Western Sahara mission extended 2 months to give parties time to consider UN's solution

Western Sahara mission extended 2 months to give parties time to consider UN's solution

In a bid to give the parties time to consider Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposal for a political solution to the situation in Western Sahara, the Security Council today extended by two months the mandate of the United Nations mission responsible for organizing a referendum for the territory.

The Council unanimously approved a resolution containing the technical rollover of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to enable the parties to consider the proposal presented to them earlier this month by the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, James Baker III. The proposal provides for self-determination, as requested by the Council in resolution 1429.

Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front) have contested the Territory since Spain relinquished control in 1974. MINURSO was established in 1991 to oversee the holding of a referendum in which the people of Western Sahara would choose between independence and integration with Morocco, as part of the UN Settlement Plan.