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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The United Nations' failure in resolving the Western Sahara conflict
Authors:Zoubir, Yahia H.ISNI
Pazzanita, Anthony G.ISNI
Periodical:Middle East Journal
Geographic terms:Morocco
Western Sahara
peace negotiations
peacekeeping forces
Abstract:Although a peace plan was accepted by Morocco and the Polisario in 1988, and despite a UN presence in the Western Sahara since 1991, the UN has failed to implement a referendum on self-determination in the former Spanish colony. This article reviews the main reasons that have prevented the denouement of this long-lasting conflict. The plan put forward by UN Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar on 18 June 1990 called for a cessation of hostilities, troop withdrawals, the setting up of a UN force - the United Nations' Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso) - the establishment of an identification commission to assemble and publish a list of eligible Sahrawi voters, and a referendum to be held about 24 weeks after the beginning of the process. The choice for the Sahrawi people was to be between integration with Morocco and independence. Continued disputes over voter-registration criteria are one of the most important reasons why, so far, a referendum has not been held. The end of the conflict in the Western Sahara is still quite problematic. In his March 1994 report the present UN Secretary-General, Boutros-Ghali, has even suggested dismantling Minurso and leaving the Western Sahara for good. Notes, ref.