The Polisario leadership and their Algerian mentors were expecting a strengthening of the role of the Minurso, but it did not take them long to be disillusioned.
The latest phone talks the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, had with King Mohammed VI of Morocco was a slap in the face of the leaders of the separatist movement.
These separatists believed strongly that after Morocco withdrew its confidence in the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara, Christopher Ross, the course of events was going to be to the kingdom’s disadvantage.
Ban Ki-moon was keen on reassuring King Mohammed VI that there will be no extension of the Minurso mandate and that the UN does not intend to modify the terms of its mediation, whose purpose is to promote the achievement of a mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara conflict.
Furthermore, the UN chief told the Moroccan Sovereign that his Personal Envoy, Ross, and his new Special Representative, Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, will fulfill their respective mandates in promoting the negotiating process within the framework set forth in successive Security Council resolutions.
On his part, the King of Morocco renewed his country’s “sincere, voluntary and constructive willingness, which relies substantially on the advanced autonomy proposal that the international community welcomed as a serious and credible means to end this conflict.”
According to academic Tajeddine Houssaini, besides this clarification on the part of the UN, and because it withdrew its confidence in Christopher Ross, Morocco still has the advantage that it can question any report which is contrary to its interests.
Consequently, the Polisario and the Algerian power which continues to support it blindly, have no other choice than to sit down to the negotiating table with Morocco, and admit that the only viable and credible solution for the time being lies in the autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. All the rest is just a mere pipe-dream and a waste of time and energy.