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Historical Timeline

 

 

1884

Moroccan Sahara went under Spanish occupation.

1912

Morocco under foreign occupation (France in the Center, Spain in the North, the South, including the Sahara, and a Council of 12 foreign powers governed the international zone of Tangier).

1956

Morocco got back the Center and North parts of the Kingdom as well as the international zone of Tangier.

1957/1958

Franco-Spanish coalition launched the Ecouvillon Operation against Moroccan National Liberation Army.

April 1, 1958

Cintra Agreement announcing the liberation of Tarfaya.

1964

At the request of Morocco, Sahara issue is included in the agenda of the Special Committee of decolonization at the United Nations.

December 16, 1965

UN General Assembly resolution 2072 requesting Spain, as administering power, to take immediate action ... and initiate negotiations for the liberation of the colonially dominated territories of Ifni and the Sahara.

1969

Fez Treaty declares the return of Ifni to the mother-land.

June 8, 1970

Treaty of Solidarity and Good Neighbourliness signed between the late King Hassan II and Mauritanian President Mokhtar Ould Daddah.

October 16, 1975

ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Sahara: Sahara (Rio de Oro and Sakiat El Hamra) was not, at the time of colonization by Spain, a land belonging to no one (Terra nullius). There were ties of allegiance between the Sultan of Morocco and the tribes of Sahara.

November 6, 1975

Organisation of the “Green March”.

November 14, 1975

Signature of Madrid Agreement between Morocco, Spain and Mauritania.

February 26, 1976

Opinion of Jemaâ approving the Sahara decolonization and reintegration in Morocco and Mauritania.

February 27, 1976

Proclamation of the pseudo “sadr”.

April 14, 1976

Morocco-Mauritania Agreement.

August 14, 1979

Recuperation of the Province of Oued Addahab.

June 26, 1981

Acceptance by Morocco, in Nairobi, of the organization of a referendum in the Sahara.

July 8, 1987

Opinion of the Office of Legal Affairs of the ECOSOC in response to Morocco’s question on the pre-eminence of procedural rules in case of a joint meeting between the UN and a regional intergovernmental organization: “In the case of a joint meeting between the ECA and a regional intergovernmental organization, the ECA, as a subsidiary organ of the UN, must comply with the decisions of the bodies to which it belongs, namely the General Assembly and ECOSOC”.

August 30, 1988

Acceptance by the parties of the propositions of the UN General Secretary, adopted by the SC in the resolution 621 (cease-fire, Settlement plan).

June 18, 1990

SG Report S/21360 suggesting the Settlement Plan.

April 26, 1991

UN Security Council resolution 690 decides to constitute, under its authority, a United Nations Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in the Sahara (MINURSO) whose mandate includes monitoring the cease-fire and organizing the referendum.

September 6, 1991

Proclamation of the cease-fire.

December 19, 1991

SG Report suggesting the five criteria of identification.

December 12, 1993

Counting process of the people entitled to vote.

December 22, 1995

Suspension of the identification process.

March 17, 1997

Nomination of James Baker as Personal Envoy of the UN General Secretary to Sahara.

September 16, 1997

Signature of Houston Agreement.

September 3, 1998

Completion of the identification process. 147,000 people have been identified. The problem of Sahraouis living abroad, as well as members of groups H41 (Ait-Oussa), H61 (Azouafit), J51 (Ait-Oussa, Ait-Boumeggout) and J52 (Inzouen) disputed by the “polisario” remained pending.

February 17, 2000

SG Report (S/2000/131) in which M. Annan explicitly questioned the applicability of the Settlement Plan.

May 14 / June 28, 2000

London talks under the auspices of M. James Baker.

May 31, 2000

Adoption by the SC of the resolution 1301 extending the mandate of MINURSO to July 31, 2000 and asking the parties to submit to Mr. Baker concrete proposals to overcome the obstacles standing before the Settlement Plan.

May 30, 2001

Letter of the “polisario” to the SG rejecting also the Framework Agreement.

November 2, 2001

Algeria presented, in Houston, a project of partition of the territory.

December 2001

“polisario” imposes restrictions to the MINURSO’s moves.

February 12, 2002

Legal opinion of the UN Legal Adviser on the legality of oil exploration in the Sahara. (S/2002/161)

February 19, 2002

SG Report (S/2002/178) containing the 4 options proposed by the SG so as to resolve the problem (application of the Settlement Plan without the consent of the parties, revision of the Framework Agreement on a non-negotiable basis, partition of the territory, definitive withdrawal of the MINURSO).

