Polisario Front rejects talks without W Sahara independence

Polisario Front rejects talks without condition of Western Sahara self-determination
2 min read
05 December, 2021
The head of the Polisario Front has rejected UN-led peace talks, unless there are guarantees of Sahrawi self-determination.
Brahim Ghali has made self-determination a condition on the resumption of any negotiations [Getty]

The leader of the Polisario Front has announced that his group will not take part in the UN-led political process on the Western Sahara, unless "Sahrawi self-determination" is guaranteed. 

Algerian state media reported that Brahim Ghali, the leader of the Polisario Front, has made self-determination a condition on the resumption of any negotiations. 

The separatist leader said told Algerian state media he "is ready to resume negotiations", but added that, "under the condition of implementing international guarantees that enable the Sahrawi people to exercise their right to self-determination".

The announcement by the Polisario Front, follows a similar declaration by Algeria, who stated in October, their rejection of the UN-led negotiations. 

"Authorities asked the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the UN to convey to the UNSC chief and members that Algeria will not participate in the roundtables on Western Sahara," Amar Belani, Algeria’s Special Representative for Western Sahara said. 

"The decision was taken because the round table meetings are no longer an efficient method of solving the problem, as Morocco has bad intentions to portray Algeria as a party to the conflict," he added. 

The Polisario Front have been engaged in a decades long struggle against Morocco for sovereignty over Western Sahara, and self-determination for the Sahrawi people. 

Morocco claims that the West Sahara territory was given to them by the Spanish.

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A ceasefire was declared in 1991 and maintained by a UN peacekeeping force, although the Polisario declared an end the agreement in 2020, and announced a resumption of armed conflict.  

The issue of peace talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco were reignited when former US President Donald Trump, broke with international norms, and controversially recognised Morocco’s territorial claims to Western Sahara. 

The recognition was made in exchange for Morocco signing the Abraham Accords and establishing ties with Israel. 

In November, the Polisario Front announced its intention to escalate the conflict in the Western Sahara. 

"The Sahrawi people has made up its mind and taken the sovereign decision to escalate its just war of liberation with all legitimate means, first and foremost the armed struggle," Ghali told Sahrawi press agency SPS.