Sahara: UN to Extend MINURSO Mandate & Reaffirm Algeria’s Status as “party to the conflict”

Sahara: UN to Extend MINURSO Mandate & Reaffirm Algeria’s Status as “party to the conflict”

Members of the UN Security Council started on Monday consultations on the draft resolution tabled by the United States on the Sahara for the renewal of the MINURSO mandate, which expires on April 30.

According to diplomatic sources cited by Hespress web site, the draft resolution includes the same provisions as those of resolution 2414, adopted in April 2018.

The text recommends a renewal of the MINURSO mandate for another six-month period and urges the parties to the Sahara conflict (Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Polisario) to shoulder their responsibilities in the search for a fair and mutually acceptable political solution to end this regional dispute.

Four paragraphs of the draft resolution describe Algeria as a party to the Sahara conflict and as a main stakeholder in the process aiming to find a political, realistic, practical and lasting solution to the conflict. This deals a hard blow to Algiers, which tried for years to sell itself as an observer member.

According to diplomatic sources from New York, the draft resolution does not include any provision changing the MINURSO prerogatives to encompass human rights monitoring, as requested by the Polisario and its Algerian and South African sponsors.

The ambassadors of the “Group of Friends of the Sahara” (United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia & Spain) held on Monday a meeting at the UN headquarters to discuss the draft resolution on the Sahara.

A second meeting is scheduled this Wednesday at the level of experts for final discussions on details of the US-drafted resolution to be adopted by the Security Council by the end of April.

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