The UN described the situation in Western Sahara as “unstable,” warning against escalation.
Rabat – The UN Security Council did not approve a draft joint declaration that the US drafted during the consultation meeting the organization hosted today to discuss Western Sahara.
Colin Stewart, the chief of MINURSO, the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, attended the consultation meeting.
During the meeting, the Security Council rejected a joint declaration from the US and called instead for “avoiding escalations in Wesen Sahara.”
According to AFP, the council did not reach an agreement during the closed session.
Quoting diplomatic sources, the news outlet said that the short, US-drafted proposal urges the adoption of a “constructive mechanism” to deal with MINURSO in Western Sahara.
The document also cited the need to speed up the process of appointing a new envoy for Western Sahara.
The position has remained vacant since may 2019, when Horst Kohler resigned citing health-related reasons.
Anonymous sources told Al Quds that the US did not make any mention of its position regarding Western Sahara during the meeting.
During the closed UN session Russia brought up Trump’s proclamation recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
The Russian UN representative is also reported to have called on the US to reverse Trump’s proclamation.
Having tirelessly lobbied for the Biden administration to reverse the newfound, unequivocal US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, many Polisario supporters and sympathizers eagerly hoped to see the US reverse Trump’s recognition during the UN meeting.
However, the new US administration has so far shown no intention of backtracking on the former president’s Western Sahara proclamation.
Instead, the Biden White House has repeatedly signaled its plans to uphold Trump’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty, as evidenced by the adoption of an undivided Moroccan map by the US State Department and CIA.
AFP’s sources expressed support for Morocco’s positions during the meeting
Of note are reports that Kenya, which was elected to one of the council’s non-permanent member seats in June 2020, followed in Algeria’s and South Africa’s steps in defying the AU’s consensus on the Sahara conflict.
During today’s session, the East African country called for the pan-African organization to reverse its acknowledgement of the centrality of the UN-led process to seek an “African” solution to the Western Sahara stalemate.
The UN Security Council recognized that the situation in Western Saharais “unstable” and could lead to further escalations.
In November 2020, the Polisario Front caused a first wave of escalations when it announced its withdrawal from the 1991 UN-brokered ceasefire agreement.
The group’s announcement came as a protest against Morocco’s response to a group of Polisario militias who had been obstructing civil traffic in Guerguerat for three weeks.
Polisario’s Gueguerat blockade suspended commercial and civil traffic between Morocco and Mauritania, directly impacting the economy in several African countries.
After pleading with the UN to reason with the Polisario leadership and diplomatically solve the crisis, Morocco waited for three weeks as the separatist group defied UN calls and warnings. The country finally sent a contingent of its Royal Gendarmerie to “establish a security corridor” and peacefully restored civil and commercial traffic in the region.
A furious and frustrated Polisario then responded by declaring war against Morocco, upending a three-decade truce and violating UN resolutions.
Tamba Francois Koundouno contributed to this story.