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Morocco sees the UN resolution on the Sahara as a message of clarity, firmness and constancy

The Minister of Foreign Affairs issues a statement detailing the declaration adopted by the Security Council
Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco

Morocco takes a very positive view of resolution 2548, adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2020 on the question of Western Sahara, and considers that it has a triple message: a message of clarity, firmness and constancy.

A statement issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, breaks down point by point what they consider to be positive aspects for the Moroccan positions.

First, a message of clarity in defining the real parties to this regional dispute, expressly pointing out Algeria's role. Algeria is thus cited no less than five times, whereas it was not mentioned at all in the resolutions prior to 2017. The Moroccan minister concludes that the Security Council therefore urges Algeria to assume a role commensurate with its political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian involvement in this regional dispute. No political process can be conceived without the effective and constructive participation of that country.

Second, clarity in identifying the purpose of the political process. The resolution leaves no doubt about the Security Council's commitment to "a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution based on compromise". 

The Moroccan diplomat's view is that this is the way in which the Security Council reiterates its commitment to a political solution and definitively rules out all unviable options. The resolution clearly implies that any solution that is not pragmatic, unrealistic or feasible and should therefore be discarded; and finally, there is clarity on the path of the political process, through the round tables, which should involve all the parties concerned, particularly Algeria. 

The communiqué stresses that the resolution does not in fact contain any reference to the referendum, whereas it refers six times to the political solution. Those who continue to refer to the referendum option fall outside the scope of the UN resolution, which embodies both international legality and the will of the international community. 

As for the message of firmness, the Moroccan text indicates firmness, firstly, on the question of the census of the populations abducted from the Tindouf camps. The Security Council therefore stresses Algeria's humanitarian responsibility, which it is obliged to fulfil in accordance with its international obligations.

The resolution calls on Algeria to "once again consider registering the refugees in the Tindouf camps". Furthermore, it is firm in its respect for the cease-fire and the end of acts of provocation and destabilisation.

Campamento de refugiados de Boudjdour en Tinduf, en el sur de Argelia
PHOTO/REUTERS - Boudjdour refugee camp in Tindouf, southern Algeria

In Resolution 2548, the Security Council agrees with the Secretary-General's report in its concern at the recurrent violations of the Military Agreement and the real threat to the ceasefire. Indeed, the Secretary General had informed the Security Council of 53 violations committed by Polisario militias and pointed out that the terms of Military Agreement No. 1 were much less respected by Polisario. The Secretary-General thus observed "an erosion" of collaboration with MINURSO.  It should be recalled that the Security Council, in its resolution 2414 (2018), had already called on Polisario to carry out "its immediate withdrawal" from the El Guerguerat buffer zone and to "refrain from such destabilizing acts", which could jeopardize the political process.

The third salient aspect of the message refers to consistency: coherence in preserving Morocco's achievements, particularly the Moroccan autonomy initiative as the basis for any political solution; the parameters of realism, pragmatism and commitment that characterise the Moroccan initiative.

Furthermore, several countries, in particular the permanent members of the Security Council, have reiterated in this resolution their support for Morocco's initiative.

The communiqué stresses the consistency of the definition of MINURSO's mandate: The Security Council confirms that this mandate is limited to the strict observance of the ceasefire; it has not yielded to the logic of political blackmail, banditry and harassment of the UN Secretariat, which was pressing for the modification of MINURSO's missions; and it definitively confirms the mandate of MINURSO, whose presence is in no way linked to a hypothetical referendum, an option which has been ruled out by the Security Council.

The assessments of the Moroccan minister of foreign affairs conclude that, on the eve of the celebration of the "anniversary of the glorious Green March", Security Council Resolution 2548 reinforces Morocco's approach, which is based on the following principles: international legality; the will of the people; the reality on the ground; the continuation of the development dynamic; and increasing recognition by the international community, as evidenced by the multiplication of the opening of Consulates General in the southern provinces.