The Future is Equal

Oxfam reaction to the first anniversary of the collapse of the ceasefire on Western Sahara

One year since the collapse of the 29-year ceasefire between the Frente Polisario and Morocco, Oxfam calls on all parties to create momentum to resume peace talks as soon as possible. The most recent escalation of violence in Western Sahara threatens regional stability, and will have devastating consequences for Sahrawi refugees, who have been stranded in camps in the Algerian desert for over 45 years.

Oxfam welcomes the long overdue appointment of the new UN Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura; it must be a catalyst for de-escalation. Oxfam calls on the international community to give meaningful support for the UN-led peace process with the voices of civil society, in particular those of women, youth and other marginalised groups firmly at the centre.

By renewing MINURSO’s mandate, the UNSC reaffirms its commitment to a just, sustainable and mutually acceptable political solution, which will ensure the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara[1] in line with international law, supported by multiple resolutions passed by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.

Oxfam in Algeria has operated in the Sahrawi refugee camps alongside local partner organizations since the start of the crisis in 1975.  Every day we see how communities are suffering and losing hope for their future while the efforts for an inclusive, sustainable peace have failed. Today, 94 per cent of the over 173,000 Sahrawi refugees[2] are dependent on humanitarian aid to meet basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Malnutrition rates are climbing, with food security a reality for only 12 per cent of households.  This is a critical moment for the international community to stand with Sahrawi refugees and ensure that their rights, dignity and futures are protected after failing them for far too long.

 

[1]  Resolution 2602 (2021) adopted by the Security Council at its 8890th meeting, on 29 October 2021 https://undocs.org/en/S/RES/2602(2021)

[2] WFP, Food Security Assessment for Sahrawi refugees, 2018 https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000103413/download/

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