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Sahara : Russia's gift to the Polisario and Algeria at the Security Council

By urging the United Nations to reduce the MINURSO’s mandate to six months, instead of one year, Russia has offered the Polisario and Algeria a precious gift. Details.

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Russian reresentative at the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia./Ph. DR

At the UN Security Council, a new draft resolution on the Sahara will be submitted to a vote, expected to take place Friday afternoon. The final text has been drafted after the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held talks with Russian, Ethiopian and Swedish representatives, as well as members of the «Western Sahara Friends Club», Thursday in New York.

Some amendments have been added to the new draft resolution, which Yabiladi had the chance to take a look at, when compared to the first text issued on the 23rd of April. The major change that has been highlighted in the new version is the duration of the MINURSO’s mandate in the region and which should be extended to only six months, until October the 31st.

The new amendment urges the UN Secretary-General to present a bi-annual report on the situation in the region to the Security Council. It also calls UN Personal Envoy to Western Sahara and MINURSO leader Colin Stewart to deliver briefings on the Sahara.

In October, the General Assembly and the Security Council will discuss the Sahara issue

This change, which meets the Russian request, is believed to reassure the Polisario and Algeria about the fact that the territorial dispute will be discussed for a longer time by the UN. Not to mention that every October the Western Sahara question is discussed by the United Nations and Decolonization Committee.

In six months this issue will be on the schedule of the General Assembly and the Security Council. A lucky chance for Brahim Ghali and his movement.

Other segments at the final draft resolution have not been modified. The text calls for the «immediate withdrawal of the Polisario’s forces from El Guerguerate». Authors of the draft resolution have raised «concerns» regarding the Polisario’s announcement, insisting that it is planning to relocate its headquarters in Tindouf, Algeria to Bir Lahlou.

The same document advises «neighboring states» to strengthen their «commitments to the negotiation process so that they can accomplish their special and primordial efforts in supporting the political process», referring to Algeria, and Mauritania.

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