AU adopts mechanism for resolution of Western Sahara issue

Nouakchott, July 04, 2018 (SPS) -The African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government on Monday adopted a decision to set up a mechanism supporting UN efforts to resolve the Sahrawi issue.

Taken at the 31st Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government, the decision sets up “an African mechanism including the AU Troika (made up of outgoing, current and incoming Presidents) and the President of the AU Commission to provide an effective support to the UN efforts while encouraging both sides to be more flexible and to mobilize greater support for the efforts made by the UN.”  

According to the decision, “the mechanism will regularly report his activities to the AU Assembly and, if needed, to the Council of Peace and Security at the level of the Heads of State and Government.”  

Furthermore, the decision, which strengthens AU’s involvement in the resolution of the Western Sahara issue, clearly stresses that “the AU actively contributes to the search of a solution and renews its support to the efforts made by the UN and its Personal Envoy.”

In the same vein, the Heads of State and Government requested the Chairperson of the Commission to launch consultations required for the reactivation of the AU Office within the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) in Aaiun, in order to facilitate operational coordination with the UN.

As regards the Western Sahara issue, they stressed "the need to redouble efforts to break the current deadlock in the negotiation process and to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that ensures the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in accordance with the decisions of the AU and the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions.”

Moreover, the Heads of State and Government called on the two parties in conflict, Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), "to resume negotiations urgently without preconditions and in good faith.”

Finally, the AU Summit requested the Chairperson of the Commission to convey this decision to the parties, as well as to the United Nations, and affirmed that the AU remains seized of the issue of Western Sahara.

The decision of the Summit was adopted on the basis of the report presented by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, in accordance with decision 653 of the 29th session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the, held in July 2017.SPS