Sahara: UN Security Council holds this April behind-closed doors briefing amid regional tensions

Sahara: UN Security Council holds this April behind-closed doors briefing amid regional tensions

MINURSO Chief Alexander Ivanko and UN envoy for the Sahara Staffan de Mistura are expected to brief this April the UN Security Council on latest developments of the Sahara regional issue.

On 30 October 2023, the Security Council adopted resolution 2703 that renewed the mandate of MINURSO for another year until 31 October. The resolution described again Morocco’s autonomy plan offered for the Sahara under its sovereignty as “credible and serious” and stressed the importance of continuing the round table political process with the participation of Algeria.

The text reiterated the UN call on all parties to the Sahara conflict (Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania & Polisario) to work together to “achieve a realistic, practicable, enduring and mutually acceptable political solution based on compromise.”

On 11 March, De Mistura met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. According to a Russian foreign ministry press release, they discussed, among other things, the Sahara issue, the stabilizing role of MINURSO and the re-launching of the UN-led political process to achieve a “just, long-term, and mutually acceptable solution to the Sahara issue in accordance with Security Council resolutions.

However, Algeria and the Polisario continue to block the UN political process and refuse to resume the round-table talks. Instead of exerting pressure to bring them to the negotiating table, the UN Sahara envoy is wasting time and energy on other useless & unproductive pathways, such as his visit on 31 January to Pretoria at the invitation of the South African government to discuss the Sahara issue.

The visit is seen by Moroccans as a diplomatic blunder as South Africa is not a party to the Sahara issue. It is neither a member of the UN Security Council nor President of the African Union. It is not Morocco’s neighbor nor a member of the Group of Friends of the Sahara, which includes France, Russia, Spain, the UK, and the USA.

he United States, the penholder on the Sahara issue, recognized Morocco’s full sovereignty over the entire Saharan territory in December 2020.

Spain, former colonial power, Germany, France, and many other European, African and Arab countries support Morocco’s territorial integrity and its autonomy plan offered for the Sahara under its sovereignty, saying the plan is the only viable, realistic and doable solution.

Share This