to find a Personal Envoy to resume the stalled UN-led political process.”

“Given the growing sentiments and calls by one of the parties, Frente POLISARIO, to disengage from the UN process due to the perceptions that the UN is not doing enough, South Africa advocated for a more balanced text which would send a positive signal to the parties that one party is not favoured over another,” the text indicated. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)