Last step for De Mistura in Mauritania before the real challenge

The Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara issue, Staffan de Mistura is expected in Mauritania on Saturday as part of his regional tour. This visit will complete his interviews with the 4 parties in the file before the meeting of the Security Council.

After a 2-day visit to the Tindouf camps where he met the leader of the separatist militia and several “senior Polisario executives”, and a quick visit to Algiers, the Italian-Swedish must close the march by going to Mauritania , the 4th part in the regional file.

This visit is scheduled for September 10, indicated the spokesperson for the UN, Stephane Dujarric, who also indicated that Staffan de Mistura will also have “discussions with other interlocutors concerned in the region”, without specifying which ones.

“He plans to travel to Nouakchott for talks with the Mauritanian authorities on September 10. During these regional engagements, the Personal Envoy continues to look forward to deepening consultations with all parties concerned on the prospects for constructively advancing the political process,” the spokesperson said.

The tone is set by the UN, the emissary remains framed by the political process already in progress which had stopped with his predecessor in 2019.

“He intends to remain guided by the clear precedents set by his predecessors,” added Dujarric, referring to the political process of the round tables between the 4 parties in the file, as decided by his predecessors.

This formula, which involves direct discussions between all the parties, is the one chosen to move the file forward because it allows everyone to give their opinion and find a solution together.

But during the last Security Council, Algeria announced its refusal to take part, arguing that the conflict would only concern the Polisario militia and Morocco and that Algiers would only be an observer country.

Also this week, during Staffan de Mistura’s talks with the head of Algerian diplomacy Ramtane Lamamra, the UN envoy noted that Algeria continued to call for discussions only between Morocco and the Polisario.

The international community and the Personal Envoy are witnesses to Algeria’s large-scale involvement in this file, the repercussions of which impinge on other issues on the Algerian side.

Indeed, Algeria, which broke off its diplomatic relations with Morocco because of the Sahara issue, involves its diplomacy on several levels to attack the sovereignty of Morocco and defend the separatist band that it shelters, arms and finance for 5 decades.

Algeria, which invokes direct relations between the Polisario militia and Morocco, provoked a major diplomatic crisis with Spain when this country supported the autonomy solution proposed by Morocco to end the conflict.

A forcing was made on Madrid to bring it to cancel this sovereign decision and which in principle does not concern Algeria… Calls for retraction were heard from Algiers, a stoppage of foreign trade with the Iberian country was decided, and the country also blackmailed gas in the midst of the global hydrocarbon crisis.

Between 2020 and 2021, Algeria has also “lent” no less than 450 million dollars to Tunisia in crisis, to bring it out of its neutrality in the file. Algiers pushed Tunis to abstain from voting on the latest Security Council resolution, and more recently organized the reception by Tunisian President Kais Saied of the leader of the militia at a Ticad conference, in order to confer on him pseudo legitimacy.

These Algerian actions cited are only a tiny part of all the actions carried out almost daily by the Algerian authorities to “combat” Morocco. This runs counter to claims that Algeria was not involved, especially since one only needs to take a simple look at the geography and history of the creation of the Sahrawi separatist faction, and the border dispute. between Algeria and Morocco, to understand that this is a typically Moroccan-Algerian problem and that the Polisario is only a pawn manipulated by Algiers.

Staffan de Mistura will therefore have to try to organize the 3rd round table, despite the bad faith of Algiers, which seeks to evade negotiations and obviously to block the process allowing this file to be closed.

The UN envoy had visited Morocco in July before planning a trip to Algeria between Tindouf and Algiers at the beginning of September. The visit to Mauritania will thus conclude its tour, and its talks with the various parties.

His next step will be to put the same political process back on track, and to write a detailed report to the UN during the month of October, in anticipation of the next meeting of the Security Council.

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