Western Sahara: Disappointed over lack of progress, Annan outlines new options
In a report released late on Tuesday, the Secretary-General voices his disappointment over the lack of progress despite recent efforts by his Personal Envoy, James Baker III, and suggests four possible courses of action.
The first of the four options would have the UN resume trying to implement the 1988 settlement plan, even without the concurrence of the two parties in conflict over Western Sahara's future status. The second would have Personal Envoy Baker try to revise the draft Framework Agreement -- again without necessarily gaining the agreement of both Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO.
The third option would be to mandate Mr. Baker to discuss a possible division of the territory with interested parties, and the fourth would see the Council terminate the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) due to the lack of progress.
In order to allow the Council time to consider these less-than-ideal options, Mr. Annan proposes the Council extend MINURSO's mandate for two months, until 30 April. Security Council consultations on Western Sahara are expected to commence next Tuesday.