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Western Sahara

At the end of February, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton called Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara ‘serious, realistic and credible’ (language she had used before, in March 2011).

Morocco illegally invaded and occupied Western Sahara in 1975, and wishes to retain control of the country, which contains phosphates, has rich fishing grounds, and has oil and gas potential.

Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika rebuffed Clinton’s intervention by repeating his country’s support for a referendum on the future of the territory, as called for in United Nations security council resolution 690.

UNSCR 690 actually set up a UN mission called MINURSO (the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara), specifically to oversee the referendum that has never happened. MINURSO’s mandate is up for renewal in April.

The Western Sahara Campaign is calling for people to write to their MPs to demand that MINURSO be given a human rights monitoring role, as William Hague agreed was appropriate when he was in opposition in 2010.

For details of this and other campaigns:

Topics: Western Sahara