AFRICAN UNION CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF TALKS ON WESTERN SAHARA REFERENDUM

African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has urged Morocco and the Polisario Front “to create the necessary environment for the resumption of talks and the early holding of the self-determination referendum for the Saharawi people.”

Sharing the deep concern expressed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the tense situation in Al-Guargarat, the narrow buffer strip in the southwest of Western Sahara, the Chairperson emphasised that resumption of the talks should be in “in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, as well as the resolutions and decisions of the UN and the OAU/AU.”

The tense situation in Al-Guargarat developed since Aug 11 2016, when Moroccan military forces crossed the berm and, thereafter, the Polisario Front deployed military forces to the area.

In a press statement issued by the AUC, Dlamini-Zuma urged both parties to fully respect the Military Agreement Number 1 and to immediately end any violation to the 1991 Ceasefire Agreement, as well as to work in good faith and without preconditions for the resumption of talks.

The Chairperson also called upon the UN Security Council to expedite the necessary steps for the implementation of resolution 2285 (2016) of April 29, 2016, in order to restore the full functionality of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and enable the Mission to discharge its mandate, including overseeing the Ceasefire Agreement in the Territory.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK