The Polisario Front has reaffirmed its decision of 30 October 2019 to reconsider its engagement in the UN peace process in Western Sahara, stressing once again that it will not engage in any process that is not in line with the mandate for which the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was established by the Security Council in its resolution 690 (1991) of 29 April 1991 and which remains the basis of the ongoing ceasefire and related military agreements.
In a statement following the adoption on Friday by the UN Security Council of a new resolution on Western Sahara, the Polisario Front underlined that due to inactions to compel the Moroccan occupying state to end its illegal occupation of parts of Western Sahara, it will intensify the national liberation struggle and to use all legitimate means to enable the Sahrawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
The following is the full text of the statement:
“The Security Council has just adopted its resolution 2548 (2020) on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The Frente POLISARIO regrets that the resolution does not contain any concrete actions to enable MINURSO to implement the mandate for which it was established in 1991, namely the holding of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.
By adopting a new resolution that lacks any practical measures to advance the stalled peace process and empower MINURSO to fully implement its mandate, the Security Council has once again chosen inaction despite growing tensions across Western Sahara. The ongoing peaceful, spontaneous mass demonstrations throughout the Territory, including the peaceful protest currently taking place at the Moroccan illegal breach in Guerguerat , are a clear indication that the patience of the Sahrawi people is running out with the United Nations’ inaction and failure to ensure that MINURSO fully implements the mission for which it was established almost three decades ago.
The absence of any actions to compel the Moroccan occupying state to end its illegal occupation of parts of Western Sahara has also left us with no option but to intensify our national liberation struggle and to use all legitimate means to enable our people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. In this regard, we hold the occupying state fully responsible for the serious consequences its dangerous actions may have on peace and security in the entire region.
The UN Secretariat and the Security Council must also recognise that their own inaction is contributing to the deterioration of the situation on the ground, including the ongoing human rights violations against our people, the persistence of the Moroccan illegal breach in Guerguerat and the continuous breaches, by the occupying state and other countries, of the legal status of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory pending decolonisation.
The Frente POLISARIO expresses its gratitude to the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa for their principled positions and for defending the basic tenets that have been unanimously endorsed by the Security Council, namely that the solution of the conflict must respect and provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara through the free and genuine expression of their will. The abstention of these countries today sends a strong message to those who seek to deviate from these commonly agreed principles in their attempt to maintain the status quo, which the Frente POLISARIO rejects categorically.
The Frente POLISARIO also notes with appreciation the positions of the Members of the Security Council that renewed their commitment to the core principles underlying MINURSO’s mandate and underscored the urgent need to advance the peace process. In this regard, we reaffirm that the ongoing ceasefire is an integral part of an integrated package deal, namely the UN-OAU Settlement Plan, which was accepted officially by both parties, the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco, and approved by the Security Council in its relevant resolutions.
The ceasefire, therefore, is not a separate arrangement from the Settlement Plan or an end in itself. It is only a means to create the necessary security conditions for the holding of a free and fair referendum whereby the people of Western Sahara can exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
Finally, the Frente POLISARIO reaffirms its decision of 30 October 2019 to reconsider its engagement in the UN peace process in Western Sahara. We stress once again that we will not engage in any process that is not in line with the mandate for which MINURSO was established by the Security Council in its resolution 690 (1991) of 29 April 1991 and which remains the basis of the ongoing ceasefire and related military agreements.”