Frente Polisario calls on the Security Council to use its collective weight to advance direct negotiations between the two parties (Press Release)

[Tifariti, Liberated Territories of Western Sahara–31 October 2018] The Frente POLISARIO takes note of the adoption by the UN Security Council of its resolution 2440 (2018) by which it decided to extend the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for a period of six months.

The Frente POLISARIO also takes note of the Security Council’s call upon the two parties, the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, to resume negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

It is now incumbent upon the Security Council to use its collective weight to advance direct negotiations between the two parties with a view to enabling the free and full exercise by our People of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

The Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 31 October 1975, which coincides with the date of the adoption of the resolution today. It is critical that the Security Council uphold unequivocally the legal status of the Territory and preserve its territorial integrity, as also called for by the African Union on many occasions, pending a definitive solution to the conflict through the UN-supervised self-determination referendum, for which MINURSO was created in1991. The Frente POLISARIO—whose raison d’êtreit is to uphold the inalienable and sacrosanct rights and national aspirations of the Sahrawi people—will accept nothing less than the full respect for the inalienable right of our People to self-determination and independence.

The Frente POLISARIO recalls that its commitments with regard to the ceasefire rest on the agreements reached with MINURSO including Military Agreement No. 1 of 1997, which is binding on both parties in the framework of the implementation of the ceasefire of 1991. It is therefore critical that the Security Council ensure full adherence to and respect for the terms of the ceasefire and Military Agreement No.1, which are integral parts of the UN Settlement Plan and thus the pillars sustaining the entire UN peace process in Western Sahara.

The Security Council should also ensure that MINURSO operates in line with basic standards and general principles applicable to UN peacekeeping operations, and that the Mission be mandated to monitor the human rights situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara–where well-documented human rights abuses are rampant. It is urgent that the Security Council demand Morocco to refrain from all its destabilising actions in the occupied territories of Western Sahara and to cease its plunder of the natural resources of our Territory.

For more information, contact:

Dr Sidi M. Omar

Frente POLISARIO Representative at the United Nations