January 30, 2003

Resolution 1463, extending the mandate of the MINURSO, so as to give the parties time to consider the SG Personal Envoy’s proposal.

July 30, 2003

Resolution 1495 in which the Security Council “supports the peace plan, as an optimal solution agreed upon by the parties”.

June 11, 2004

Resignation of the SG’s Personal Envoy M. James Baker. 

October 18, 2004

Adoption by the SC of the Resolution 1570, confirming the judgment of the SG on the current impasse and extending the mandate of MINURSO to 6 months, till April 30, 2005.

April 28, 2005

SC Resolution 1598 extending the mandate of MINURSO to October 31, 2005 and requesting again “the parties and States of the region to fully cooperate with the United Nations to end the current impasse and progress towards a political solution”.

July 25, 2005

Appointment by the SG of the Dutch Peter Van Walsum as his Personal Envoy for the Sahara with a mandate to “consult with the parties and States of the region so as to resolve the current impasse ...”

January 18, 2006

The presentation by Mr. V. Walsum before the Security Council can be summarized in the following 4 axes:

·        Confirmation of the invalidity of the Baker Plan;

·        Call for the initiation of negotiations without preconditions;

·        Need to balance between political realities and legal requirements; and

·        - Need for Algeria’s involvement in the negotiations.

March 25, 2006

Setting up of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharian Affairs   (CORCAS).

June 26, 2006

The Secretary General’s letter to the members of the Security Council “I would like to suggest that members of the Security Council use the next four months to prepare for a more substantial resolution on the situation in Sahara”.

October 31, 2006

The Security Council, unanimously, adopted resolution 1720 which, while extending the mandate of MINURSO, renewed its call “to the parties and States of the region to continue to fully cooperate with the United Nations so as to end the current impasse and move towards a political solution”.

December 5, 2006

CORCAS examined all the aspects linked to the autonomy project (institutional structures, skills, resources ..) and stressed the need for a project in line with the characteristics of the region and consistent with international norms and standards. It also reiterated that this option, fully assumed by the Kingdom, corresponds to the aspirations of the people of the region and meets the expectations of the international community.  The Council’s reflection has been fed by visits to culturally and geographically close countries whose experiences in the field of autonomy have been put to use. The results of this reflection, democratically and unanimously approved by the members of the Council, were submitted to the very high attention of His Majesty the King.

February 5, 2007

Beginning of the international campaign of information about the status of the Moroccan project of autonomy for the southern provinces of the Kingdom. Almost 40 countries visited.

April 11, 2007

The Kingdom’s Permanent Representative submitted a letter on “Moroccan Initiative for Negotiating an Autonomy Statute for the Sahara Region”.

April 13, 2007

The Secretary General mentioned in his periodic report (S/2007/202) that he received the “Moroccan Initiative for Negotiating an Autonomy Statute for the Sahara Region”. The SG recommends that the Security Council asks the parties, Morocco and “polisario”, to initiate negotiations without preconditions. Neighbouring countries, Algeria and Mauritania, should be invited to these negotiations and consulted separately on issues that directly concern them in the format that was applied during James Baker’s term.

April 30, 2007

The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1754 which, while taking note of the Moroccan Initiative for Negotiating an Autonomy Statute for the Sahara Region, welcomed the serious and credible efforts made by Morocco to move forward toward resolving this issue. Similarly, the resolution “calls on the parties to engage in good faith negotiations without preconditions, taking into account the last months’ developments in order to achieve a political, just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution”.

June 18 & 19, 2007

The 1st round of negotiations was held in Manhasset (New York), under the auspices of the UN SG’s Personal Envoy.

August 10 & 11, 2007

The 2nd round of negotiations in Manhasset (New York), under the auspices of the UN SG’s Personal Envoy.

October 31, 2007

Adoption of resolution 1783 by the Security Council which, taking note of the Moroccan Initiative for Negotiating an Autonomy Statute for the Sahara Region, welcomed, for the second time, “Morocco’s serious and credible efforts to move forward towards resolving” the issue. Similarly, the resolution calls “the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and the developments in recent months in order to reach a political, just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution”.

January 7 to 9, 2008

The 3rd round of negotiations in Manhasset (New York), under the auspices of the UN SG’s Personal Envoy.

