UN Secretary General Wants UN Mission in Sahara Extended for One Year

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked the Security Council to extend for one year the mandate of the UN mission in the Sahara (MINURSO) in order to back the negotiation process.

“I recommend that the Security Council extends MINURSO mandate for another year until October 31 in order to give my Envoy enough time to create conditions to advance the political process,” Guterres told AFP.

“I call on the parties and neighbors to come to the negotiation table in good faith and without preconditions on December 5-6,” He said.

UN Envoy for the Sahara Horst Kohler had invited Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario front for direct talks in Geneva in December. So far, Morocco and the Polisario separatists confirmed attendance.

The latest Sahara talks took place in 2012 without progress as Morocco stresses need for including Algeria in direct talks since it is the party that pulls the strings of the Polisario militias.

Guterres has asked in a previous report for an active involvement of Algeria and Mauritania in the negotiation process while describing Morocco’s autonomy plan as credible, serious and realistic.

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