U.N. Appoints New Special Rep. to Western Sahara
Despite an attempted Morocco veto, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed German Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber as the new U.N. Special Representative to Western Sahara and as head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. Weisbrod-Weber previously served as director of the Asia and Middle East Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and worked in East Timor on disputed territories.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Foreign Minister has joined Morocco in criticizing the U.N.’s special envoy to Western Sahara Christopher Ross, saying he has focused too much on “fringe” issues instead of the core of disputes over the territory. Morocco controversially withdrew their confidence in Ross last month and have since denied him entry to the region.
Also, in an interview with Deutsche Welle, Western Saharan independence activist Sidi Ahmed Talmidi argues “the only hope for the Sahrawis is to get the UN to recognize that Morocco does not want to take any further step toward the peace plan.” Talmidi explains why he believes the Arab Spring started in Western Sahara and laments what he calls endemic misinformation by the Moroccan government about what is really happening.