De Mistura visits Sahrawi refugee camps

New York (United Nations), 2 September 2022 (SPS) - The UN Secretary-General's personal envoy for Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, will visit the Sahrawi refugee camps on Friday to meet with Polisario Front officials, indicated a UN spokeswoman.

As part of a series of visits to the region, the UN envoy "goes to the Sahrawi refugee camps today to meet with the leadership of the Polisario Front," affirmed Eri Kaneko.

"As he indicated at the beginning of his visit, the envoy is still looking forward to deepening consultations with all parties concerned on the prospect of constructively advancing the political process in Western Sahara," she added.

In January, the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, made his first visit to the region since his appointment last October, against the backdrop of the Polisario Front's reaffirmation of its position in favor of a political solution based on a self-determination referendum.

After starting his journey in Morocco, one of the two parties to the conflict, on January 13, the Italian-Swedish diplomat, whose main mission is to relaunch the political process in Western Sahara, visited the Sahrawi refugee camps on 15 and 16 of the same month, where he met with several officials of the Polisario Front, the sole legitimate representative of the Saharawi people.

Sahrawi officials reaffirmed their commitment to "full national independence," stressing that "the referendum remains an acceptable median solution.

In July, the Polisario Front strongly denounced the Moroccan occupier's ban on Mr de Mistura making his first visit to the occupied Saharawi territories, and deplored Rabat's "total lack of political will to engage constructively" in the UN-sponsored peace process in Western Sahara.