If it’s April, it must be another round of charades at the UN Security Council regarding the Western Sahara. And if this year is anything like the past, the latest UN resolution can be written by most Sahara watchers before it is even published.
Despite a renewed emphasis in the Security Council on the need for the Parties to be “realistic” and willing to “compromise” in order to achieve a “mutually acceptable political solution” to the problem in Western Sahara, the Polisario has remained stubbornly intractable on its core position.
Ever since Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and Peter van Walsum submitted his final report to the Security Council as the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy, there has been an added emphasis on the word “realistic” in the search for a solution to the problem in Western Sahara.
It appears that UN Personal Envoy Horst Kohler’s reported request that the Parties refrain from extensive comments to the media following their Geneva meeting of December 5 and 6 has largely been respected, thus far. Little of substance has been reported. Nevertheless, there are some clues.
So, MINURSO has been renewed for another six months and Horst Kohler will hold a meeting in Geneva in December. Does anyone expect Algeria or the Polisario to have an epiphany before gathering around the table with Morocco and Mauritania in Switzerland? Not very likely.
On October 31, the United Nations Security Council renewed the peacekeeping mandate for its mission in Western Sahara, MINURSO, for another six months, as Washington had insisted, rather than the twelve that the Secretary General had recommended in his early October report to the Council.