De Mistura visits the Tindouf camps and the Polisario criticizes the failure of the United Nations
Algeria: The new UN envoy for Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, arrived on Saturday at the Sahrawi camps in Tindouf, southwest Algeria, as part of a tour from which the Polisario Front does not expect much, according to Algerian official media.
De Mistura began his first tour in the region on Thursday, from Morocco, to which he reiterated his position on the necessity of “resuming the political process under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations to reach a political solution on the basis of the Moroccan initiative for autonomy,” which is rejected by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia El Hamra and Oued Eddahab (Polisario). ) and calls for a referendum for self-determination.
The representative of the Polisario Front at the United Nations, Sidi Mohamed Ammar, said in a press statement carried by Algerian state television that “De Mistura is visiting the region and it is witnessing a state of open war between us and the occupying Moroccan state” since the ceasefire violation in November 2020 “which has restored all efforts.” internationalism to ground zero.
“We will listen to Mr. de Mistura and tell him clearly our position on the peace process and its prospects (…), although we do not expect much because it is the first visit and it is a communicative visit,” he said.
“The Polisario Front will not be in a position to negotiate with Mr. Staffan de Mistura, but we will listen to him,” he added.
The Algerian News Agency also quoted an official in the Polisario Front, that “De Mistura’s visit to the region is not different from the visit of his predecessors, in light of the failure of the United Nations to take serious measures and the inaction of the Security Council.”
“We do not wait for de Mistura to come up with a solution to the issue,” said Izzat Ibrahim Babe, head of the Boujdour camp south of Tindouf.
Western Sahara, which is in dispute between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, is classified by the United Nations among the Non-Self-Governing Territories
De Mistura took office last November after Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco at the end of August, after accusing the Kingdom of committing “hostile acts” against it, while the latter expressed its regret at the decision and “rejected its false justifications.”
After the Sahrawi camps, the UN envoy will travel to Algiers before concluding his tour in Mauritania on January 19.
Western Sahara, which is in conflict between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, is classified by the United Nations among “Non-Self-Governing Territories”.
Rabat, which controls nearly 80% of the lands of this vast desert region, has launched major development projects in recent years, and is proposing to grant it autonomy under its sovereignty.
As for the Polisario Front, it calls for a referendum for self-determination under the supervision of the United Nations, which was decided upon when the ceasefire agreement was signed between the Kingdom and the Front in September 1991.