Polisario Rejects UN Peace Plan
The Polisario movement, which has been campaigning for an independent state in the Western Sahara for 26 years, has formally rejected a new United Nations peace plan, reported the BBC.online.
The plan, proposing political autonomy for the region, was intended to replace an earlier proposal to resolve the issue of sovereignty by a referendum.
Western Sahara has been under the control of Morocco since 1975.
The latest UN proposals were presented in detail just under three weeks ago by the special envoy on the Sahara issue, former US Secretary of States James Baker.
The key proposal was to replace the long-running idea of a referendum by a political arrangement whereby for the next five years the Western Sahara would operate as a semi-autonomous territory.
Morocco would keep its sovereignty and hold onto many of the key portfolios, including security, justice and economic affairs.
But a statement issued by the Polisario national secretariat stated that Baker's draft agreement was unacceptable and a waste of time, said the news service.
It called on Saharans to continue the resistance struggle in all its forms.
That struggle has included over a decade of all-out war, though the guns have been mostly silent since 1991 when both sides agreed in principle to resolve the issue through the referendum of self-determination, a policy which Polisario insists must be maintained.
The vote has never been held because of persistent disputes on who should be allowed to take part.
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has put his weight behind the Baker plan, but he is apparently at odds with some key members of the UN Security Council – Albawaba.com
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