The Algeria-backed Polisario Front has accused the UN and the Security Council of having abdicated to Morocco and France as consultations for the renewal of the MINURSO mandate in Western Sahara started on Thursday in New York.
Diplomats in New York said the representation of the United States to the United Nations prepared a draft resolution and distributed it to the members of the Friends of the Sahara group (France, Spain, Russia, UK, and USA.) The draft resolution was submitted to these countries for approval before being adopted by the Security Council.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Western diplomat told Reuters that the U.S. draft resolution on the Sahara proposes to extend the MINURSO mandate for a year, i.e. until April 2015, and does not mention the possibility to enlarge the MINURSO mission to human rights monitoring in Western Sahara or in the Tindouf camps.
The draft calls Morocco to continue its ongoing efforts to improve good governance, promote democratization and upgrade its national human rights standards.
Morocco has expressed opposition to any attempt to exploit the issue of human rights as such an attempt will deal a fatal blow to the UN-sponsored political settlement process.
King Mohammed VI who is currently visiting Dakhla, the second largest city in Western Sahara, had few days ago a phone conversation with the UN Secretary General.
The king reiterated to Ban Ki -moon Morocco’s “strong opposition” to any deviation from Security Council resolution 2007 and warned that any change to the set course would be dangerous to the whole negotiations process.
The fifteen members of the Security Council are to decide on the one-year renewal of the MINURSO mandate on April 23.
The MINURSO is supervising the cease –fire concluded between Morocco and the Polisario under the auspices of the United Nations in December 1991.