The Western Sahara dispute

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is proposing a new diplomatic push to end the decades-old dispute over Western Sahara, possibly by holding a referendum on Morocco’s rule over the territory.

The negotiations will have the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution that includes resolution of the dispute over the ultimate status of Western Sahara, including through agreement on the nature and form of the exercise of self-determination.

It was Guterres’s first report to the council on Western Sahara. The Security Council will discuss Western Sahara on April 25 ahead of a vote two days later on renewing MINURSO’s mandate.

 The Western Sahara conflict:

The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict is the continuation of the past insurgency by Polisario against the Spanish colonial forces in 1973–75 and the subsequent Western Sahara War between the Polisario and Morocco (1975–91). Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed SADR state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.

Western Sahara is a disputed and partially Moroccan-occupied territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Capital: El-Aaiún

Official language: Arabic

Currency: Moroccan dirham

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