Highlights on Morocco

Polisario Leader Warns of Outbreak of War Between Polisario and Morocco

Rabat - Bashir Mustafa Assayid, the deputy secretary-general of the Polisario Front, said the failure of the United Nations Security Council in organizing a referendum on independence for the Sahrawi people has led to the possibility of another outbreak of war between the separatist group he represents and Morocco. 

Assayid made the comments on Tuesday at a press conference in Madrid. During the event he added that even if the Security Council extended the mandate U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Western Sahara - known by its French acronym of MINURSO - it would not be enough to guarantee the continuation of the ceasefire between the Front and the Moroccan government.

U.N. peacekeeping missions must submit yearly reports on their progress, which are then forwarded to the Security Council for a vote on the future of the international entity’s mandate regarding the ensuing conflict. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s 2016 report on MINURSO, which is usually released publicly by early April, has been delayed this year due to the U.N. leader's ongoing political row with the government of Morocco.

Last month, after visiting refugee camps housing Sahrawis in the Algerian city of Tindouf, Ki-moon mistakenly referred to Morocco’s presence in the Western Sahara as an “occupation.” Since then, millions of Moroccans have protested the statement as a deviation from the secretary-general’s duty to remain impartial when speaking about international disputes.

MINURSO was established in 1991 after the U.N. brokered a peace deal between Morocco and the Polisario Front, ending a 16-year war. The deal included a provision guaranteeing self-determination for the Sahrawi people, but a dispute regarding who should be allowed to vote in a referendum prevented the measure from being implemented.

The option of a referendum with the option of independence was dropped in 2004 when the Security Council came to the sober conclusion that provisions of the 1991 Settlement Plan could not be implemented on the ground.

Since the April 2007, the Security Council set new parameters of negotiations, and called on the parties to work in good faith and without precondition towards reaching, a long-lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.

In the latest draft of the report, Ki-moon warned of an “escalation to all-out war” over the Western Sahara and suggested the council to approve the distribution of 14 additional military and medical personnel in the region.

The top diplomat also urged the 15-member council to restore support for MINURSO and “promote the standards and neutralities of peacekeeping missions affiliated with the United Nations.”

The Security Council is scheduled to vote this Thursday a new resolution to extend the mandate of MINURSO for an additional year until April 30, 2017.

© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Comments

Editorial

Opinions

  • The Moroccan Gold Eldorado
    20

    The Moroccan Gold Eldorado, a Myth or a Reality?

    Rabat - Recently, a conspiracy theory video about a large gold discovery in Morocco is making rounds online. The video claims that a substantial gold reserve was discovered and is being extracted by a Canadian mining company called Maya Gold and Silver. We Moroccans are very proud human beings, we love our country and cherish...

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
    20

    Qatar: How the Tables Are Turning in The Gulf

    Rabat - Amidst harsh sanctions and a long list of demands from its neighbors, Qatar’s ability to thrive under pressure may prove to be problematic for Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia and its coalition attempt to wait out Qatar, the recent spat in the Gulf continues to become more and more global, and severely against...

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
    20

    Climate Change : If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Fix It

    Chefchaouen - Climate change is happening at home and around the world. Chefchaouen is doing its part by embracing clean energy climate solutions and engaging its citizens in climate action. When it comes to fighting climate change, cities and local leaders are best positioned to lead that charge. Local leaders from coastal to landlocked communities are...

  • 20

    India Orders Internal Probe into Mistaken Use of Morocco-Spain Border Picture

    Hyderabad - The Indian Ministry of Interior on Wednesday ordered an internal investigation to find out how a picture of Morocco-Spain border was used in its annual report to show floodlights along the India-Pakistan border. What is most embarrassing is that the annual report of previous years was tabled during the Budget Session of Indian...

  • Amid Growing Tension, Thousands of Moroccans Stage Pro-Rif March in Rabat
    20

    Neglect in Harsh Soil: The Deep Roots of the Rif Crisis

    Rabat - The ongoing protests in northern Morocco started almost eight months ago, but they have their origin in nearly a century of violent repression by the state. The Rif has, in spite of itself, got involved into a peaceful revolt since the death of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri at the end of October 2016, a...

  • Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani emir of Qatar
    20

    The Qatar Crisis: What Does It Mean?

    Rabat - The recent diplomatic fallout between Qatar and the rest of the Middle East could have serious economic and geopolitical consequences across the globe. Earlier this week, Qatar’s diplomatic crisis took an extreme turn as several Arab states severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.  The original list of countries in the coalition against...

  • Moroccans spend Laylat al-Qadr, the 26th day of Ramadan, at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.
    20

    Ramadan: Not just Abstinence from Daily Intakes 

    By Abdellatif Oudra Rabat - The observance of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, compels Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. But it is not just about abstaining from food or drink.  Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed in commemoration of the revelation of Qur’an to the prophet Mohammad,...

  • Morocco Threatens to Terminate Agriculture Agreement with Europe
    20

    Morocco and the EU: Managing the Future

    Rabat - Morocco enjoys proximity to Europe and is at an advantage of being favoured by the European Union as a close partner on political, economic, and cultural levels. Historical archives and political legacies tie Morocco directly with at least three influential European countries: France, Spain, and England. Demography, kinship, and immigration compel other EU...

  • The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab Spring
    20

    The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

    Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others. World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of...

  • Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri
    20

    Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

    Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science. Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil...