New Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General Western Sahara Desert, Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura, a tour of participating countries begins this week conflict in the region.
However, De Mistura is currently facing a very different environment than his five predecessors because Morocco and the Polisario Front they keep the war Since the ceasefire was broken on 13 November 2020.
Under any condition, United Nations Secretariat The date or place he will be going and who he will be interviewing has not been officially announced, which has led to The tug of war between Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO in the last few days.
De Mistura will not go to the refugee camp, although the Moroccan press has published Saharan refugees in Tindouf (Algeria), Frente POLISARIO sources assured EL ESPAÑOL that “it is in contact with both sides and neighbouring countries to organize the agenda.”
The fact is that the Frente POLISARIO representative at the United Nations and MINURSO coordinator, Sidi Mohammad Omar, He was heading to the camp to receive their reception. “The tour will take place from January 13th to 19th and will meet with the two parties concerned – Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO – as well as neighbouring countries, Algeria and Mauritania, as the Polisario executive explained in an interview with EL ESPAÑOL.
Morocco and Polisario agreed that de Mistura would not visit the Moroccan-administered Western Sahara on his first visit, with many Saharan activists condemning human rights abuses.The most shocking case this year is Sultanahaya and his family.
Typically, access to Western Sahara is controlled by Morocco, and journalists, including certified pro-Saharan activists and international observers and lawyers, are often barred from entering.
Considering logistical preparations, De Mistura’s transfer will be on a plane of the Spanish Armed Forces Facilitates your travels in the region like previous envoys. Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albarez, during his meeting with de Mistura in Rome on 3 December, within the framework of the seventh session Mediterranean Dialogue, congratulated him on his appointment and conveyed “Spain, a member of the Group of Friends of Western Sahara, pledges to support him in restarting the dialogue.”
For or against?
On October 6, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, announced the appointment of former members of the Italian government Staffan de Mistura As his special envoy for the Sahara, he began work on 1 November. Subsequently, Guterres’ spokesman has clarified that “he will cooperate with all relevant interlocutors, including parties, neighbouring countries and other interested parties.”
On 5 November, de Mistura met at the United Nations with representatives of Polisario and Morocco to get in touch with the authorities on both sides. “He came to listen, it was the first contact. In my case, I explained Frente Polisario in the whole process. We talked about the trip, where he announced that he would be the same as the other envoys,” Sidi Mohammed revealed.
The Polisario leadership is not holding out much hope, although they are unaware of Demistura’s offer or advice. “Over the years we have made many concessions, some painful ones, to move this process forward, but in the end we have achieved nothing until the Council was silent as the ceasefire broke down in November. Not much hope, honest; no one’s support Security Council, denial and state of war with Morocco. However, as part of the conflict and with the idea of achieving a solution, we would like to hear from you,” Sidi Mohammed said.
From Polisario, who they believe de Mistura “must talk to” is a “dialogue” with Morocco who broke the ceasefire
If de Mistura puts on the table the war against Morocco announced by the Frente POLISARIO on 14 November 2020, diplomat Sidi Mohamed made it clear that “if Morocco insists on occupying the Saharan territory, it will not Ceasefire. Our position is very clear, whatever the envoy’s agenda, as long as there is no peace plan including a referendum on resolve, we will continue. The person de Mistura has to talk to is Morocco, the one that broke the ceasefire personal.”
De Mistura was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General at the United Nations Iraq, Afghanistan and Southern Lebanon.
Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser BrittaSpeaking in London at the end of 2021, Staffan de Mistura’s arrival was “good news”. Morocco, however, initially rejected his candidacy, although he had to reconsider his position under pressure from Council members. In addition, Rabat rejected a number of proposals and even stated that it would not accept envoys from the Nordic countries.
The Frente POLISARIO accepted Staffan de Mistura’s candidacy from the start. “You can’t predict what will happen and we are waiting for him to tell us. We have nothing against him. We have always asked him to be impartial and he intends to work within the framework of UN resolutions,” admitted Sidi Mohamed.
It’s hard to go back to the roundtable negotiations with four players: Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Polisario
However, it has rejected two of the 12 proposals in the past two years.Portuguese ex-minister Luis Amado claims Moroccan autonomy proposal seems good to him, while Romanian ex-prime minister Petre Roman is involved Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla.
In any case, for the Frente POLISARIO, the image of the envoy “is a complement to the process”. “We don’t think it – the tour – is anything extraordinary because there’s nothing special about what it does. It’s not an end in itself, it’s an aid to the project,” explains Sidi Mohamed.
The first Western Sahara envoy was James Baker, appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan In March 1997, the process was restarted with figures that could strengthen both parties. But he eventually resigned in 2004, and like the previous envoy, Horst Kohler.
In fact, the position has remained vacant since the former German president resigned in May 2019 for “health reasons”.Under his mandate, the Moroccan government and Polisario control Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), contacts have resumed, but the situation deteriorated after the ceasefire was broken. It’s hard to go back to the roundtable negotiations, with four players: Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Polisario, held in Geneva, facilitated by Horst Kohler.
“It’s impossible to go back because it’s very simple Roundtable format has expiredThe Frente POLISARIO will no longer be a part of it, but it is willing to have direct relations with Morocco,” said Sidi Mohamed, the Frente POLISARIO representative at the United Nations.
Polisario defended the envoy’s resignation because of “the inaction of the Security Council. It was never involved in advancing the process, so almost all the envoys resigned, starting with the James Baker‘, Sidi Mohamed insisted.