UNO wishes some « progress » for the coming negotiations on the  Sahara

Less than one month before the holding of the coming round of informal negotiations on the Western Sahara, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has wished that the parties taking part in these discussions, planned for the second half of the month of July, reach some “progress”. “We have held seven rounds of informal negotiations to settle this conflict, among which three rounds during the on-going year. This is encouraging, but the positions of the two parties are very opposed”, which is frustrating, has deplored Ban Ki-Moon whose mandate as Secretary General has just been renewed. “Our priority is the resolution of this question”, has he declared in an interview to a press agency, in New York. The UNO looks for a political solution to this conflict, which would be « just, sustainable and mutually accepted by the two parties”, but the positions remain diametrically opposed. Since the launching by the UNO of the negotiations process to reach an acceptable political solution which would put an end to this old conflict going back to 36 years, the Polisario, strong with the unconditional support of the Algerian authority, has not changed an iota in its positions, by persisting to advocate the self-determination referendum as the only unique solution to this conflict.

 

 

Yet Algerians and the Polisario know perfectly well that such a solution is completely out of date and that it is almost unrealizable as was stated by the former personal envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Western Sahara, Peter Van Walsum. The latter has stated before being obliged to resign under the pressure of the pro-Algerian lobbies, that the independence option was a non-realizable objective. This opinion was immediately supported by the Ambassador of the United States at the UNO, Zaimay Khalizad who has declared that the personal ideas of Peter Van Walsum “merit to be seriously taken into consideration”. If the option, that the Polisario tries by any means to put on the table of negotiations, is supported only by Algeria, South of Africa and some rare African and Latino-American countries which still recognize the ghostly SADR, the idea of a large autonomy advanced by Morocco was welcomed by the UNO bodies as well as many permanent members of the Security Council. Having noticed the absence of the will to go towards an acceptable compromise during the last rounds of negotiations, Ban Ki-Moon has suggested in his last report on the Western Sahara that the Security Council recommends to the two parties to find a solution which includes the representatives of the population representative sample for the Western Sahara in the negotiations related to the issues in relation with the final statute and the practice of self-determination. But even for this proposal, the response is always the unquestionable refusal from the Algerians and their protégé, the Polisario.

 By Ali Haidar

16/08/2013