The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy is expected to brief the 15 members of the Security Council on the Western Sahara next month.
Rabat – The members of the United Nations Security Council are expected to meet in January 2019 to discuss the Western Sahara conflict, according to the Security Council Report.
In its January 2019 Monthly Forecast, the report said the meeting will be in line with Resolution 2440, which requested UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “to brief the Council on a regular basis at any time he deems appropriate, including within three months of MINURSO’s renewal and again prior to the expiration of its mandate.”
On October 31, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2440 which extended the mandate of the peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara, also known as MINURSO, for six months.
Minurso’s mandate is set to expire on March 31, 2019. To continue, MINURSO will require another vote from the 15 members of the Security Council on a new resolution to extend the mandate of the mission in Western Sahara.
However, 2019 may bring some new developments, especially after US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s latest remarks on the conflict and MINURSO, particularly.
At the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on December 13, Bolton heavily criticized peacekeeping operations, picking the Western Sahara conflict as an example for how missions fail to end conflicts.
“From now on, the United States will not tolerate this longstanding pattern of aid without effect, assistance without accountability, and relief without reform,” said Bolton, expressing “frustration” over the continuous conflict over Western Sahara.
He added that although the UN has deployed forces in the region for 27 years since 1991, it has failed to end the dispute.
“How can you justify that? I have got to know over the years the Saharawi people, I have enormous respect for them, I have enormous respect for the government and people of Morocco and Algeria, is there not a way to resolve it?” he added as he was referring to the US contribution to the UN peacekeeping operations.
The US is a top contributor to the UN budget, providing $10 billion in aid annually.
Morocco has not responded to Bolton’s frustration officially. But, former Moroccan Minister of Economy Nizar Baraka said that Morocco is also frustrated because the country is still struggling to “complete the territorial integrity of our country to include our Sahara regions.”