Rabat - The United Nations Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, will brief the UN Security Council on Western Sahara next Wednesday.
Rabat – The United Nations Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, will brief the UN Security Council on Western Sahara next Wednesday.
This comes after the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released his annual report on the situation in the Western Sahara last Friday.
In the report, Ban Ki-Moon summarized the latest developments regarding the question of Western Sahara and called on the different parties in the conflict to “continue their cooperation with the United Nations human rights mechanisms and OHCHR, by facilitating OHCHR missions to Western Sahara and the refugee camps near Tindouf, with unrestricted access to all relevant stakeholders.”
The UN Chief also praised the “positive steps that Morocco has taken on the protection of human rights,” including the adoption of a new code on military justice and the accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against torture, while calling for “independent and impartial understanding” of human rights in the Western Sahara.
He also called for the registration of the population living in the Tindouf camps.
“I note continuing questions about the number of refugees requiring assistance. These highlight the need to address the registration of the refugee population,” the UN chief said in paragraph 77 of his annual report.
It is the first time the UNSG’s annual report on the territorial dispute has included a recommendation calling for a census in the Tindouf camps.
Conducting a census in the camps has been a longstanding request from the Moroccan government, which has long accused Algeria and the Polisario of inflating the number of people said to be living there.
Ban Ki-Moon’s Personal Envoy Christopher Ross has made two trips to the region: one in February and the second in March.
Ross’ visit the region was made possible after Ban Ki-moon reassured King Mohammed VI last January that he had no intention to alter the mandate of the MINURSO.