UN calls for re-start in Western Saharan talks

  • Ashleigh Templeton
  • 14.4.2017 19:59

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, called for renewed talks on the Western Sahara conflict on 11 April, after months of tensions in the disputed territory.

Guterres stated that negotiations should address proposals from both Morocco and the Polisario Front separatist movement, as well as include input from neighbouring countries. A Polisario representative explained that the movement is ready for serious talks without preconditions. UN efforts to broker a settlement on the territory have repeatedly failed since the conflict began after colonial Spain’s departure in 1975. Polisario states that the disputed territory belongs to the Sahrawi people who fought against Morrocan rule until the UN-backed ceasefire in 1991. Tensions rose last year when a Moroccan gendarmerie went outside Morrocan-controlled areas in Guerguerat, causing the mobilisation of Polisario forces. In February, Moroccan forces withdrew from the buffer zone, however, Polisario forces remained.

About author: Ashleigh Templeton

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