The Committee on House Administration of the United States Congress has formally approved the creation of the Congressional Western Sahara Caucus. The bipartisan caucus, chaired by Representatives Pitts (R-PA) and McCollum (D-MN), seek to promote a “peaceful, just solution” to the Western Sahara conflict. The caucus will focus on human rights in the Western Sahara as a key priority. The creation of the caucus represents an important step in bringing the issue of the Western Sahara to the attention of the U.S. government.
A statement issued by the office of Representative McCollum confirms that “the U.S. Department of State and international organizations have extensively documented the ongoing and widespread human rights abuses in some parts of the territory.” The statement also references the fact that MINURSO is the only peacekeeping mission with a human rights monitoring component, and the caucus’ work in the months leading up to the 2014 MINURSO mandate renewal vote will be particularly important in order to change the status quo.
To read the full statement, please click here.