Fri 23/10/2020

UNHCR: Progress in the conflict resolution process in Western Sahara is the only way to end the protracted Sahrawi refugee crisis

2 weeks ago at 09/Oct/2020 62

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi, has stressed that progress in the settlement of the Western Sahara conflict is the only way to put an end to the protracted Sahrawi refugee crisis.

Speaking remotely at the 71st session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, held in Geneva from 5-9 October, the UN official expressed his hope that “more progress will be made in the political process, which is the only way out of this protracted crisis, where it has become difficult to mobilize resources every year.”

Algeria had called, on Wednesday, in Geneva for the full implementation of the United Nations’ peace plan for Western Sahara in order to resolve the crisis of forced movements in this occupied territory, through “the voluntary return” of Sahrawi refugees.

Speaking in the 71st session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), held in Geneva from 5 to 9 October, Mehdi Litim, chargé d’affaires of the Algerian mission to Geneva, underlined that Algeria “has been hosting for 45 years the refugees of the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara in the camps near Tindouf,” one of the most prolonged situations in the world.

“The lasting solution is the voluntary return of Sahrawi refugees as part of the full implementation of the UN peace plan for Western Sahara, which guarantees to the Sahrawi people the right to freely decide on their future,” he stressed.

“This peace plan represents a coherent, interdependent and inseparable package aimed at ending the conflict of Western Sahara, which constitutes the deep cause behind this forced movement,” he added, underlining that “the census of Sahrawi refugees is an operation that is an integral part of this Plan.”

Algeria continues fulfilling its obligations of protection and assistance and facilitating the execution of humanitarian programmes for the Sahrawi refugees, in close cooperation with its international partners, said Litim. (Sumoud)

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