South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Xolisa Mabhongo, has called for the acceleration of the appointment of a new personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara, reaffirming his country’s support for the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions.
“In our own continent, Africa, the Saharawi people have not exercised their right to self-determination, which is guaranteed under the Charter of the United Nations. The struggle for the people of Western Sahara is a struggle for self-determination and our support for their cause is based on the principles of decolonisation, promotion of human rights, international legality and the stability and security of the African continent,” he said.
He further indicated that South Africa “once again stresses the need for the United Nations to facilitate the realisation of the referendum to allow the Sahrawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in line with the mandate given to the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) exactly 31 years ago to organise a referendum of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. Regrettably, this is yet to occur,” he regretted.
Moreover, he considered that “it remains imperative that the envisaged referendum take place to allow the people of Western Sahara to exercise their right to self-determination.”
South African, he said, also “calls on the United Nations to fully assume its responsibility for the protection of the human rights of the people of Western Sahara. We also wish to call on the Security Council to ensure that the MINURSO which is due for renewal this month by the Security Council maintains its impartiality and independence.”