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Security Council extends mission for two months

The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday extended by two months the mandate of its 10-year-old mission to Western Sahara to further efforts towards a referendum aimed at enabling the people of the disputed territory to choose between independence and integration with Morocco.

In a unanimous resolution, the Council expressed hope that Morocco and the Polisario Front would keep trying to try to resolve the many problems blocking the implementation of a plan for the resolution of the conflict "and try to agree upon a mutually acceptable political solution to their dispute".

The former US secretary of state, James Baker III, who is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, will continue to lead the world body's efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

Morocco took over the former Spanish colony in 1976. POLISARIO responded by mounting a guerrilla war for independence. A ceasefire was concluded about a decade ago.

[For more information on MINURSO see

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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