The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for the Sahara, Horst Köhler, is starting this Saturday (June 23) a ten-day tour of North Africa, in a bid to revive talks to settle the Sahara issue.
“I can confirm that Horst Köhler, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara will conduct a new tour of the region from June 23 to July 1, 2018,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokseman for the UN Secretary General.
This tour, he explained, aims to “deepen Köhler’s understanding of the reality on the ground, and discuss how to move forward in the UN-led political process, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2414”.
In this resolution adopted last April, the Security Council called on neighboring states “to make an important contribution to the political process and to engage further in the negotiations”.
The text also stressed the need to make progress in the search for a realistic, pragmatic and sustainable political solution to the Sahara issue.
In the report on the Sahara he submitted to the Security Council before the vote, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had once again confirmed the exclusive leadership of the United Nations in the process for a political and mutually accepted settlement of the Sahara conflict. He had thus put an end to any attempt by the African Union (AU) or the European Union to interfere in the handling of this issue.
Moreover, in his report, Guterres recalled that at the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, African Heads of State and Government “supported the UN leadership in relaunching the negotiation process” and pledged “to cooperate fully” with the Personal Envoy Horst Köhler.
The report did not mention Köhler’s contact with the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, the Algerian Ismail Chergui. Likewise, the UN Secretary General’s report did not allude to the judgment of the European Court of Justice despite the intense lobbying of Algeria and its puppet, the Polisario.
The UN has therefore clearly defined the scope of action of the African Union, which is holding its 31st summit in Mauritania July 1-2, and that of the UN mediator Horst Köhler, leaving only a tiny room for maneuver to the Polisario leaders, their Algerian sponsors and other opponents of Morocco.