Western Sahara independence seems as inviable

Dutch diplomat van Walsum, the UN secretary-general's personal envoy to Western Sahara, believes the independence of the desert territory from Morocco to have become an unrealistic plan.

Western Sahara independence seems as inviable
By World Bulletin Staff

Western Sahara independence seems as inviable because of Morocco and Western Saharawi independence movement Polisario Front have not agreed yet over issue.

Morocco's proposal of an autonomy for the territory, which it annexed after the colonial power Spain withdrew from there in 1975, has been received favourably by the United States and France, but the Western Saharawi independence movement Polisario Front continues insisting on a referendum on independence.

Dutch diplomat Peter van Walsum, the United Nations' secretary-general's personal envoy to Western Sahara, believes the independence of the desert territory from Morocco to have become an unrealistic plan, the Spanish daily El Pais reported Friday.

"Thirty years of weighty legal arguments from Polisario did not produce any result," with the UN Security Council unwilling to "impose a solution," van Walsum said.

The referendum is foreseen in a 1991 United Nations plan adopted when Morocco and Polisario agreed on a ceasefire following 15 years of war in the desert.

However, the referendum was never staged because of opposition from Morocco, which quarrelled with Polisario over who would be allowed to vote.

"It is necessary to take into account the risk of creating false hopes and of prolonging the agony" of the 160,000 Saharawi refugees staying in Algerian camps, he explained.
Last Mod: 09 Ağustos 2008, 13:31
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