Western Sahara: Oxfam calls for inclusive, durable and just solution as mandate renewed for 6 months

Published: 30th April 2019

Oxfam welcomes the decision of the UN Security Council to renew the mandate of MINURSO for a further 6 months instead of the usual one-year extension, compelling the parties to take real and substantive action in a timely matter.
Oxfam Country Director in Algeria, Haissam Minkara, said: “This marks the 20th renewal of MINURSO and the Sahrawi crisis remains unresolved. In the meantime, the Sahrawi refugees continue to endure 43 years of exile living in the harshest and most inhospitable environment. It’s time for the international community to live up to the expectations of the Sahrawi people for an end to the status quo and to find a durable and mutually-acceptable solution to this crisis that will provide for their self-determination.
“Oxfam welcomes the recent UN Secretary-General’s report on the situation concerning Western Sahara, including his recommendation that the parties seize the opportunity provided by the round-table discussions hosted by the UN Personal Envoy, Horst Koehler, and to continue to engage in good faith and without preconditions in the political process.
“Oxfam believes that the formal participation of Sahrawi youth, women and civil society representatives in the political process are crucial for building trust between the parties to the conflict and achieving a peaceful solution that is just, mutually-acceptable and durable.
“Every year that goes by without a solution deepens the Sahrawi refugees’ feeling that the international community has abandoned them. Oxfam encourages all the parties involved to seize this opportunity to advance the political process in as transparent and inclusive a manner as possible. Sahrawis must be afforded a chance to live with dignity."

Notes to editors

The dispute over the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara has been ongoing since 1975 when the conflict erupted. This has led to the displacement of thousands of Sahrawis who sought shelter in the Algerian desert, and who have remained there ever since.

You can find further information on the MINURSO mandate here: https://minurso.unmissions.org/

Oxfam has been responding to the Sahrawi refugee crisis since 1975. You can find further information about Oxfam’s programs here: https://www.oxfam.org/en/countries/western-sahara

Contact information

Laurence.Chiasson@oxfam.org  |  + 231 656 10 85 20  |  Skype : lalou.chiasson

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