“Four personal envoys and fifteen special representatives of the UN Secretary General have so far been involved in various stages of the UN peace process in Western Sahara.
However, Morocco has managed, with complete impunity, to transforming these mediation efforts into impossible missions through deliberate obstructionism," said the Polisario Front in a statement published in New York.
The Front’s statement was a reaction to false information spread by certain media outlets, citing the AFP press agency according to which "the Polisario Front has contested the candidacy of a Portuguese official proposed by UN Secretary General UN, Antonio Guterres, as a new envoy for Western Sahara."
The Polisario Front insisted that "it was Morocco which sabotaged the mediation efforts of former US Secretary of State James Baker, who has been the first Personal Envoy for Western Sahara in March 1997 and was compelled to resign in June 2004."
The same attitude was adopted by Morocco towards UN Ambassador Christopher Ross who was appointed Special Envoy for Western Sahara in January 2009.
The Moroccan authorities have even declared Ross "persona non grata" in May 2012 and prevented him from carrying out his mission and travelling to the occupied territory. Under pressure, Ross finally stepped down in April 2017," recalled the Polisario Front.
In addition, former German president, Horst Köhler, appointed in August 2017 as UN envoy for Western Sahara, six years after the failure of direct negotiations between the conflicting parties, experienced the same fate: Morocco turned his efforts "into an impossible mission", which prompted him to submit his resignation in May 2019, he added.
After scuttling President Köhler's efforts to maintain "the status quo" in Western Sahara, the Moroccan occupying forces "decided to thwart all subsequent efforts by the UN Secretary General to appoint a new envoy to Western Sahara," said the Frente.