Angola has appealed to the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation to “actively” support the efforts of the UN secretary-general to relaunch the peace process in Western Sahara.
Listed by the United Nations as one of the 17 Non-Autonomous Territories in the world since December 1963, Western Sahara has been occupied by Spain until 1975.
In the same year it transferred administrative control of the territory to Morocco.
The Polisario Front, which has been fighting for independence of the territory, proclaimed the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on February 27, 1976, with a government-in-exile, in Algeria.
During a meeting of the Decolonisation Committee, the permanent representative of Angola to the United Nations, Ambassador Maria de Jesus Ferreira, considered it crucial to appoint a new UN envoy to Western Sahara, in order to facilitate a referendum for the Saharawi people.
In line with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the resumption of talks between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco would allow the Saharawi people to freely and democratically exercise their right to self-determination, through a fair and lasting solution.
“Angola joins all those who promote the initiatives of the United Nations Security Council, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, which aim to restore the right to self-determination to the Saharawi people”, she declared.
Ambassador Maria de Jesus Ferreira explained that the process should be handled in compliance with international law and respect for the borders inherited from the colonial period, as provided for in the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU).
Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front Movement have been at loggerheads over the authority of the territory, with the PSM seeking the independence of the Sahrawi Republic also known as Western Sahara.
The diplomat encouraged the implementation of the Resolution Plan of the UN and the Organisation of the African Union (OAU), now the African Union, accepted by both parties and approved by the Security Council, in 1990 and 1991, to fulfill the Mission’s mandate of the United Nations for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).