Western Sahara's final status must be determined through self-determination referendum, says UN

APS : Thursday, 10 March 2016
WASHINGTON- The United Nations affirmed Thursday that Western Sahara final status will be determined through self
-determination referendum, rejecting Morocco’s misleading claims about the Sahrawi occupied territories.
“The status of Western Sahara territory will be determined, since it is considered as a non-self-governing territory,” said UN Secretariat General in a note issued on Wednesday in response to the questions of some media including APS on Morocco attempts to discredit UN SG over his claim that the Sahrawi territories are unfairly occupied by Morocco.
In its note transmitted Wednesday to APS, the UN added that all the member states, including Morocco accepted to determine the final status of these territories, under the General Assembly resolutions adopted without a vote.
The UN recalled, moreover, that the Security Council requested the United Nations to facilitate negotiations to reach a “political and mutually acceptable solution to allow self-determination of Western Sahara people.”
“Clearly, the challenge is the final status of the territory,” said the UN in its note.
The organization notes that during last Saturday’s visit to a Sahrawi refugee camp, the Secretary-General has been a “witness of a situation of despair,” resulting from decades of life without hope and in the most severe conditions, stating that the Sahrawis deserved a better future.
After failing to cancel Ban Ki moon visit to the region, Rabat on Tuesday accused UN Chief of dropping “neutrality” after using the word occupation.
The UN Secretariat General said that Ban Ki-moon spoke about occupation to highlight the Saharawi refugees’ inability to return to the occupied territories, in conditions which ensure satisfactory governance arrangements and allowing them to freely express their claims.
The UN recalls that Ban appealed for genuine negotiations between the Polisario Front and Morocco, to be conducted in good faith and without preconditions.
“The objective of reviving these negotiations in a positive spirit is giving hope to this people so they can return to their homes,” said the organization.
Moreover, the Secretariat general affirms about the expansion of MINURSO prerogatives to human rights monitoring, that “only the Security Council is entitled to define the mandates of UN missions.”
Ban Ki moon had said recently that he is “very aware” of the influence that have some members of the Security Council on the Sahrawi question.

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