The UN has still not appointed an emissary to the Sahara

The United Nations (UN) has recognized its inability to appoint a new envoy of the UN SG to the Moroccan Sahara, to succeed the former German president, Horst Köhler to the chagrin of Algeria and the Polisario.

Almost two years have passed since the former UN envoy resigned his post for “health reasons”, when he had succeeded in bringing the parties to the conflict together on the same table, including the main protagonist and stakeholder Algeria, mainly involved in this regional dispute. To find a replacement for him, as Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, would say, “It is not the easiest job on the UN list. It is critical work ”.

In view of all this delay in the appointment of a new UN envoy to the Moroccan Sahara, we can align ourselves with the complexity of the situation, especially when two antagonists, Algeria and the Polisario, put pressure on it. ‘UN institution and its Secretary General António Guterres who according to Dujarric “sought to fill this post. However, as is the case in many of these appointments, not everything is in his hands … but he is doing his duty “. These statements from United Nations officials indicate the difficulty of the task of appointing a UN mediator for the Sahara. But the complexity of this file is neither more nor less than the rigidity of the positions of Algeria and the Polisario Front, in particular vis-à-vis the autonomy proposal, which Morocco considers the only solution to put an end to this dispute. .

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As for the other factor of the vacancy of this post, it resides in the refusal of the political and diplomatic personalities of the whole world to present themselves for this mission “of emissary of the SG of the UNO in the Sahara”, knowing in advance that it is doomed to failure, as happened with Horst Kohler and before him with James Baker or Peter Walsum and Christopher Ross for the most part. The role of the UN envoy on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara remains limited to mediation and the convergence of points of view, and he cannot impose his agenda on any of the parties to the conflict.

Horst Köhler, had recognized, after the end of the second round table in Geneva, the difficulty of reaching a political solution at the current stage, adding that “the period to come will oblige us to ask substantive questions” which neither will be able to answer. Algeria or the Polisario. A political solution under the aegis of the United Nations therefore becomes more difficult, especially after the “Polisario” front violated the ceasefire agreement and hampered trade movements at the Guerguerat border post. This had earned him a marked international condemnation. This international vacuum in the Sahara poses no problem for the Kingdom of Morocco, which continues to gather more diplomatic victories on the ground and to accomplish major development projects in the southern provinces. While Algeria is pushing for the appointment of a UN official to give a new outlet to the “Polisario” front, after the successive defeats suffered.

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