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UN mission in Western Sahara renewed for only six months

UN mission in Western Sahara renewed for only six months

Morocco

The UN Security Council on Wednesday approved a resolution renewing the UN Minurso mission in Western Sahara for six months.

The move is to break the twenty-seven-year impasse around the disputed territory.

This comes as the first talks between the various parties since 2012 are scheduled for early December.

It is time to see progress toward a political solution, and after 27 years, to stop perpetuating the status quo.

The direct talks which will be headed by UN special Envoy and former German president, Horst Kohler, would be the first in 10 years.

Amy Tachco, Political Coordinator of the Permanent Mission of the United States to the UN said there can be no more business as usual.” adding that Reducing the usual one-year mandate to six months means that the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy has to report more regularly to the Council and keeps pressure on the parties involved to make progress.

“It is time to see progress toward a political solution, and after 27 years, to stop perpetuating the status quo,” he noted.

The agreement was adopted by 12 of the 15 members of the Security Council. Russia, Ethiopia and Bolivia abstained.

UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres, wanted the Minurso to return to a one-year mandate.

This is the second time, after April, that his mandate has been extended for only six months.

The Minurso peacekeepers have guaranteed a ceasefire between the two parties since 1991.

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