Sahara: UN Security Council deals new blow to Algeria, Polisario
The Algerian regime and its protégé, the Polisario front, were dealt a blow this Thursday at the UN headquarters in New York, when the Security Council adopted a new resolution on the Sahara which shattered the expectations of the opponents of Morocco’s territorial integrity.
In its resolution 2654 on the Sahara issue, adopted by 13 votes and two abstentions, those of Russia and Kenya, the Security Council not only extended the mandate of MINURSO for an additional year, but it cornered the Polisario and its Algerian mentor, calling on them, firstly to respect the ceasefire of 1991 and to facilitate the task of MINURSO, and secondly to sit down alongside Morocco and Mauritania, at the round tables led by the UN mediator as part of the political process meant to lead to a “realistic, pragmatic and lasting solution, based on compromise” as stipulated in the resolution.
Although Algeria and the Polisario had rejected last year participation in the round tables process, the Security Council insisted again on the need to resume the process, calling on all the parties concerned (Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario) to continue on the path initiated by the former UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Horst Köhler, in December 2018 and March 2019.
After this call to order, Algeria, which has always pretended its neutrality in this territorial dispute, and claimed its role was limited to an observer status, can no longer hide the label of stakeholder in this conflict which inexorably sticks to its back.
On the other hand, Morocco continues to glean votes in favor of its Autonomy Plan for the Sahara and growing support for this solution within the international community.
With regard to the vote on the new resolution, it is needless to recall that Russia has opted for years for abstention as a sign of positive neutrality in order to preserve its geopolitical and economic interests both with Morocco and with Algeria, which is absolutely not the case for Kenya, a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
Last year, Kenya, then led by ex-president Uhuru Kenyatta, a fervent defender of the separatist theses of the Polisario, had nevertheless voted in favor of resolution 2602, shattering the whims of Algeria and the Polisario. Anyways, this year, the Security Council completely ignored the plea of the Kenyan ambassador in favor of the Polisario’s theses.
In the end, Morocco has won a new round in the diplomatic battle waged against it for ages by its adversaries, headed by the Algerian military junta, who are determined to balkanize the region.