UN Security Council’s President: “We must admit having failed the people of Western Sahara”

New York (United Nations), 05 December 2020 (SPS) - The incumbent President of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Jerry Matjila, called last Tuesday on the international community to recognize its failure in Western Sahara and the failure to fulfill its promises to the Saharawi people to reach a definitive solution through the celebration of a referendum on self-determination.

During a press conference he held as the incumbent President of the Security Council on Tuesday 01 December, H.E. Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South African to the UN, said that “we (international community) should admit all of us having failed the people of Western Sahara and that we postponed the self-determination further and further away.”

With regard to the issue of Western Sahara, the South African Ambassador recalled the journalists, that the international community “have witnessed in the last three weeks a very difficult situation around Guerguarat. We have seen tension flare up between Frente Polisario and the Kingdom of Morocco Royal Forces around the route within that area,” recalling that as a result to this Moroccan new violation of the ceasefire, Polisario Front declared end of ceasefire and resumption of armed struggle for liberation.

He also recalled that the UN failed the Saharawi people even in appointing a Personal Envoy for the region, leaving the post empty for over one year, though he informed the journalists that the Secretary General is trying to find a candidate for the post.

“Should we look into another alternative mechanism? We don’t know. But the Secretary General will continue his effort to try to appoint the Envoy and he hopes that the parties will cease the fire and then the UN fulfills its unfulfilled promise to Saharawis, the Referendum,” he stressed, recalling that “the 1991 decision of ceasefire was based that on 1992 or 1993 there will be a referendum. 30 years, next year, there is no referendum.”

He also asked if “this new situation would prepare all of us to move with haste and restore what we decided as United Nations, both General Assembly and Security Council on the issue of Western Sahara.”

As South Africa, Ambassador Matjila stressed “we hope that the parties will seize the opportunity, de-escalate and we go back to the ceasefire, and the UN Security Council to seize the opportunity and move towards the referendum on Western Sahara.” (SPS)