At a press conference in Algiers, the « Minister of Foreign Affairs » of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Ould Salek, said that the Polisario wanted a seat at the UN. « The Sahrawi state claims its seat at the United Nations since Morocco continues to erect obstacles to the holding of a self-determination referendum, » he demanded.
In the run-up to the consideration of the Western Sahara issue in the Security Council, scheduled for 21 April, the Polisario Front has already launched its extensive communication campaign. At a press conference yesterday in Algiers, Mohamed Ould Salek, said that the Polisario wanted a seat at the UN. « The Sahrawi state claims its seat at the United Nations since Morocco continues to erect obstacles to the holding of a referendum on self-determination, » he demanded.
The « Minister of Foreign Affairs » of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Ould Salek, also reiterated the rejection of his movement to « repeat the bitter and painful experience of three decades of waiting, » reports the Polisario press agency. This outing is part of the campaign by the Polisario to promote the peace process.
The Polisario representatives in Algiers and New York have already announced the colour in statements to the press, pointing out in particular the passivity of the United Nations to organise a referendum in Western Sahara. This option has been ruled out for more than 17 years. In January 2000, Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the UN, put an end to the Commission for the identification of voters eligible to take part in the referendum.
From 1993 to December 1999, the Saharawi press notes, only 2,130 candidates were eligible to vote out of a list of 51,220 applicants in the Sahara. As it is not a member of the UN, the Polisario does not attend the meetings of the Security Council and does not directly refer to the Secretary General. It always uses a third state to transmit its letters and observations.
It should be recalled that since the 1991 ceasefire, Morocco controls and administers about 80% of the territory of Western Sahara, while the Polisario Front controls 20% left by Morocco behind a long security belt, which has now become the de facto border. The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara patrols the whole territory.