Rabat – It is official: the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Western Sahara Horst Köhler is set to start a 10-day visit to Western Sahara Saturday.
UN Spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed the UN official’s visit on Thursday.
“I can confirm that Horst Köhler, the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara, will be touring the region again from 23 June to 1 July 2018.”
The spokesperson explained that Köhler’s visit is aimed to deepen “Köhler”s understanding of the reality on the ground, and discuss how to move forward in the UN-led political process, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2414.”
Resolution 2414, adopted by the UN Security Council on April 28, extended the mandate of the UN Mission for Western Sahara (MINURSO) to six months instead of one year and pressured the Polisario to end their violations of the ceasefire agreement.
The resolution also urged Algeria to contribute to finding a solution for the four-decade-long conflict over Western Sahara. The motion also expressed full support to Köhler’s mission and efforts to find a solution for the conflict.
Earlier this week, MINURSO’s headquarters in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara, were mobilizing to receive the special envoy.
Köhler is set to meet with Moroccan officials and is also expected to meet Polisario representatives in the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria.
The UN Personal Envoy is expected to visit all MINURSO sites in Western Sahara to monitor the ceasefire agreement, violated by the front in recent months.
On May 20, the separatist group conducted an illegal parade to celebrate the “45th anniversary of its armed struggle,” angering both Morocco and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The move came in defiance of the UN resolution.