Sierra Leone: Solution to prolonged conflict in Western Sahara is overdue

New York (UN), 16 October 2020 (SPS) - Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, H.E. Dr. Alie Kabba, has stressed that achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution to the prolonged dispute over Western Sahara, considered by the African Union as the oldest unresolved conflict on the continent, was well overdue.

In a statement at the Joint General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), UNGA 75th Session, the Permanent Representative expressed Sierra Leone’s grave concern about report of strict media blockade, denial of access by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other human rights monitoring bodies to Western Sahara, as well as the continued trend of restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in Western Sahara, as outlined by the Secretary General’s report (S/2020/938, para 68-69).

In this regard, he express the unqualified support for Security Council resolution 2494 (2019), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 October 2020.

He called for the fulfillment of the SG’s commitment to appoint a new Personal Envoy for Western Sahara to rekindle the new momentum begun in the political process, confirming that Sierra Leone encourages the resumption of consultations as a matter of extreme urgency to achieve a political solution to the question of Western Sahara, ensuring the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination, in line with the relevant UN and AU resolutions. (SPS)