Security Council extends UN Western Sahara mission through April 2016
In today’s resolution, the 15-member Council extended MINURSO until 30 April 2016. The Mission has been in effect since 1991.
Moreover, the resolution calls upon all parties to “fully cooperate” with the operations of MINURSO and calls upon them “to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue” in order to kick-off a more “intensive and substantive” phase of negotiations.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently reiterated his call for stakeholders involved in the 40-year conflict in Western Sahara to “seriously engage” with his Personal Envoy Christopher Ross and work to negotiate “a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara,” according to his latest report on the situation in that territory.
The Secretary-General’s report, published on 10 April, underlined that “Forty years after the beginning of this conflict and eight years after the presentation of the Parties’ proposals, there can be no justification for continuing to maintain the status quo and failing to engage constructively and imaginatively in the search for a solution.”
Today’s resolution, meanwhile, affirmed the Council’s “full support” for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara within the context of dialogue and called for “renewed meetings and strengthening of contacts.”
The UN has been involved in efforts to find a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended.