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Security Council extends UN mission in Western Sahara for 3 more months

Security Council extends UN mission in Western Sahara for 3 more months

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 28 February 2002 to allow Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s envoy and the parties concerned to continue efforts to find a durable solution to the dispute.

In its resolution this morning, the 15-member body asked Mr. Annan to keep it informed of all significant developments in an interim report by 15 January 2002 and to provide an assessment of the situation by 18 February 2002.

The decision followed a meeting of the Council yesterday evening, during which the members heard a briefing on Western Sahara by a top UN peacekeeping official, Hédi Annabi.

In a statement to the press after the meeting, Ambassador Patricia Durrant of Jamaica, which holds the body’s rotating presidency for the month of November, said Council members called on the parties to refrain from action that could aggravate the situation, and expressed concern at the humanitarian situation, calling on the parties to resolve outstanding issues in this regard.

The statement also voiced the Council’s support for the efforts of James Baker III, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, to find a solution acceptable to the parties concerned, and for the work of the Secretary-General’s outgoing Special Representative, as well as his successor.