The United Nations mission for the organisation of a referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), present for 30 years in the occupied Sahrawi territories, has failed to achieve its two main objectives, namely to ensure compliance with the ceasefire between Moroccan forces and the Sahrawi army and to organise a referendum on self-determination as recommended by the UN, the French newspaper Libération said on Friday.
The French daily has devoted two pages in its international column to the conflict in Western Sahara through a report that describes the routine and activities of the peacekeepers since their installation in 1991, the date of the signing of the ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario Front.
Nevertheless, according to the French media, the activity of MINURSO “is absurd” since “its first pillar, the organisation of a referendum – recommended by the UN in the name of the right of peoples to self-determination – is totally paralysed.
The newspaper said that Morocco has “patiently” sabotaged the census process and the establishment of a list of Saharawi voters. The process has been at a standstill since 2004, when the ad-hoc commission ended its work in complete silence.
The second pillar, the newspaper added, was “the surveillance of the surroundings of the wall, which no longer makes sense”. “First, because there is no longer a ceasefire to observe. The ceasefire officially ended on November 13, when the Moroccan army, in violation of the 1991 agreement, crossed the berm at Al-Guerguerat,” the media said.
Since the resignation of former German President Horst Kohler from this post in December 2019, Rabat has refused under various pretexts eleven of the thirteen proposed candidates. However, Libération added, without a proactive mediator, political dialogue has no chance of resuming and the conflict will remain frozen, while the Polisario Front wants to accelerate it.
Minurso’s mandate, renewed every year since 1991, will expire on 31 October.