The Western Sahara conflict remains a major concern for Algeria, which calls on Morocco and the « Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) » to engage in direct and serious negotiations to settle this long-standing dispute. The territory is claimed by both Morocco and the SADR, proclaimed by the Polisario Front in 1976, a movement supported by Algeria, whose objective is the full independence of the Sahara.
Having become a global issue illustrating the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, the Western Sahara issue is still blocking the construction of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). The Polisario relies on an « overwhelming consensus among the Saharawis living in the territory in favour of independence and against integration with any neighbouring country », as described in a UN report. Morocco bases its claim on the Madrid Accords and on past allegiance links between Saharawi tribes and Moroccan sultans.
« The personal envoy is not enough. There must be a process… We continue to say that there must be direct and serious negotiations between the parties to the conflict, Morocco and the Polisario Front, » Sabri Boukadoum, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the press on Saturday at the Forum of the Economy of Culture. He recalled that his country has been requesting, for almost two years, the appointment of a new envoy for the Sahara and that a dozen candidates proposed to occupy this post vacant since 2019, have « all been rejected by a party to the conflict.
The Western Sahara issue is on the agenda of the next Security Council meeting to be held on 21 April. The Algerian minister noted that this virtual meeting is taking place in a « new context, that of the breakdown of the ceasefire » last November.
The Algerian Foreign Minister, who had recently attacked Morocco diplomatically in Spain, said that Algeria had initiated discussions with the 15 members of the Security Council on the subject. According to him, these consultations are « good », as this is an important issue for both Algeria’s security and peace in the region.