Swift action must be taken to end the “dangerous status quo” in Western Sahara and to finally grant independence to the “last African colony”, the Special Committee of 24 heard today, as it approved five draft resolutions on a range of items on its agenda.
“This is the last African colony to be decolonized,” Ahmed Boukhari, a representative of the Frente Polisario, told the Special Committee — known formally as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. He implored the Committee to “awaken from its long sleep”.
In the face of the people’s decades-long wait for the right to self-determination, the United Nations annual renewal of Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was “financing the extension of a stalemate”, he said, urging action to conduct the plebiscite, which had been on hold since 1992.
Delegates shared their views and concerns, with speakers calling on Morocco to extend all efforts to move the process forward. Colonialism was illegal, some pointed out, insisting that the question of Western Sahara must be resolved as quickly as possible in order to uphold the people’s right to self-determination. Algeria’s representative emphasized that “it is high time to give peace a chance”.
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