International Committee For Dialogue And Peace Slams South African Attempt To Be A “Player” In Sahara Conflict

International Committee For Dialogue And Peace Slams South African Attempt To Be A “Player” In Sahara Conflict

Following the strange and ill-timed attempt by the South African government to gain international prominence by trying, unsuccessfully, to transform itself into a "player" in the Sahara conflict, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR DIALOGUE AND PEACE recalls the need to respect the process for settling conflicts and disputes, dealt with within the framework of the United Nations, as is the case for the Western Sahara conflict.

The United Nations has clearly defined the international players directly involved in the conflict resolution process: Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Spain. Neither the African Union nor South Africa are actors in this conflict. Neither are they part of the observer countries nor of the group made up of the United States and the other member countries of the Security Council + Spain, which have the prerogative of drawing up draft resolutions on the renewal of MINURSO's mandates.

South Africa's invitation to the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, therefore remains impertinent and destabilising. South Africa's aspiration to deal with the Sahara issue violates the principle of impartiality of States, given that Pretoria is known for its unconditional support for the separatist claims of the Polisario Front and its puppet entity "the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" (SADR).

For their part, the statements made by the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs are worrying, particularly when she stresses that the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, Staffan de Mistura, has entrusted her with "certain suggestions relating to the Sahara problem", highlighting the "confidential" nature of these proposals, which, according to her, must be seriously examined by her government.

Mistura will never succeed in relaunching the political process relating to the Western Sahara conflict by involving third-party states which are not party to the conflict and which have no interest other than shamelessly supporting the theses of Algeria and the Polisario.

This kind of action constitutes diplomatic immaturity and a lack of initiative to put an end to the status quo.

Given the inappropriate attitude of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR DIALOGUE AND PEACE expresses its deep concern and rejection of South Africa's unilateral involvement in the Sahara issue and urges Staffan de Mistura to review his position on this incident as a matter of urgency.

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