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The UN Security Council to hold four meetings on the Western Sahara conflict in April

In the Security Council’s Provisional Program of Work for April 2019, the body's fifteen members are expected to hold four meetings on the Western Sahara conflict. In Berlin, Horst Köhler is expected to meet a Polisario delegation on Monday and Tuesday.

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The UN Security Council./Ph. DR

The United Nations Security Council revealed, March the 1st, the Provisional Program of Work for April 2019. During this month, members of the Security Council will hold four sessions on the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), which will have its six-month mandate extended.

In April, during which Germany will be presiding the Security Council, the body's fifteen members will hold a «briefing»on, April the 1st, on the «promotion and strengthening of the rule of law», which will be dedicated to a MINURSO’s report on «international humanitarian law».

The MINURSO’s mandate will be discussed again at the Security Council, on April the 9th and the 10th. On April the 29th, the UN Council will have to adopt a new resolution on the territorial conflict after the MINURSO’s mandate expires on the 30th of the same month.

Compared to last year, the UN Security Council held two meetings, only, on the situation in the Sahara, as opposed to the Provisional Program of Work for April 2019. Last year, the Council’s fifteen members met on April the 5th, 2018, in a private session entitled «meeting of the Security Council with the troop - and police - contributing countries pursuant to resolution 1353 (2001), annex II, sections A and B - Western Sahara».

Preparing for the second round table

During the same month, Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, presented a briefing on the situation in Western Sahara. «Members of the Council, Ms. Keita and representatives of participating contributing countries had an exchange of views», wrote the UN in a communiqué released following the meeting.

On the 28th of April, 2018, the Security Council held a session on the Western Sahara conflict, adopting the Resolution 2414, which extended the MINURSO’s mandate to six months for the first time in the history of the conflict.

The scheduled meetings on the Western Sahara conflict were revealed as the UN Personal Envoy for Western Sahara is currently preparing for the second round of the round-table to bring Morocco, the Polisario, Mauritania and Algeria together.

For the record, the four parties met on December the 5th and 6th in Geneva for the first time after the 2012 Manhasset’s meetings.

Currently in Berlin, Horst Köhler and a Polisario delegation are expected to «hold consultations from Monday to Tuesday».

According to the Front’s press agency SPS, «these consultations come in the context of Mr. Köhler's efforts aimed at activating the United Nations-sponsored political process in Western Sahara».

Köhler and the Polisario’s meeting in Berlin was announced last Monday by the Front’s press agency, which reported that consultations will take place in the beginning of March, quoting sources close to the UN personal envoy.

Meanwhile, Moroccan diplomatic sources couldn’t confirm that Horst Köhler would arrange a similar meeting with a Moroccan delegation in Berlin.

However, sources close to the file told Moroccan media that the Kingdom preferred to meet the German envoy in Paris instead of Berlin. These reports were denied by well-informed sources Yabiladi spoke to on Monday.

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