Russia has shown double-talk in the Sahara issue, sweeping aside the content of United Nations Security Council resolutions with the back of its hand. In an interview with Egyptian media, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of only two parties to the Sahara conflict, forgetting to mention his ally, Algeria.
The Russian Foreign Minister thus affirmed in an interview with the Egyptian channel TeN that “the crisis in Western Sahara must be resolved like any other crisis on the basis of the decisions of the Security Council”, believing that Morocco and the polisario must move on to “direct dialogue” to reach a solution and insisted on respecting the resolutions of the Security Council.
“There are decisions of the Security Council which must be respected, which must be implemented. In the case of Western Sahara, there must be a direct dialogue between the Polisario and Morocco and the negotiations must resume as soon as possible to allow a solution based on the compromise that is in the interest of both parties to be found. “, did he declare.
And to evoke the referendum as a solution, while it is an option that has not been mentioned in the resolutions of the Security Council for years, because of the impossibility of the organization of this last, and at a time when the Security Council speaks of a “political, just, lasting, and mutually acceptable solution, based on compromise” and that the international community considers that the Autonomy Initiative proposed by Morocco in 2007 , is a credible and serious solution that fills all the boxes.
With his statement, the head of Russian diplomacy not only went back years talking about proposals that have shown their limits, but also voluntarily contradicted himself. On the one hand, he insists on respecting the resolutions of the Security Council, but at the same time, he does not respect them himself when he speaks of direct discussions between the Polisario and Morocco, and excludes Algeria.
Indeed, all the latest Security Council resolutions and in particular the most recent speak of discussions between “all” the parties, namely Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario. The text of the resolution names each of the parties 5 times.
The Security Council encourages “the resumption of consultations between the new Personal Envoy and
Morocco, the Polisario front, Algeria and Mauritania (…) to build on the progress made ”, indicates the Security Council in its last resolution in one of the 5 references to the parties to the conflict.
In addition, Security Council resolution 2548 (2020) begins from the outset by referring to the political process known as “round tables” which was initiated by the previous Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
Security Council pays tribute to Horst Köhler, former Personal Envoy of the Secretary
General and praised “his efforts to organize the roundtable process,” the resolution reads. And to continue that this round table process which brings together the 4 parties to the conflict “gave new impetus to the political process”.
Faithful to its alliance with Algeria, which is one of its biggest armaments clients, Russia, abstained from voting this latest Security Council resolution on the renewal of the mandate of MINURSO, which it mentions. today.
Moscow had judged – certainly at the request of Algeria – that the text was unbalanced. But the text had not been modified between the draft and the last version which was voted unanimously by 13 votes against two abstentions, the second being that of Tunisia, a country which is becoming more and more dependent on the generous. donations from Algeria.
Yet the text of the resolution was not particularly different from previous resolutions. He continued to call on all parties to discuss how to reach a “solution, political, just, lasting and mutually acceptable, based on compromise”.
Except that for Algeria which started hostilities against Morocco for two years (since the blocking of the road axis in El Guerguerat by the Polisario militias which left with the agreement of the Algerian authorities, editor’s note), with a concentration of hostile actions for a year leading to the complete rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries at his initiative in August, Algiers began a new strategy guided by the head of its diplomacy, Ramtane Lamamra.
The shift in Algerian strategy comes in the idea of shirking its responsibility for the creation of the Sahara conflict and its support for the separatists which manifests itself through the accommodation of the latter, material and economic and diplomatic investment, in the promotion of the separatist theory against the territorial integrity of Morocco.
Thus, it is in this idea that Algeria announced just before the vote of the resolution that it was no longer going to participate in the round table process, seeking to block the political process and prevent the new Personal Envoy of the Secretary United Nations General Staffan de Mistura to do his job.