The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, reiterated his call for a census of Tindouf populations and recommended that the Security Council extend the mandate of MINURSO for a further 12 months, until 30 April 2017.
However, the report does not mention the embezzlement of Humanitarian Aid in Tindouf, which was revealed by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
“I also reiterate my call for continued consideration of registration in the refugee camps near Tindouf and invite efforts in this regard,” the UN chief said in his last report to the Security Council on the Sahara, which was released on Friday, noting that public life in the Moroccan Sahara “proceeded peacefully and included large gatherings at social events in urban areas.”
Ban Ki-moon also pointed out that regional elections held in the Southern provinces were conducted without incident, adding that he was informed by Morocco that each of the 12 new regions, including the regions of Dakhla and Laayoune, will have broad powers, including the mobilization of financial resources and the establishment of development agencies.
He also recalled that King Mohammed VI visited Laayoune in November 2015 and Dakhla in February 2016 and delivered in Laayoune a speech on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the “Green March”.
The report pointed out that the Sovereign stated that the autonomy initiative “is the most Morocco can offer” and that “[i]ts implementation hinges on achieving a final political settlement within the framework of the United Nations Organization”.
About human rights, Ban Ki-moon said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights deployed a technical mission to Laayoune and Dakhla from 12 to 18 April 2015, adding that this mission, which was preceded by meetings with Government officials in Rabat, enabled the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to “gain greater understanding of the human rights situation” in the Moroccan Sahara. The UN Chief also said that the Government of Morocco extended four invitations to special procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council.
On Morocco’s National Human Rights Council, the report stressed that its offices in Laayoune and Dakhla “continued carrying out a range of activities”, including organizing capacity building activities, the report noted, adding that these offices “continued to prepare reports and submit recommendations on certain human rights issues to relevant authorities.”