African Union Statement, 26 September 2015

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), 547th meeting 26 September 2015,

The Peace and Security Council at the level of Heads of State and Government, adopted the following decision on the situation in Western Sahara:
1. Takes note of the briefing given by the Commission on the situation in Western Sahara, as well as of the statement made by the representative of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR);
2. Recalls its earlier pronouncements on the situation in Western Sahara,

namely communique PSC/PR/COMM/l.(CDXCVI) and press statement PSC/P /COMM.2(DII) adopted at its 496th and 503rd meetings held on 27 March and 30April 2015, respectively;

3. Notes with deep concern that, in spite of the sustained efforts made, including by the successive Personal Envoys of the UN Secretary-General, no progress has been made in the search for a solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, which has been in a stalemate for more than four decades despite the efforts;

4. Reiterates the AU’s commitment to continue to work towards the early resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara on the basis of international legality and relevant OAU/AU’s decisions, and, in this respect, to cooperate closely with the United Nations (UN). In this respect, Council encourages the Chairperson of the Commission to pursue and intensify her efforts, including through her Special Envoy for Western Sahara, former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, towards the effective follow-up of the relevant provisions of communique PSC/PR/COMM./l(CDXCVI);

5. Further reiterates the call made by the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, in paragraph 18 of decision Assembly/AU/Dec.583(XXV), for the UN General Assembly to determine a date for the holding of the self-determination referendum for the people of Western Sahara and protect the integrity of the Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory, bearing in mind the Advisory Opinion given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 16 October 1975 and the recent Legal Opinion by the Office of the AU Legal Council on the illegal exploitation of the mineral resources of Western Sahara. Council requests the AU Group in New York to take the necessary follow-up action;

6. Urges the Security Council to fully assume its responsibilities and take all necessary steps to expedite the resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara, as well as effectively address the issues of the respect of human rights and the illegal exploitation of the Territory’s natural

7. Decides to remain seized of the situation.