Polisario Threatens to Withdraw from UN-Led Political Process

The Security Council’s new resolution dashed the Polisario Front’s separatist claims and their aspirations against Morocco’s territorial integrity.

Polisario Threatens to Withdraw from UN-Led Political Process
Leader of the Polisario Front, Ibrahim Ghali

By Safaa Kasraoui -Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News.Oct 31, 2019

Rabat – The Polisario Front has lashed out at the UN Security Council after the adoption of Resolution 2494 on October 30. The new resolution extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINURSO in Western Sahara, for one year.

The Polisario front issued a statement following the adoption of the resolution, claiming that the UN peace process is at “a critical juncture,” and threatening to reconsider “its engagement in the political process.

The Polisario Front explicitly voiced frustration in the statement, claiming that the resolution lacks “concrete actions” and progress in the UN-led political process.

The statement, shared by the news agency of the self-proclaimed SADR, stated that the resolution is “unacceptable return to ‘business as usual’ on Western Sahara and deals a serious blow to the political momentum.”

In contrast to the Polisario front’s response to the adoption of Resolution 2494, several permanent member states of the UN Security council welcomed the resolution and cited the progress made under the guidance of former Personal Envoy Horst Kohler

The council adopted the resolution with 13 votes against only 2 absentations from Russia and South Africa.

The resolution calls on the parties to the conflict, including Algeria, a party that has consistently n distanced itself from the process, to cooperate with the UN in working towards finding a  mutually acceptable political solution for the conflict.

For the Polisario Front, however,  the Security Council “missed another opportunity to prevent the UN peace process from collapsing.”

The Polisario Front received warnings in both the Security Council and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who called on the separatist group to adhere to its resolutions and ceasefire agreements.

The Polisario Front, according to Guterres’ report, published on October 2, breached the military agreements by maintaining illegal facilities east of Morocco’s defense wall, known as the berm.

Despite the Security Council’s repeated calls on the Polisario to abide by the provisions of its resolutions, the latter is adopting a tone of defiance ll0land threatening to withdraw from the political process entirely.

The Polisario claims that the UN process is at breaking point, stating that the separatist front is “left with no option but to reconsider its engagement in the peace process as a whole.”

Morocco’s permanent ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale, N welcomed the adoption of the new resolution and reiterated Morocco’s commitment to the UN-led process. 

The Moroccan diplomat cited the “new momentum” brought to the process by Horst Kohler, the recently retired UN Western Sahara envoy, and expressed Morocco’s commitment to working with MINURSO and the incoming UN envoy to maintain this momentum.

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