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UN to Discuss Western Sahara After Months of Stasis

After a long wait following the unexpected resignation of Horst Kohler, the Western Sahara conflict is back on top of the UN’s peacekeeping agenda.

Rabat – After months of inactivity, Western Sahara is back on the Security Council’s agenda for discussion in October.

On October 1, the Security Council published its provisional program of work for this month. 

The Security Council members are expected to meet three times this October to consult on the Western Sahara conflict and the UN peacekeeping operation in the region, known as MINURSO.

The agenda outlines that the first consultation on the MINURSO report took place on October 1. No further details are included. 

The agenda also includes meetings to be held on October  8 and 16 which will also look at MINRUSO.

The Security Council announced that they will sit to adopt a new resolution for the Western Sahara conflict, aiming to extend the mandate for MINURSO on October 30.

The current mandate of the MINURSO is due to expire on October 31. 

In April 2019, the council adopted Resolution 2468, extending the MINURSO mandate for six months. 

The Western Sahara question’s return to the Council’s agenda comes in the wake of the unexpected resignation of Horst Kohler, the personal envoy of the UN  Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

Kohler announced his resignation in May. Five months after his resignation, the UN has not yet discussed a replacement for Kohler.

Kohler was a key element in the Western Sahara conflict since his appointment in  August 2017

The former personal envoy managed to bring the parties to the conflict to one table during his suggested-roundtables in December 2018 and March 2019.

In the days leading up to the expected adoption of the new resolution, Guterres is also expected to submit his annual report on Western Sahara to the Security Council.