Progress towards a political solution to the conflict in Western Sahara remains deadlocked. For the Saharawi, the day-to-day grim reality of stalemate persists. All continue to be denied the right to self-determination which the UN ceasefire agreement promised them some 26 years ago.
Morocco continues its efforts to gain economically from the occupation of the territory. And repression and human rights abuses continue in the areas of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation. Unchecked Moroccan power – manifest in violence against civilians, and the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s resources – brings instability to the territory. Above all, the continued denial of the Saharawi’s right to self-determination creates tension and frustration.
Not only are the ongoing human rights abuses committed by Moroccan forces in Western Sahara unacceptable in themselves, but they can only hinder a peaceful resolution of the conflict. In our recommendations we therefore once again highlight the need for MINURSO to be given a legal mandate to, at the very least, monitor human rights in Western Sahara.
The UN needs to take action to build confidence among the people of the region, especially the Saharawi, that law and human rights will be respected in the future of Western Sahara. Without that confidence, renewed conflict remains a danger; with it, a peaceful solution becomes a possibility.
Find out more via our 2018 MINURSO Briefing.
Join us in taking action. You can write to members of the UN Security Council ahead of the annual MINURSO vote at the end of April. Find out how you can get involved here.