Security Council welcomes POLISARIO decision to release Moroccan prisoners

Security Council welcomes POLISARIO decision to release Moroccan prisoners

Members of the Security Council today welcomed the recent release of 115 Moroccan prisoners of war by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front).

Members of the Security Council today welcomed the recent decision by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front) to release 115 Moroccan prisoners of war .

In a statement to the press, the current President of the Security Council, Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius, noted that some of the prisoners had been in detention for decades.

Expressing support for the efforts in this regard by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the current President of the Council of the European Union and others, Ambassador Koonjul stressed that the issue "must be solved on a strict humanitarian basis."

Members of the Council also noted the Moroccan Government's commitment to address the problem of the fate of people unaccounted for in the Western Sahara conflict, and welcomed Rabat's recent decision to release a number of Sahrawi detainees. Recalling the relevant provisions of resolution 1359 (2001) on the situation in Western Sahara, he said the members "urged the parties to solve the problem of the fate of people unaccounted for."

Pointing out that Council members had raised the issue several times in the past, the Ambassador called on both parties "to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict."