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Western Sahara



1. Timeline Retour à la table des matières

April 2013
Unanimous adoption of resolution 2099 which extends MINURSO’s mandate for one year

April 2012
Unanimous adoption of resolution 2044 which extends MINURSO’s mandate for one year

April 2011
Unanimous adoption of resolution 1979 which extends MINURSO’s mandate for one year

March 2011
Informal talks in Malta

January 2011
Informal talks at Westchester, New York

December 2010
Informal talks at Westchester, New York

November 2010
Informal talks at Greentree (Long Island, NY), led by Christopher Ross, Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN, 8 and 9 November.
Incidents in Laayoune

April 2010
Unanimous adoption of resolution 1920 on 30 April, extending the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2011

February 2010
Informal talks in Westchester (near New York) on 10 and 11 February, organized by Christopher Ross, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

August 2009
Informal talks in Dürnstein (Austria) organized by Christopher Ross.

April 2009
Adoption of resolution 1871

January 2009
The UN Secretary General appoints Christopher Ross his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, succeeding Peter van Walsum.

April 2008
Adoption of resolution 1813

October 2007
Adoption of resolution 1783

August 2007
Second UN-sponsored talks in the same format as June

June 2007
First UN-sponsored talks between Morocco and the Polisario, in the presence of Mauritania and Algeria, at Manhasset (near New York City)

April 2007
Morocco presents the UN with a plan to grant autonomy to the Western Sahara.
Adoption of resolution 1754

July 2005
Ambassador Peter van Walsum is appointed the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara, mediating between the Saharawis and the Moroccans.

January 2003
A new peace plan (Baker II) provides for self-determination for a period of five years, followed by a referendum that includes the independence option. Rejected by Morocco

June 2001
The Personal Envoy’s Draft Framework Agreement (also called Baker Plan I) is rejected by the Polisario and Algeria

17 March 1997
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints James Baker as his personal envoy to settle the dispute between Moroccans and Saharawis on the composition of the electoral body authorized to rule on the territory’s fate

6 September 1991
Entry in force of the cease-fire and the deployment of MINURSO (UN Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in the Western Sahara), to monitor the observation of the cease-fire

1990
Settlement Proposals

1984
Morocco leaves the AOU following the SADR’s admission to the Addis Ababa Summit.

5 August 1979
The Polisario signs a cease-fire with Mauritania in Algiers, stating that the latter renounces all territorial claims and definitively ends the war. Morocco occupies the area vacated by the Mauritanian army. The armed confrontation between Morocco and the Polisario continues.

27 February 1976
The Polisario proclaims the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)

January 1976
Border tensions between Algeria and Morocco (battle of Amgala)

14 November 1975
Spain, Morocco and Mauritania sign the Madrid accords and Spain agrees to withdraw on 28 February 1976, ceding administrative control to Rabat and Nouakchott after a transitional tripartite administration period.

6 November 1975
“Green March”: 350,000 Moroccan civilians cross into the territory of Western Sahara, asserting its Moroccan identity

16 October 1975
The International Courts of Justice publishes its advisory opinion of the territory’s status, acknowledging the existence of certain tribes’ legal ties of allegiance with the Sultan of Morocco while considering them insufficient to establish a “territorial right”

10 May 1973
Establishment of the Frente Para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y Rio de Oro (POLISARIO). First guerrilla operations

1965
UN General Assembly resolution 2072 places the Western Sahara on the list of regions to be decolonized and refers to resolution 1514 on the right of colonized peoples to self-determination

1962-1963
Once Algeria is granted independence, Morocco claims certain areas previously designated as “Saharan Territories,” giving rise to repeated border incidents with Algeria (“War of the Sands”)

February 1958
France’s support for Spain (“Operation Ecouvillon) enables the latter to retain most of the Western Sahara and Ifni. Under the Angra de Cintra Treaty (April 2, 1958), Spain returns the province of Tarfaya (Cap Juby) to Morocco.

1957-1958
With the participation of Saharawi tribes, Morocco coordinates an uprising against Spain (wars of Ifni and Edchera)

2 March 1956
Morocco gains independence

1884
Spain takes possession of Rio de Oro (the southern part of the Western Sahara), then Saguia el-Hamra in 1884 and 1912.

(Source: France-Diplomatie)

JPEG - 45.5 kb
20 June 2010-UN Photo/Martine Perret

(April 2013)

2. Reference documents Retour à la table des matières

- 25 April 2013 - Resolution 2099 – Extension of MINURSO mandate

- 24 April 2012 - Resolution 2044 – Extension of MINURSO mandate until 30 April 2013

- 27 April 2011 - Resolution 1979 – Extension of MINURSO mandate until 30 April 2012

- 30 April 2010 - Resolution 1920 – Extension of MINURSO mandate until 30 April 2011

- 30 April 2009 – Resolution 1871 – Extension of MINURSO mandate until 30 April 2010

- 29 April 1991 - Resolution 690 - Establishment of the UN Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO)

- Find all the Security Council resolutions pertaining to MINURSO on the UN website

3. Statements of France Retour à la table des matières

- 27 April 2011 - Security Council - Western Sahara - Extending the mandate of MINURSO - Explanation of vote - Statement By Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 30 April 2009 - Security Council - Western Sahara - Extending the mandate of MINURSO - Explanation of vote by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 21 October 2008 – 4th Commission of the 63rd UN General Assembly – Point 37 – Western Sahara – European Union Statement by H.E. Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France

4. Useful links Retour à la table des matières

- Visit the UN website on MINURSO



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