The European Business Council for Africa

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the creation of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The mission was originally tasked with laying the groundwork for Sahrawi self-determination while monitoring a ceasefire between Morocco and Polisario – the Western Sahara national liberation movement. In setting up the mission, the United Nations promised to end the long-running conflict in what remains Africa’s only territory still awaiting decolonisation. Yet, three decades later, the UN has little to show.

Self-determination for the Sahrawi people appears more remote than when MINURSO was first launched in 1991. Meanwhile, the ceasefire is unravelling after the resumption of armed attacks by Polisario against Moroccan forces, stemming in large part from the absence of a viable peace process and the strengthening of Morocco’s hold over the territory. Diplomatic inaction has been compounded by the lack of a UN personal envoy, two years since the most recent appointee resigned in May 2019.

Read full report here.