The vote will take place on Tuesday instead of Monday, the initially scheduled date.
The vote, which was initially scheduled for Monday, will take place Tuesday, April 30.
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the duration of the mandate will be for six months, until October 31. The US has been adamant about reducing MINURSO’s mandate to six months to push the parties to show more resolve and good faith to move the stalled political process forward.
During the negotiations, the US delegation also proposed ending MINURSO’s mandate and replacing it with a Special Political Mission, but the proposal did not gain any momentum. The proposal mirrors US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s views on MINURSO. The American official has on many occasions lambasted MINURSO and accused it of failing to fulfill its mandate.
Aside from the duration of MINURSO’s mandate, the draft resolution contains no provision that might be perceived as hostile to Morocco’s position.
The same source told MWN Tuesday that some countries that have voiced concerns with the wording of the resolution might abstain. Russia, among others, has expressed reservations about some wordings of the draft resolution, MWN’s source added.
Russia has expressed concerns about the absence of any reference to the need for the parties to reach a “mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” in the operative paragraphs of the draft resolution.
By contrast, resolution 2440, adopted on October 31, 2018, included an operative paragraph with the same language Russia advocated, while resolution 2414, adopted on April 27, 2018, mentioned that language in two operative paragraphs.
Despite that language, Russia has, however, in both cases broken the traditional consensus on the resolution by abstaining from supporting the resolution. In light of its voting patterns in recent years and the concerns it expressed about the draft resolution, it is very likely that Russia will abstain once again. It might be joined by China, which also abstained in the two previous resolutions, as well as South Africa, one of Polisario’s staunchest supporters.
Recently, reports from Moroccan and international news outlets claimed that the US, in its capacity as the penholder of the UN resolutions on Western Sahara, attempted to include a human rights monitoring clause in the draft resolution on the renewal of the mandate of MINURSO.
A source close to the dossier told Morocco World News that such reports were a “hoax.”
“The US did not seek to include any such mechanism in the draft resolution. This was neither included in the draft circulated to the Group of Friends for Western Sahara (France, US, UK, Russia, and Spain) nor in the draft circulated to the members of the Security Council,” the source said.
In his annual report on the situation of Western Sahara, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed Polisario’s violations east of Morocco’s defense wall, calling on the Polisario Front to meet in Rabouni, Algeria, with MINURSO members instead of insisting on meeting in what Polisario calls the “liberated territories,” east of Morocco’s defense wall.
The UN chief also warned against major risks of tensions in the region due to Polisario’s military exercises in restricted zones.