Statement by the Federal Foreign Office on the events in Western Sahara

16.11.2020 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (16 November) on the violent clashes in Western Sahara at the weekend:

The German Government is following the events around Guerguerat in south Western Sahara very closely. The violent clashes at the weekend were the most serious incident since the ceasefire agreement of 1991. We call on all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and to return to the political process.

The political process should be resumed under the aegis of the United Nations. During former German President Horst Köhler’s tenure as Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, we saw that progress can certainly be achieved. We thus support the appointment of a new Personal Envoy in the near future.

Background information:

Along with its partners, Germany is working in the UN Security Council for a realistic, practicable and lasting negotiated settlement to the Western Sahara conflict. This settlement should be achieved under the auspices of the UN and reflect the Sahrawis’ right to self-determination. During the consultations in the UN Security Council last month on the extension of the mandate for MINURSO, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, Germany called for a new Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara to be appointed as soon as possible and for the political process to be resumed. The German Government sees MINURSO as a crucial confidence-building instrument in the decades-long conflict on Western Sahara.

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