Sahara: Security Council reiterates “concern” over Polisario violations of military agreements

The UN Security Council reiterated on Wednesday its “concern” over the Polisario’s violations of military agreements in the Sahara, and urged the separatist movement to respect the “commitments” it made in this regard to the former UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy Horst Köhler.

The Security Council reaffirms, in resolution 2494 adopted on Wednesday, “the importance of fully respecting the provisions of these agreements in order to maintain the momentum of the political process in the Sahara”, while taking note of the “commitments made by the polisario” to the former Personal Envoy.

The Security Council resolution emphasizes that “the military agreements with MINURSO concerning the ceasefire must be fully respected” and urges the parties “to adhere fully to it, to honor their commitments to the former Personal Envoy and to refrain from any action that could compromise the negotiations facilitated by the UN or destabilize the situation in the Sahara.”

The Council was clear in its call to the Polisario not to transfer some of its so-called “administrative functions” in this zone, and to “fully fulfill its obligations with regard to the buffer zone in Guergarat in accordance with resolution 2414” of April 2018.

Under resolution 2494/2019, the Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission in the Sahara, MINURSO for 12 months, until 31 October 2020, and emphasized the need for a realistic, practicable, enduring and compromise‑based political solution to the Sahara question. It also emphasized the importance of aligning MINURSO’s strategic focus and orienting United Nations resources to that end.

Expressing its full support for ongoing efforts by the Secretary‑General to sustain the renewed negotiation process, the Council noted his former Personal Envoy’s intention to invite Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario to meet again, welcoming their commitment to remaining engaged throughout the process in a spirit of realism and compromise.

The Council called upon the parties to resume negotiations without preconditions and in good faith.

Speaking after the text’s adoption, Council members affirmed support for MINURSO and for a just, lasting, mutually acceptable peace in the Sahara, based on principles of the Charter of the United Nations and underlined the need for all parties to continue to abide by the ceasefire.

They also expressed full support for the former Personal Envoy’s efforts, emphasizing the crucial need to appoint a new Personal Envoy and expressing hope that this replacement will be able to hold a third round‑table meeting as soon as possible and that all stakeholders will support the continuation of a political process.

The former UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy Horst Köhler resigned last May for personal reasons, he had said.

Several delegates of the council members, including Nicolas de Rivière of France, welcomed the return to a one‑year mandate for MINURSO, saying it should be standard for peacekeeping.

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