Western Sahara – 18 March 2016

Western Sahara referendum key to peace

A referendum on the future of the disputed territory of Western Sahara holds the key to peace and stability in North Africa, the pro-independence Polisario Front said on Wednesday.

The former Spanish territory has been back in the spotlight after UN chief Ban Ki-moon angered Morocco by using the word “occupation” to describe its status.



UN worried about row with Morocco over Western Sahara

THE United Nations (UN) Security Council expressed concern on Thursday over an escalating row with Morocco over Western Sahara, but did not ask Rabat to drop plans to impose a drastic cut in staff at the UN mission in the disputed territory.

Morocco has ordered 84 staffers from the UN’s Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso) to leave in the coming days, a move the UN says will cripple the mission that was set up in 1991 after a ceasefire was reached.

“The council has expressed serious concerns,” Angolan ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins, who holds March’s council presidency, told reporters after a closed-door meeting.