Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Rabat, November 1, 2012
On the first day of his first visit to the territory when since he was appointed in 2009, Christopher Ross, the United Nations Secretary General’s Personal Envoy to the Sahara, met with Aminatou Haidar, known for his support to the Polisario, as well as with Lahbib Rguibi, brother of Mohammed Abdelaziz, eternal leader of the Polisario.
Morocco World News’ correspondent in Esmara, reports that the meeting addressed the situation of human rights in the Sahara, as well as the fate of the Saharawi activists who were imprisoned in November 2010 following their involvement in the sabotage actions they committed when the Moroccan authorities moved to dismantle the infamous camp of Kdim Izik in Laayoune.
Christopher Ross also met with the governor of Laayoune, as well as tribal leaders and pro-Autonomy groups.
After his visit to
On Monday, he held a meeting with King Mohammed VI, a meeting that he described as a “precious contribution to the search for a more efficient means to settle the dispute” over the Sahara.
“I came to the region to review the situation over the past five years of direct negotiations, collect ideas on the best ways to achieve a real progress in the negotiation process and examine the impact of the latest developments of the Sahara issue,” Ross told the press following the audience granted to him by the King on Monday in the Rabat royal palace.
This visit is part of “the mission which the UN Secretary General entrusted to me three years ago” to facilitate negotiations between the parties in order to reach a just, lasting and mutually-acceptable political solution, he added.
This is the first time that a UNSG’s Personal Envoy to the Sahara carries out a visit to Laayoune. Ross planned to visit the region in late May, but he had to cancel his tour to the region after Morocco declared that it would no longer cooperate with him.
In mid-May Morocco withdrew its confidence in Ross as UNSG personal envoy to the Sahara and called on Ban Ki-moon to appoint a new personal envoy in order to breathe a new life into the process of negotiations towards finding a long-lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the territorial dispute.
The decision was taken a few days after the publication of the UN Secretary General Annual report on the Sahara and the adoption by the Security on April 24 of a new resolution, which extended the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2013.
Reporting from Laayoune by Rachid Khouya.