Peruvian Council: ‘Referendum’ and ‘Independence’ for Western Sahara Are Impossible


The group’s statement comes shortly after the adoption of Resolution 2468, which calls for sincere dialogue and compromise-based solution. Referring to the resolution, the Peruvian group argued that referendum is no longer a reasonable course of action.

The council shared a statement  on May 2, a few days after the adoption of the Moroccan-friendly resolution.In the statement, the council, which has long supported Polisario’s claims, announced that the UN resolution ignored the notion of “self-determination” which mentioned only once.

According to the council, the notable absence of the terms “referendum” or “independence” from the latest UN resolutions is a signal that the separatist route is unrealistic for a lasting political solution to the Sahara issue.

Read Also: ‘Compromise’: How SC Resolution 2468 on Western Sahara Is Different

The council also noted that Resolution 2468 signals a visible shift in the international community. Increasingly, the UN Security Council is pushing for a “realistic, pragmatic, sustainable, and compromise-based” political solution. This shift, the  statement stressed, is a clear indication that “self-determination” and “referendum” have become “obsolete notions.”

According to the council, the separatist path is “neither realistic nor pragmatic and does not respond to a mutually acceptable solution.”

Prior to both the council’s statement and the adoption of the UN resolution, head of the council Ricardo Sanchez Serra shared an opinion piece in February that signalled a change in the body’s Western Sahara stance. In the piece, Serra called on Polisario to accept Morocco’s autonomy plan.

“I have published a book and dozens of articles in Peruvian and international media about this cause. All this gives me today the moral authority, the right, and the duty to be honest with my Polisario friends,” he said.

Serra acknowledged that “Morocco’s position on the conflict has evolved.”  He said Morocco has moved “from total integration [with the rest of Morocco] to broad political autonomy with international guarantees.”

He also emphasized the support the autonomy plan received from international powers including the US, which said it “represents a potential approach to satisfy the aspirations of the populations of Sahara.”

Peru  has long supported Morocco’s autonomy plan.

In October 2017, 21 members of the Peruvian Parliament expressed their support for Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara.