International Pressure Mounts for UN to ‘Fill its Unfulfilled Promise’ of Western Sahara Referendum

Africa

As the conflict in Western Sahara continues, an international chorus is growing, putting pressure on Morocco to abide by its past agreements with the Sahrawi Polisario Front and the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to enforce the peace and keep its promise.

On Tuesday, the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) announced its 20th day of the offensive, launching attacks on “Moroccan occupation soldiers entrenched behind along the Wall of Shame,” a 1,700-mile sand barrier built by the Moroccan military that divides areas occupied by Morocco and those controlled by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro (Polisario).

Also on Tuesday, as South Africa assumed the monthly rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, Jerry Matjila, Johannesburg’s permanent UN representative, used the moment to call attention to the conflict in Western Sahara. 

“We trust the secretary general will continue his efforts to try to appoint the envoy, and we hope the parties will cease their fire, and then the UN [will] fill its unfulfilled promise to Saharawis – the referendum. The 1991 decision of ceasefire was based [on the idea that in] 1992, 93, there would be a referendum. Thirty years later […] no referendum. I think we should admit, all of us have failed the people of Western Sahara.”

Australian Senator Tim Ayres, a trade unionist and member of the Australian Labour…

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