The UN Security Council has voted to restore the UN mission in disputed Western Sahara and bring the peacekeeping force back to full operations after Morocco expelled international civilian staff.
A US-drafted resolution was backed by 10 countries in the 15-member council on Friday. Venezuela and Uruguay voted against the measure, while Russia, Angola and New Zealand abstained.
Morocco last month expelled dozens of civilian staffers from the MINURSO mission in angry retaliation over Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s use of the term “occupation” to describe the status of the territory it claims as its own.
Several hundred Moroccan Jews protested against U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s characterization of Western Sahara as occupied by the North African kingdom.
The April 30 protest in Mazagan, 120 mile southwest of Rabat, was part of Mimouna, a traditional North African Jewish celebration held the day after Passover, and it featured group singing of Laayouna Ainiya, a Moroccan patriotic song from the 1970s about the contested area, the Assabah daily reported last week.
Last month, Ban angered Moroccan authorities when he said they were “occupying” the Western Sahara after they ordered the expulsion of 80 staffers from the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.