The UN Peace Plan

The UN's detailed peace plan was finally passed on April 29 1991 and a $200 million budget for the unprecedented operation was ratified on May 17 (resolution 690 -1991). The ceasefire and referendum is being supervised by a specially created UN force, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

Despite Moroccan objections to the plan, MINURSO personnel began their work immediately. The five-stage peace plan is under way.

STAGE 1: June - 6th September 1991.


STAGE 3: Under the supervision of MINURSO and UNHCR the 165,000 refugees who fled from the Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara in 1975 will be transported from their camps in the desert around Tindouf to safe locations inside Western Sahara. International observers will be invited to the territory to oversee campaigning and voting.



The referendum on self-determination will take place over several days. Saharawis registered will be asked to vote under MINURSO supervision:
Either for their legal independence Or full integration into the Kingdom of Morocco.


Problems With Implementing the UN Plan

Despite the confidence of the UN Secretary General that the peace plan and referendum can successfully bring an end to the conflict, numerous problems remain. Morocco is currently disputing the electoral register, claiming an additional 120,000 votors should be added. Morocco will not hand over the full administration of the territory to MINURSO and is retaining its extensive civil security forces within the territory during the referendum. Most worrying of all, Morocco is refusing to publicly consider the possibility of an independent Western Sahara and the UN has not said how it intends to ensure that the result of the referendum will be respected.

UN and Western Sahara,
Western Sahara Homepage