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Morocco Crisis Update

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altAn eighth session of UN-led informal negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front on the Western Sahara ended in failure Thursday, July 21st, 2011 in a New York City suburb. “Each party continued to reject the proposal of the other as the sole basis for future negotiations,” said Christopher Ross, the UN envoy to the region. The next informal meeting will take place after the UN General Assembly in September 2011.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in late April for a one-year UN mission mandate in Western Sahara (Minurso) that will last until April 2012 and calls on Morocco and the Polisario to increase their negotiations. Rabat is proposing significant autonomy for Western Sahara with a local government and a sovereign parliament. The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, rejects the Moroccan plan and claims the people of Western Sahara have a right to self-determination through a referendum.

In actuality, the MINURSO counts with 227 total uniformed personnel, including 27 troops, 4 police officers, and 196 military observers. As well, their authorized personnel include 98 international civilian personnel, 162 local civilian staff, and 18 United Nations Volunteers. Among the countries that contribute military personnel are: Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Croatia, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and Yemen, among others. The Police officers come from Egypt, El Salvador, and Jordan.


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By Jatnna Garcia, CDRI Intern

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