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Developments of the situation in Western Sahara to be discussed by the UN Security Council on April 21st .

UN Security Council will hold next April 21st ,  a closed session to discuss the latest developments of the situation in Western Sahara in light of the resumption of the war between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Morocco, according to the council’s official program for the month of April.

During the session of the Security Council, whose presidency was handed over this month to Vietnam, a presentation will be made by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Colin Stewart, on the work of the United Nations mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), whose mandate was extended to next October 31st , in addition to shedding light on the developments of the Western Sahara issue in light of the continuing vacancy of the position of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Western Sahara.

Stephane Dujarric, the official spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, said in the daily press briefing of the United Nations that “the search for a suitable profile to take over the position of the UN personal envoy to Western Sahara is still continuing.”

In response to an inquiry about the delay in appointing a new envoy to succeed Horst Koehler, he said, “It is especially related to the difficulty of finding the right person to take on this mission.”

The issue of the UN envoy to Western Sahara was raised during the virtual meeting that brought together US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and during which, Blinken called on the UN Secretary-General, to “speed-up” the appointment of his personal envoy and renewed his country’s support for the resumption of political negotiations on Western Sahara.

The UN Secretary-General recognized on March 11th, during the presentation of an official report on the approval of the budget of the MINURSO mission for the period from July 2021 to July 2022,  the outbreak of war in Western Sahara, after Morocco violated the ceasefire on November 13 when its forces crossed the Guerguerat buffer zone and attacked defenseless Sahrawi civilians, at a time when Rabat denies the existence of war and attempts to conceal the losses sustained by its forces as a result of the operations carried out by the Sahrawi army.

In his report, Guterres expressed his “concern” about the continuous armed operations in Western Sahara, noting that “the MINURSO mission, which is now facing great challenges after the resumption of the war, will do its utmost to stop the confrontations” between the two parties to the conflict.

Observers believe that the next UN Security Council session on Western Sahara is “of a paramount importance”, being the first to be held after the US administration led by Joe Biden took power, and in light of the increasing calls to cancel former US President Donald Trump’s declaration of the alleged “sovereignty” of Morocco over Western Sahara.

It is worth noting that the last session of the UN Security Council on Western Sahara, at the request of Germany, was held on December 21st , 2020.

On the occasion of his country’s assumption of the presidency of the UN Security Council, the Vietnamese ambassador to the United Nations, Dang Dinh Quy, said, “Vietnam, like any other country, will strive to leave its mark by assuming the presidency of the Council,” the highest decision-making body in the United Nations.

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