March 16 to 18, 2008

The 4th round of negotiations in Manhasset (New York), under the auspices of the UN SG’s Personal Envoy.

April 21, 2008

The UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy, Peter van Walsum, said that the independence of Sahara is, in his view, “not an achievable goal”.

April 30, 2008

Adoption of resolution 1813 (2008) by the Security Council which, taking note of the Moroccan proposal for negotiating an autonomy statute for the Sahara region, welcomed the “serious and credible efforts made ​​by Morocco to move the process forward towards resolving” the issue. Resolution 1813 (2008) calls on the parties to show “realism and a spirit of compromise.

May 5, 2008

The former head of the United Nations mission in Sahara (MINURSO), Erik Jensen, expressed his support for the views of the UN SG’s Personal Envoy, M. Peter Van Walsum, that “Sahara's independence is not a realistic option”.

December 5, 2008

The General Assembly resolution (63/105) supports the negotiations process initiated by resolution 1754 (2007) and encourages the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross and to fulfil their obligations.

January 1, 2009

Appointment of Christpher ROSS as Personal Envoy of Ban Ki-Moon in the Sahara.

April 30, 2009

The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1871, strengthening the support of the Council to resolution 1813 (2008), to find a mutually acceptable political solution to the dispute over the Sahara.

 

August 9 to 11, 2009

The 1st round of informal talks on the Sahara between Morocco and “polisario”, organized by Christopher Ross, Personal Envoy of Ban Ki-Moon, were held in Dürnstein, Austria. During these talks, Morocco has reintroduced the content and philosophy of the Moroccan Initiative, as a credible solution to the dispute over Sahara.

 

February 10 & 11, 2010

 

During the 2nd round of informal talks on the Sahara in Armonk (New York), Morocco stressed that the Moroccan initiative of autonomy is fully compliant with international law and Security Council resolutions.

Morocco has demonstrated the obsolescence of the proposal of the other parts, as well as the biased interpretation of the principle of self-determination and the inapplicability of a referendum with extreme outcomes.

 

April 30, 2010

The Security Council adopted resolution 1920 in which it welcomed the new serious and credible efforts made by Morocco and emphasizes the primacy of the Moroccan autonomy initiative.

 

October 17, 2010

Setting up of Gdim Izik camps in the region of Laâyoune.

November 8, 2010

Organization of the dismantling of Gdim Izik camps. Violent acts from the separatists against Moroccan security forces

January 4, 2011

Dismantling of a terrorist network, a member of the AQIM group, and an arsenal of weapons in the region Amghala (Khang Zriba area). Al Qaeda assigned this terrorist group to create a rear base in Morocco and perform terrorist acts in the Kingdom using the weapons found.

March 23, 2011

At the joint press conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation stressed the importance of resolving the Sahara issue to establish a Maghrebi unity, which is necessary for the safety of the people and the region.

 

July 21, 2011

During the 8th round of informal talks, held in Manhasset, July 19-21, 2011, Morocco highlighted the accuracy of the United Nations’ innovative approach that can help evolve the current situation through a full involvement of the population legitimate representatives.

 

March 11 to 13, 2012

During the 9th round of informal talks held in Manhasset from March 11 to 13, 2012, Morocco reiterated its strong commitment to contribute effectively to an innovative solution that goes beyond the classical methods to end the current deadlock on the Sahara issue, expressing its regret that the other parties are sticking to their position, especially regarding the identification and the registration of the Tindouf camps population.

 

April 24, 2012

The Security Council resolution 2044 (2012) unanimously adopted April 24, 2012, consolidated the parameters set by the Council to reach a final political solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara. It has reinforced the process of negotiations as single-track dispute resolution and enhanced innovative approaches.

April 25, 2013

The Security Council resolution 2099 unanimously adopted on April 25, 2013, consolidated, once more, the preeminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative, and fixed the parameters to reach a final political solution based on realism and a spirit of compromise.

 

March 2017

Resignation of Christopher Ross, UNSG’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara

 

August 2017

Appointment of Horst Kohler as new UNSG’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara

 

2017-2019

Holding of  two rounds of talks in presence of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and polisario front

 

May 2019

Resignation of Horst Kohler, UNSG’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara due to health problems

      

October 2019

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution_2494 which extends the mandate of MINURSO for one year, reaffirming the relevance of the Moroccan initiative for autonomy and underlined the round-table meetings process as the only framework for reaching a political solution.