Mr. Christopher Ross, the UN envoy to the Sahara said in his latest report to the Security Council on Monday that his attempts to bridge the gap between Morocco and the Polisario Front failed according to the daily al Massae.
I could create a less formal atmosphere for face-to-face negotiations, I pinpointed the commonalities between both parties and I suggested a detailed study of the pending issues but all my efforts failed, he was quoted by the Moroccan news paper as saying.
He went on to say that “the Sahara conflict has reached a deadlock.”
Mr. Christopher Ross stated also hat he has been conducting secrete talks with Morocco and the Polisario Front in order to move forward and reach a mutually accepted solution to the conflict.
Ross revealed that he had expected the conflict to ease in the wake of the Arab spring and with the terrorist threat lurking in the Sahel region.
“I thought that the threat in the Sahel region would create a feeling of urgency but is did not,” he noted.
Ross hailed Morocco’s efforts to promote Human Rights through the National Council for Human Rights and especially its regional committees in Layoune and Dakhla cities. On the other hand, he reported growing disgruntlement among the youth in Tindouf camps and their inclination to armed struggle.
Earlier this month, the US had submitted a proposal to task the MINURSO (The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) with new prerogatives namely, the monitoring of Human Rights in the Sahara.
The American proposal stirred strong reactions and staunch opposition from the Moroccan government. Morocco deployed intensive diplomatic talks against the American proposal and called on the Security Council to show wisdom and to refrain from taking any step that may derail the political process.
After the lobbying of other members of the Group of Friend of the UN Secretary General on the Western Sahara, Washington withdrew its proposal.
Need to paving the way towards a political solution
In his annual report on the “Situation concerning Western Sahara”, the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, called on the parties to move beyond their stern positions and pave the way towards finding a solution to the conflict.
Ban makes went on to make it clear that no party can expect to obtain the totality of its demands, hence, the need that the two parties, Morocco and the Polisario, “move beyond presenting and defending their respective proposals.”
“Each party must accept that neither will obtain the totality of its demands, but rather has to engage in a logic of give and take”, said the report in a direct message to the parties to show more flexibility and realism in the negotiation process.