The three Saharawi political detainees, Cheikh Khaya, Brahim Leghzal and Laarbi Massoudi (see week 21 appeared before the court of Agadir. They are considered as spies of the Polisario Front and accused of endangering the security of the State, article 206 of the Moroccan criminal code. Their four advocates as well as the accused could express theirselves in good conditions. The judgment will be delivered on June 2 (AFAPREDESA, SPS, communiqué AARASD).
Security Council Resolution S/RES/1301 (2000)
After two days of heated negotiation, due to the growing division within the Council on how to deal with the Western Sahara problem, the two months extension of the MINURSO mandate was decided. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States, reached 12 votes in favour to one against (Namibia) with two abstentions (Jamaica, Mali). The Council endorses expressly the observations and recommendations outlined by the Secretary-General in his last report. Noting that fundamental differences between the parties over the interpretation of key aspects of these agreements remain to be resolved, it expects from the parties «specific and concrete proposals that can be agreed to in order to resolve the multiple problems relating to the implementation of the Settlement Plan», and «explore all ways and means to achieve an early, durable and agreed resolution to their dispute over Western Sahara.»
This allusion that an alternative might have to be considered was not endorsed by some of the member states, concerned that the Council was implying that it was virtually abandoning 9-year-old efforts to hold the referendum.
Namibia, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Mali, Argentina and Malaysia reaffirmed their committment to the UN Settlement Plan, regretting that consultations would not have been continued in order to achieve a consensus text or to accept just a technical resolution to extend of the MINURSO mandate.
Namibia stated it could not endorse observations seeking to depart from the implementation of the Settlement Plan and voted against the resolution. The Netherlands said that, although the text did not adequately reflect the continued commitment to the Settlement Plan expressed by many delegations, including his own, his country would vote in favour of the resolution because it did not want to block efforts towards the resolution of the Western Sahara dispute.
The finally adopted four-Power UN resolution opens the door for the virtual renunciation of its own UN Settlement Plan.
Polisario Front has expressed strong opposition to some clauses of the Security Council Resolution. Through its representative in New York, Boukhari Ahmed, it stressed that there was no alternative to the UN settlement plan. Polisario's position was outlined in a letter which Mr. Boukhari Ahmed delivered to the Security Council president in which he stressed Polisario's opposition to the Security Council's endorsement of observations and recommendations included in the S.G.'s last report (agencies).
«We are not happy with this resolution at all because it is the beginning of a tendency that will end in putting doubts on the workability of the peace plan and the referendum. It is, from my point of view, trying to look for other solutions different from the peace plan. It is a historical mistake and will not work», Boukhari told PANA.
In reply for comments on the resolution, the permanent representative of Morocco to the UN, Ahmed Snoussi said, «a resolution is a resolution. We will continue to support the secretary general in his actions.» (PANA)
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