UN Resupplies Mission in Western Sahara to End Disagreement

Tue Apr 11 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The United Nations (UN) has sent an overland convoy to resupply its mission busy in peacekeeping in Western Sahara–controlled by separatists– for the first time since 2020.

The UN said in a statement that its presence in the field is vital to finding a way to end the disagreement over the territory.

UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that both sites hosting UN peacekeeper troops as part of the Minurso mission were resupplied from 5 to 7 April.

Since November 2020 and the resumption of fighting between the Moroccan government and separatists, the ground convoys have been limited, and supplies have arrived via helicopter and plane. This limited what could be brought in, especially fuel.

The sites in Mehaires and Tifariti are both east of the 2,700-kilometre-long sand wall separating the Moroccan-controlled area of the former Spanish colony from that controlled by the armed separatist movement the Polisario Front, which has been trying for independence since the 1970s.

The supplies were brokered with the Moroccan government’s and Polisario’s support.

UN presence in the field is vital

Dujarric said that the UN presence in the field is key to creating space for the political process to continue.

Morocco, which controls about 80% of the territory, constructed the sand wall in the 1980s, separating the territory from north to south.

It supports limited autonomy for the area, which would remain under the control of Morocco.

The Polisario Front has demanded independence and has criticized Morocco’s using its natural resources.

The UN currently considers Western Sahara a “non-self-governing territory”.

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