World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Envoy Urges Resolution To Western Sahara Crisis


Amidst Series Of Meetings, UN Envoy Urges Resolution To Western Sahara Crisis
New York, Nov 12 2012 6:10PM Amid the rising threat of extremist elements in Africa's Sahel region, the dispute over Western Sahara must be resolved before lingering hostilities consume the North African country and plunge the entire region into renewed conflict, the United Nations top official on the issue warned today.

In a press statement released following his visit with the Foreign Minister of Spain in Madrid, the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, cautioned that the crisis had lasted "far too long" and called any acceptance of the status quo a "serious miscalculation."

"I am urging the parties to move swiftly into serious negotiations, and I am asking key members of the international community to use their influence to encourage the parties to do so," Mr. Ross stated, adding that in a region in transition, a conflict such as the one in the Western Sahara "cannot be allowed to stand still."

The UN has been involved in mediation efforts to find a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the movement known as Frente Polisario, after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended. A UN peacekeeping force, known as the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has also been in place since 1991.

The envoy said the current status quo is threatened by developments in West Africa's Sahel region, which has seen the growing presence of Islamist extremists and militants, including a branch of Al Qaida. Recently, in Mali, radical Islamists seized control of the north, where they have imposed an extremist version of Muslim Sharia law and stringent rules targeting women.

The instability and insecurity resulting from renewed clashes in Mali, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability has sparked fears among many in the international community that the Sahel as a whole is on the brink of destabilization.

Mr. Ross pointed out that in this dangerously precarious environment, the Western Sahara's festering hostilities risked sparking renewed violence which would be "tragic for the people of Western Sahara and for North Africa as a whole."

According to the UN official's statement, Spanish officials were "keen" to contribute to the mediation efforts and Mr. Ross noted that he had "benefited greatly" from the exchange with his Spanish interlocutors.

Prior to his trip to Spain, Mr. Ross also met with delegations from countries neighbouring Western Sahara - Algeria and Mauritania - which have been active in establishing confidence-building measures and seeking a solution to the situation.

In addition, the UN envoy will make stops in Paris, Washington, D.C., London and Moscow where he plans to address the issue with his counterparts in those Western capitals before returning to North Africa.

"The conflict must be resolved," Mr. Ross said, "and I believe that it can be resolved if there is a will to engage in real dialogue and compromise to find a solution that is honourable for all." Nov 12 2012 6:10PM ________________ For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UN.News.Centre) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/UN_News_Centre)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news