UNSC Resolution 2440 Stresses Algeria’s Responsibility in Sahara Conflict

UNSC Resolution 2440 Stresses Algeria’s Responsibility in Sahara Conflict

Morocco scored yet a new victory in the UN process as the Security Council adopted resolution 2440 stressing Algeria’s role as a party to the regional dispute over the Sahara.

Algeria, which arms, hosts and backs the Polisairo separatist front diplomatically has refused in the last four decades to pull its head out of the sand as it continues to deny any responsibility in the Sahara conflict.

Resolution 2440, which renews the mandate of the UN mission in the Sahara (MINURSO) for another six months, has recognized Algeria as a main party in the process aiming to find a political, realistic, practical and lasting solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara territory.

The new resolution stresses the need for all parties including Algeria to accept the invitation of the UN Envoy for the Sahara Horst Kohler to attend a round table in Geneva on December 4-5.

“The Council called upon the parties to demonstrate political will in order to advance the negotiations, emphasizing the importance of an enduring political solution based on compromise,” reads the resolution.

In a press briefing in New York following the vote, Morocco’s permanent representative to the UN Omar Hilale said Resolution 2440 on the Sahara, which “consecrates, for the first time, Algeria as the main party in the political process”, has introduced novelties, confirmed realities and reaffirmed fundamental parameters.

“The adoption of this resolution after resolution 2414 of last April, constitutes a major development in the management of the Moroccan Sahara issue by the Security Council”, he pointed out, noting that it “introduced novelties, confirmed realities and reaffirmed fundamental parameters”.

The Moroccan diplomat explained that at the level of novelties, resolution 2440, which welcomes the organization, on 5 and 6 December 2018, of the round table in Geneva, “designates, for the first time, Algeria as a main stakeholder in the political process.” Algeria “will participate in this (Geneva) meeting in the same quality as Morocco and Mauritania,” he said.

Omar Hilale described as “historical” the fact that the Security Council requests Algeria to take part in the Geneva meeting in good faith, without preconditions and in a spirit of compromise. “This clear request to Algeria does not concern only the Geneva Round Table, but covers the whole political process, until it is concluded, as required in the operational paragraph 3”.

The resolution also calls for prior consultations for a sound preparation of this round table, on which Morocco continues to insist, he said.

The resolution also rebukes the Polisario for its actions that could undermine negotiations and urged the Algerian-backed separatist front to “adhere fully to its commitments to the Personal Envoy in respect of Bir Lahlou, Tifariti and the buffer strip at Guerguerat” and not to transfer any administrative structure, either civilian or military, to these areas.

The areas mentioned in the resolution are located beyond the berm in the demilitarized area monitored by MINURSO under a 1991 ceasefire agreement, but where Polisario militias made incursions and attempted to move in administrative functions.

The Moroccan diplomat said in this connection that the Security Council’s requirement “is contained in both the preamble of the Resolution (paragraph 14) and in operational paragraph 7. This demonstrates the importance the UN body attaches to putting an end to provocations and destabilizing acts of the polisario, following the warnings voiced by Morocco”.

Ambassador Hilale emphasized further “This does not suffer any ambiguity. This resolution, like the latest report of the UN Secretary General, definitively sweeps away the mirage of the so-called “liberated territories”, maintained by the Polisario and its mentor, Algeria.

With regard to the reaffirmation of the parameters, he underlined that resolution 2440 reaffirms the paradigms adopted by the Security Council since 2007, which call for a realistic, lasting and compromise-based political solution.

In this latest resolution, the Security Council reaffirms the pre-eminence of the Autonomy Initiative as the only solution to this regional dispute and renews a position it has adopted since 2001, namely that the referendum option is obsolete, Omar Hilale said.

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