UN ends Western Sahara envoy mandate

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has decided not to renew the mandate of his personal envoy for the Western Sahara, Dutch diplomat Peter van Walsum, writes today’s Volkskrant.

The Polisario Front, which is fighting for independence for the Western Sahara that was annexed by Morocco in 1975, refuses to have anything more to do with the diplomat whom it considers ‘pro-Moroccan’, the paper says.
In April, Van Walsum released a report which said that although Polisario’s goal of independence was legitimate, it was also unrealistic. This was because Morocco would never agree to the UN Security Council’s demand that it hold a referendum on the issue.
He recommended that Polisario drop its insistence on full independence. The liberation movement then demanded that the UN find another mediator.

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