POLISARIO Front urges UN Security Council to end status quo, Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara (Statement)

New York, May 2, 2019 (SPS) - The POLISARIO Front on Tuesday urged the United Nations Security Council to put an end to the status quo and demand that Morocco end its illegal occupation of Western Sahara.

Below is a full read of the statement:

“Press Release

To end the status quo, UN Security Council must unequivocally support the self-determination of the Sahrawi people

[Bir Lehlou, Liberated Territories of Western Sahara– 30 APRIL 2019] The Frente POLISARIO takes note of the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2468 (2019), which extends the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for a period of six months. The Frente POLISARIO also takes note of the Security Council’s call upon the two parties—the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco—to resume negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

The Frente POLISARIO reaffirms that the only practicable, realistic and enduring solution is one that grants our people their inalienable right to decide their own fate freely, democratically and without preconditions. The raison d’être of the Frente POLISARIO is to defend the inalienable rights and legitimate aspirations of the Sahrawi people and we will accept nothing less than the full respect for our people’s inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

By renewing the Mission’s mandate for six months for the third consecutive time, the Security Council has reaffirmed its commitment to advancing the UN peace process in Western Sahara, despite the strong opposition of those who seek to maintain the status quo. We regret, however, that the Security Council has missed a significant opportunity to follow through on its commitment to end the status quo and demand that Morocco cease its illegal occupation of Western Sahara. 

The failure of the Security Council to unequivocally condemn Morocco’s destabilising actions and rampant bad faith efforts only emboldens the Moroccan occupying power to persist in its intransigence, and undermines an already fragile political process. We have already seen the damaging effects of the Security Council’s silence. In recent months, Morocco has increased the pace and magnitude of its violations to the ceasefire and brutally repressedthe Sahrawi population living in the occupied territories. Morocco has done its utmost to disrupt and derail the UN-led peace process, including by refusing to undertake confidence building measures to demonstrate its willingness to make progress on the political track. These threats to peace require a clear response by the Security Council and Morocco must be held accountable for its actions. 

The Frente POLISARIO reaffirms its sincere and constructive cooperation with the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, President Horst Köhler. We remain ready to engage constructively in UN-facilitated direct negotiations between the two parties. It is therefore imperative that the Council move ahead urgently to reinforce the political process and to ensure that the next stages deliver tangible outcomes for our people and fully respect their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.