The United Nations Security Council, by virtue of its Resolution 2554 of October 27, 2022, approved the extension of the MINURSO mission in the Moroccan Sahara for one more year, with 13 votes in favor, with the abstention of Russia and Kenya.
The new resolution extends the mission of the UN mission until October 31, 2023. It also calls on the parties to return to the negotiating table that was last held in 2019, and supports the efforts of the Special Envoy for the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution based on consensus.
In this regard, Dr. Khaled Al-Sharqawi Al-Sammouni, Director of the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Rabat, says that “not mentioning the self-determination referendum is in the interest of Morocco. The Security Council also makes an urgent call to Algeria and Mauritania, as main parties, to participate in the process, within the framework of the round tables”, noting that this issue is more in line with Morocco’s position, so The United Nations is waiting. that Algeria clarify its official position on the conflict as an essential party in the case.
He added that the Security Council resolution irreversibly establishes the superiority, credibility and seriousness of the Moroccan autonomy plan, which serves to reaffirm the massive support of the international community for the political solution contained in the Moroccan autonomy initiative.
He explained that this initiative, which Morocco presented in 2007 as a political solution to the Moroccan Sahara conflict, finds positive echoes in the international community, which sees in it the most appropriate and optimal solution that would close the door to the so-called separatists. Polisario and those behind it, and demand the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.
The director of the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Rabat also stated that “the Moroccan autonomy initiative was presented as a political solution to establish the impossibility of implementing the principle of self-determination in the way desired by Algeria and the Polisario Front, an initiative that was endorsed by members of the UN Security Council as they affirmed their full support for the political process that has been under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations since 2007.
Sammouni stressed that the Security Council, as the highest executive body of the United Nations, is very clear in this regard, since it implicitly affirmed in its resolution 2654 the primacy of the autonomy initiative within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty, and called for participation in the framework of the round tables established by virtue of Security Council Resolutions No. 2414 and 2440, in which Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario participate, as the optimal mechanism towards a realistic, practical and consensual political solution.
He explained that Resolution No. 2654, similar to previous resolutions since 2007, is a reference and a roadmap for the solution of the Sahara conflict, which can only be political, realistic and permanent, and can crystallize through serious discussions. and good intentions inside. within the framework of the Round Tables, taking into account the advances noted by the former Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Horst Koehler, pointing out that all this constituted the only way to conduct the exclusive political process of the United Nations. Nations to its conclusion.
He continued: “The international community has chosen the path of legitimacy through an irreversible option for a political, realistic, practical and lasting solution, embodied in the autonomy initiative, and the discussion on the Moroccan Sahara file within of the Council is heading towards the adoption of the road map drawn up by this initiative to resolve the protracted conflict, which by Holding the future and the aspirations of the peoples of the Maghreb Union hostage to this conflict in the first place, at a time when that these peoples need unity and solidarity more than ever, with the escalation of regional blocs between states.
Al-Sammouni lamented the obstruction of the negotiations in the framework of the Round Tables due to the obstacle of the Algerian position, despite the seriousness and credibility of the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco, which was valued by the international community.
He pointed out that Morocco, despite all this, advances in the affirmation of its just national cause before the international community, adhering to preserving its territorial integrity and the legitimacy of its presence in its southern provinces, and promoting the status and development of these regions. in light of a development project that will be strengthened by greater regionalization.