Former German President Horst Köhler 8 Sept took office as UN Special Envoy for Western Sahara; armed independence movement Polisario Front lauded appointment and reiterated willingness to cooperate with UN. Moroccan security forces 10 Sept broke up crowd demonstrating in Laayoune city against transfer of prisoners to Morocco.
The Western Sahara conflict is both one of the world’s oldest and one of its most neglected.
The combination of Morocco’s recent proposal of a “Sahara autonomous region”, the Polisario Front’s counter-proposal of independence with guarantees for Moroccan interests and the UN Security Council’s 30 April resolution calling for direct negotiations between the parties – due to begin on 18 June – has been hailed as a promising breakthrough in the protracted Western Sahara dispute.
Originally published in Al Hayat
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal Europe